Born Marjorie Chandler in Windsor, Ontario, Collins shot to fame as the lead vocalist on the long-running television series Your Hit Parade, on which she sang (and often acted out in costume) the popular songs of the day. Additional TV credits include The Steve Allen Show, the Bell Telephone Hour, The Hollywood Palace, and Candid Camera, as both a participant in the stunts and co-host with Allen Funt.
In 1971, Collins made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, portraying a one-time Ziegfeld-style showgirl trapped in a disappointing marriage. Her dramatic rendition of “Losing My Mind” routinely stopped the show and was one of the production’s highlights.
Her performance won her a Tony Award nomination as Best Actress in a Musical, but she lost to co-star, fellow Canadian-born actress Alexis Smith; the two actresses died within a year of each other.
Collins was married to Raymond Scott from 1952 until their divorce in 1965. They had two daughters, Deborah and Elizabeth. In 1966, she married actor/singer Ron Holgate, with whom she had a daughter, Melissa. The two eventually divorced.
She died from respiratory distress as a result of a long-standing pulmonary disease (asthma) at her home in upstate Watervliet, New York (it was erroneously reported in IMDb that she died in New York City), survived by her three daughters.
It is unclear if she ever took out U.S. citizenship.
Edited by [deleted user] on 10 Jan 2008, 21:45
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