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Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins
Pauline Collins
John Alderton & Pauline Collins
John Alderton & Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins (Wikipedia entry)

Pauline Collins is an English actress of stage, television, and film, who first came to prominence portraying Sarah Moffat in Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–73) and its spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979). In 1992, she released her autobiography, titled Letter to Louise.

Collins played the title role in the play Shirley Valentine, for which she won an Olivier Award in 1988, and Drama Desk and Tony Awards in 1989. She reprised the role in the 1989 film adaptation, winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. She also starred in the television dramas  Forever Green (1989–92) and The Ambassador (1998–99). Her other film appearances include City of Joy (1992), Paradise Road (1997), Albert Nobbs (2011), Quartet (2012), and The Time of Their Lives (2017).

Collins was born in ExmouthDevon, the daughter of Mary Honora (née Callanan), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Collins, a school headmaster.[2] She is of Irish extraction, and was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Wallasey near Liverpool.[3] Her great-uncle was Irish poet Jeremiah Joseph Callanan.[4]

Collins was educated at Sacred Heart High School.[5] and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before turning to acting, she worked as a teacher until 1962. She made her stage debut at Windsor in A Gazelle in Park Lane in 1962 and her West Enddebut in Passion Flower Hotel in 1965. During the play’s run, she made her first film, Secrets of a Windmill Girl, released in 1966. More stage roles followed.

Collins played Samantha Briggs in the 1967 Doctor Who serial The Faceless Ones and was offered the chance to continue in the series as a new companion for the Doctor, but declined the invitation.

Other early TV credits include the UK’s first medical soap Emergency – Ward 10 (1960), and the pilot episode and first series of The Liver Birds, both in 1969.

Collins first became well known for her role as the maid Sarah in the 1970s ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs. The character appeared regularly throughout the first two series, the second of which also starred her actor husband, John Alderton, with whom she later starred in a spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979), and the sitcom No, Honestly written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, as well as in a series of short story adaptations called Wodehouse Playhouse (1975–78). She co-narrated the animated British children’s TV series Little Miss with husband John Alderton in 1983.

In connection with her Upstairs, Downstairs role, Collins recorded a 1973 single for Decca: What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?(performed by her character several times during the series) b/w With Every Passing Day (a vocal version of the show’s theme).[6]

She was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in April 1972 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

In 1988, Collins starred in the one-woman play Shirley Valentine in London, reprising the role on Broadway in 1989 and in the 1989 filmversion. The film won a number of awards and nominations. Both the play and the feature film utilized the technique known as “breaking the fourth wall,” as the character Shirley Valentine directly addresses the audience throughout the story. 

After Shirley Valentine, Collins again starred alongside her husband in the popular ITV drama series Forever Green created and written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham in which the fictitious couple escape the city with their children to start a new life in the country. It ran from 1989 to 1992 over 18 episodes. Collins was voted sexiest woman in Britain in 1990. 

Collins’ film credits include 1992’s City of Joy, 1995’s My Mother’s Courage, 1997’s Paradise Road, and 2002’s Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War, which also featured Alderton. In 1999 and 2000, Collins starred as Harriet Smith in the BBC television drama Ambassador, where she played the lead role of the British ambassador to Ireland. Other television credits include The SaintThe Wednesday PlayArmchair TheatrePlay for TodayTales of the UnexpectedCountry Matters and The Black Tower.

In 2002, she guest starred in Man and Boy, the dramatisation of Tony Parsons‘ best-seller. In 2005 she appeared as Miss Flite in the BBC production of Charles Dickens‘ Bleak House

In 2006, she became only the third actor to have been in both the original and new series of Doctor Who, appearing in the episode “Tooth and Claw” as Queen Victoria

Later in 2006, she appeared in Extinct, a programme where eight celebrities campaigned on behalf of an animal to save it from extinction. Collins campaigned to save the Bengal tiger and won the public vote.

In December 2007, she appeared as the fairy godmother in the pantomime Cinderella at the Old Vic in London.

In 2011, she was cast as part of Sky 1‘s new comedy-drama Mount Pleasant. She played the role of Sue, Lisa’s mum, in the first two series running into 2012. She didn’t return to the third series in 2013, and her character was killed off in the fourth series in 2014.

In late 2015, she appeared as Mrs Gamp in the BBC TV series Dickensian.

Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2001 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[7]

Liam

Liam

Anyone who knows me are aware that I am a bit of a movie buff. Over the past few years I have been collecting signed photographs of my favourite actors.

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