Posted in films & DVD, Television

Tribute to Lewis Collins

I stilll enjoy watching exciting episodes of the Professionals starring British actor Lewis Collins, Who Sadly passed away aged 67 On On 27 November 2013, after a five-year struggle with cancer . He was best known for his tough-guy role as Bodie in the ITV drama seriesThe Professionals, which ran from 1977 to 1983. Born  26 May 1946 in Bidston near Birkenhead on the Wirral (then part of Cheshire). He was educated at Bidston Primary and Grange School in Birkenhead. His first job was as a ladies’ hairdresser before becoming a musician playing drums and guitar in pop groups. Before deciding to become an actor, he had a number of other jobs. Collins trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art then went into Rep at theatres in Chesterfield and Glasgow, toured with Prospect Theatre Company, and then to London’s West End. He also did tours in America and Canada. Stage roles included City Sugar and The Three Penny Opera. In the 1970 he Auditioned for a role In The Professionals and In 1982 he auditioned for the role of James Bond but his audition was deemed “too aggressive”.

The Professionals Was a British crime-action television drama series produced byAvengers Mk1 Productions and London Weekend Television that aired on the ITVnetwork from 1977 to 1983. In all, 57 episodes were produced, filmed between 1977 and 1981. It starred Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson as agents of the fictional “CI5”.The Professionals was created by Brian Clemens, who had been one of the driving forces behind The Avengers. The show was to have been originally called “The A-Squad” before it was decided to call it “The Professionals”. Clemens and Albert Fennellwere executive producers, with business partner Laurie Johnson providing the theme music. Sidney Hayers produced the first series in 1977, and Raymond Menmuir the remainder.

His best-known role outside The Professionals was that of SAS officer Captain Peter Skellen in the film Who Dares Wins (1982). He subsequently applied to join theTerritorial SAS, a unit open to part-time reservists but was rejected because of his fame, despite passing the entrance tests.ln early 2012, Lewis was cast to play Earl Godwin in the historically based feature film production of 1066. In June, 2013, it was reported that he had withdrawn from the production and had split with his agent, Susan James

Lewis Collins married school teacher Michelle Larrett in 1992, and the couple had three sons.Collins moved to Los Angeles and held a private pilot’s licence and his hobbies included parachuting and sports shooting, rifle and pistol. He also held a black belt inJu-Jitsu and was trained in karate. He could also play some musical instruments, having played bass in The Mojos, featuring on the singles “Goodbye Dolly Gray” and “Until My Baby Comes Home”, before he became an actor.He died from cancer in Los Angeles on 27 November 2013, after a five year illness

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