Pop Culture

Actor, TV host Gary Collins dead at 74

Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM ET

David Livingston / Getty Images file /
Actor Gary Collins, shown in 2010.

BILOXI, Miss. -- Gary Collins, actor, TV host and former master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant, died Saturday of natural causes at the age of 74, Harrison County, Miss., Chief Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer told NBC News.

Collins, a resident of Biloxi, died just before 1 a.m. after he was brought to Biloxi Regional Medical Center, Switzer said.

During the 1980s, Collins hosted the Miss America pageant and TV's "Hour Magazine."

As an actor he appeared in numerous movies and TV shows dating back to the 1960s. He was a cast member of the series "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" in the 1960s, and the star of the series "The Sixth Sense" in the 1970s. He also appeared on "Charlie's Angels," "The Love Boat," and "Fantasy Island."

In 1967, he married actress Mary Ann Mobley, who was crowned Miss America in 1959. They co-hosted the 1989 Miss America pageant. They separated last year.

Collins is survived by his three children -- one with Mobley, and two from a previous marriage.

Collins in January 2011 was arrested after walking out of Jazzeppi's restaurant in Biloxi without paying his $60 bill, according to media reports at the time. The Biloxi-based Sun Herald reported Collins paid a $500 fine two weeks after the incident and did not appear in court.

He was arrested on driving-under-the-influence charges in California in 2007, 2008 and 2009, People magazine reported.  In 2007, The 2007 incident resulted in Collins being sentenced to four days in jail as the result of a car wreck, Reuters recounted. Police blamed that accident on the driver of the other car, though Collins pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor DUI charge.

NBC News' Jim Gold contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 Thomson Reuters.

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