Gary Collins, actor and television talk-show host, died early Saturday in Biloxi, Miss. Collins may have been best known for his talk show “Hour Magazine,” which ran for eight years in the 1980s. Collins also made many memorable guest appearances on shows such as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Fantasy Island,” and “The Love Boat.” Collins was 74.
Harrison County Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer told TMZ that Collins died of natural causes at the Biloxi Regional Medical Center just before 1 a.m. local time (2 a.m. EDT).
Collins was born in Venice, Calif. He joined the U.S. Army after attending Santa Monica City College. Collins then became a radio and television personality on the Armed Forces Network before using his acting experience to earn a co-starring role on the 1965-66 series “The Wackiest Ship in the Army.”
Collins was nominated for six Emmy Awards during his tenure on “Hour Magazine.” Collins also was honored on the Hollywood Star Walk.
Collins hosted the Miss America Pageant from 1982 to 1990. Previously, in 1967, he married former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley. The two separated last year. Collins is survived by his three children, one with Mobley and two from an earlier marriage.
In recent years, Collins had a few episodes involving law-enforcement officials. In 2008, he served four days in a Glendale, Calif. jail after he was convicted of driving under the influence. He also was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of DUI after he blew a whopping 0.29 while taking a Breathalyzer test, according to TMZ. At that time, he was pulled over for erratically driving a motor home in Santa Barbara County, Calif.
Last year, Collins was charged with defrauding an innkeeper after refusing to pay his bill at a restaurant in Harrison County, Miss. Collins reportedly paid a $500 fine in lieu of appearing in court.
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