Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins

Infobox actor
name = Pauline Collins

imagesize =
caption =
birthdate = Birth date and age|1940|9|3|df=y
location = Exmouth, Devon, England
spouse = John Alderton (1969-present)
tonyawards = Best Leading Actress in a Play
1989 "Shirley Valentine"
laurenceolivierawards = Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress
"Shirley Valentine"
baftaawards = Best Actress
1989 "Shirley Valentine"

Pauline Collins, OBE (born 3 September 1940) is an English actress who is known for playing Sarah in "Upstairs, Downstairs" and for playing the title role in "Shirley Valentine".

Early life and career

Collins was born in Exmouth, Devon of Irish Catholic extraction 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 End debut in "Passion Flower Hotel" in 1965, and many stage roles followed. Her first film was "Secrets of a Windmill Girl" (1965).

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", which was co-created by her co-star Jean Marsh. 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", as well as in a series of short story adaptations called "Wodehouse Playhouse" (1975-78). She also appeared alongside Alderton in the successful series "Forever Green" (1989–1992) and co-narrated the animated British children's TV series "Little Miss" with him in 1983.

"Shirley Valentine" and recent years

In 1988, Collins starred in the one-woman play "Shirley Valentine" in London, reprising the role on Broadway in 1989 and in the 1989 film version,in which she famously appeared nude and winning a number of awards, as described below.

Collins' film credits include "City of Joy" (1992, co-starring Patrick Swayze), "My Mother's Courage" (1995 in Germany as "Mutters Courage", released in the USA in 1997), "Paradise Road" (1997, with Glenn Close and Cate Blanchett), and "Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War" (2001), another appearance with Alderton. In 1999 and 2000, Collins starred as Harriet Smith in the BBC television drama "The Ambassador", where she played the lead role of the British ambassador to Ireland. Other television credits include "The Saint", "The Wednesday Play", "Armchair Theatre", "Play for Today", "Tales of the Unexpected", "Country 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

Collins was awarded the OBE in 2001.

Personal life

She married actor John Alderton in 1969 and lives in Hampstead, London, England, with her husband and their three children, Nicholas, Kate and Richard. She also has an older daughter, Louise, whom she gave up for adoption. The pair were reunited when Louise was 22 years old, and Collins wrote a book, "Letter to Louise", about her experiences.

Awards and nominations

*Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress (winner)
*Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (winner)
*Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut (winner)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play (winner)
*Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (winner)
*Academy Award for Best Actress (nominee)
*Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, Comedy or Musical (nominee)
*BAFTA for Best Film Actress (winner)

External links

*ymovies name|1800117039
* [ Pauline Collins images]
* [ Biography of Collins]
* [ Profile of Collins]
* [ 2001 profile]
* [ Article about Collins' receipt of the OBE]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
for "Shirley Valentine"
before=Stockard Channing
for "Women in Mind"
after=S. Epatha Merkerson
for "The Piano Lesson"

NAME=Collins, Pauline
DATE OF BIRTH=3 September 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH=Exmouth, Devon, England, United Kingdom

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