Pauline Collins OBE
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Pauline Collins OBEBorn: Tue 3rd September 1940 (age: 72)
Pauline Collins, OBE is an English actress of the stage, television, and film. She first came to prominence portraying Sarah Moffat in Upstairs, Downstairs and its spin-off Thomas & Sarah during the 1970s. She later drew acclaim for playing the title role in the play Shirley Valentine for which she received Laurence Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk awards. She reprised the role in a 1989 film adaptation, winning a BAFTA and garnering Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.
Collins played Samantha Briggs in The Faceless Ones and Queen Victoria in Tooth and Claw, making her one of the few actresses to star in both the classic and new series of Doctor Who.
She was heavily solicited to convert Samantha into a regular companion to replace Polly. Despite personal appeals by Innes Lloyd and even Frazer Hines, however, she declined the offer.
Collins was born in Exmouth, Devon. She 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 atWindsor 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 (1966).
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, 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).
After Shirley Valentine, Collins again starred alongside her husband in the popular ITV drama series Forever Green in which the 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' 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 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.
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.
She married actor John Alderton in 1969 and lives in Hampstead, London, 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.