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Gary Collins, actor and former TV host, dies at age 74

October 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Actor and former TV host Gary Collins died at the age of 74, a coroner confirmed on Saturday.

Collins, who lived in Biloxi, Miss., died of natural causes at 12:56 a.m. at the Biloxi Regional Medical Center.

The former Miss America Pageant host was born in Venice and attended Santa Monica City College. After enlisting in the U.S. Army, he served as a radio and TV performer for the Armed Forces Network.

He went on to appear in numerous movies and TV shows dating back to the 1960s, including the 1965 series "The Wackiest Ship in the Army, the 1972 series "The Sixth Sense" and the 1974 series "Born Free."

Collins won an Emmy in 1983 for outstanding talk show host.

But the actor's public image suffered at times because of run-ins with the law. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to DUI in Santa Barbara -- his third offense. In 2010, he was fined $500 for leaving the scene of an accident in Jackson, Miss. Then just last year, he was arrested for leaving a Biloxi restaurant without paying a $59.35 bill.

Collins is survived by his wife, former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley, and three children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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