Pauline Collins

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Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins in November 2012
Born (1940-09-03) 3 September 1940 (age 83)
Exmouth, Devon, England
Years active1963–present
John Alderton (m. 1969)

Pauline Collins OBE (born 3 September 1940)[1] is an English actress of stage, television, and movies.

Her first major role was in 1971 as Sarah Moffat in Upstairs, Downstairs.

In 1988, Collins played the title role in the play Shirley Valentine.

In 1989, She reprised the role in the movie adaptation. She won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

In 1992, she released her autobiography, titled Letter to Louise.[2]

Early life and career[change | change source]

Collins was born in Exmouth, Devon. Her mother was a school teacher. Her father was a school headmaster.[1] She was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Wallasey near Liverpool.[3] Her great-uncle was Irish poet Jeremiah Joseph Callanan.[4]

Collins was educated at Sacred Heart High School.[5] She studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She worked as a teacher until 1962. She then made her stage debut at Windsor in A Gazelle in Park Lane. In 1965, she made her West End debut in Passion Flower Hotel. During the play's run, she made her first movie, Secrets of a Windmill Girl. It was released in 1966.

Collins played Samantha Briggs in the 1967 Doctor Who serial The Faceless Ones. She declined an offer of a role as a new companion for the Doctor.

Other early TV credits include the UK's first medical soap Emergency - Ward 10 (1960). In 1969, she was in the pilot episode and first series of The Liver Birds.

Collins first became well known for her role as the maid Sarah in the 1970s ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs. The character was in the first two series. In the second series she appeared with her actor husband, John Alderton. In 1979, they starred in a spin-off, Thomas & Sarah. They also starred in the sitcom No, Honestly. This was written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham. From 1975 to 1978, they worked together in a series of short-story adaptations called Wodehouse Playhouse. In 1983, they narrated the animated British children's TV series Little Miss.

In April 1972, she was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life, being surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

In 1973, in her Upstairs, Downstairs role, Collins recorded a single for Decca called What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?. It was performed by her character several times during the series. The 'B' side was With Every Passing Day (a vocal version of the show's theme).[6]

Shirley Valentine[change | change source]

In 1988, Collins starred in the one-woman play Shirley Valentine in London. In 1989 she reprised the role on Broadway. She was then in the 1989 movie version. The movie won a number of awards and nominations. Both the play and the feature movie used the technique known as "breaking the fourth wall". The character Shirley Valentine directly addresses the audience throughout the story.

After Shirley Valentine[change | change source]

Collins starred alongside her husband in the popular ITV drama series Forever Green. This was created and written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham. It was about a couple who start a new life in the country with their children. It ran from 1989 to 1992 in over 18 episodes.

In 1990, Collins was voted sexiest woman in Britain.

In 2006, she became only the third actor to have been in both the original and new series of Doctor Who. She appeared in the episode "Tooth and Claw" as Queen Victoria.

In 2015, she appeared as Mrs Gamp in the BBC TV series Dickensian.

In the 2001 Birthday Honours, Collins was agiven an OBE for services to drama.[7]

Personal life[change | change source]

Collins 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 with actor Tony Rohr, Louise, whom she gave up for adoption. They were reunited when Louise was 22 years old.

TV and filmography[change | change source]

Year Title Role Director Notes
1963 Emergency – Ward 10 Nurse Elliott Phil Brown TV Series (1 Episode)
1966 Secrets of a Windmill Girl Pat Lord Arnold L. Miller
The Marriage Lines Jean Robin Nash TV Series (1 Episode : "Big Business")
Pardon the Expression Miss Wainwright / Val Michael Cox TV Series (3 Episodes)
The Corridor People Syrie's maid David Boisseau TV Series (1 Episode : "Victim as Black")
Theatre 625 Clara James Ferman TV Series (1 Episode : "Amerika")
The Saint Marie-Therese Gordon Flemyng TV Series (1 Episode : "The Better Mousetrap")
Blackmail Freida Straker TV Series (1 Episode : "Please Do Not Disturb")
The Three Musketeers Kitty Peter Hammond TV (1 Episode : "Branded")
The Making of Jericho TV movie
1967 Doctor Who Samantha Briggs Gerry Mill The Faceless Ones (6 Episodes)
Softly, Softly Marilyn Bill Hays TV Series (1 Episode : "Somebody Important")
1968 B and B Chantal TV Series (1 Episode : "Pilot: B and B")
Armchair Theatre Betty / Mary Murtagh Guy Verney
Marc Miller
TV Series (2 Episodes)
1969 The Old Campaigner Winnie Haldane TV Series (1 Episode : "French Farce")
Comedy Playhouse Dawn / Marjorie TV Series (2 Episodes)
The Liver Birds Dawn TV Series (5 Episodes)
The Wednesday Play Angelina / Joan Percival Marc Miller (X2)
John Mackenzie
TV Series (2 Episodes)
Parkin's Patch Doreen Ashworth Raymond Menmuir TV Series (1 Episode : "A Pair of Good Shoes")
1970 The Mating Machine Elizabeth Howard Ross TV Series (1 Episode : "Who Sleeps on the Right?")
1972 Thirty-Minute Theatre The Girl Gilchrist Calder TV Series (1 Episode : "King's Cross Lunch Hour")
Country Matters Ruby TV Mini-Series (1 Episode : "Crippled Bloom")
1971–1973 Upstairs, Downstairs Sarah Moffat Various directors TV Series (13 Episodes)
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
1973 Armchair 30 Carol Piers Haggard TV Series (1 Episode : "Carol's Story")
1974 No, Honestly Clara Burrell-Danby David Askey TV Series (13 Episodes)
1975 BBC Play of the Month Lady Teazle Stuart Burge TV Series (1 Episode : "The School for Scandal")
1975–1976 Wodehouse Playhouse Various characters Various directors TV Series (13 Episodes)
1979 Thomas & Sarah Sarah Moffat Various directors TV Series (13 Episodes)
Play for Today Eileen Stephen Frears TV Series (1 Episode : "Long Distance Information")
1980 Tales of the Unexpected Pat Lewis Graham Evans TV Series (1 Episode : "A Girl Can't Always Have Everything")
1983 Little Misses and the Mr. Men Narrator Trevor Bond
Terry Ward
TV Series
1984 Knockback Sylvia Piers Haggard (X2) TV Movie
Nominated – CableACE Awards for Best Actress in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special
1985 Tropical Moon Over Dorking Myra Robert Chetwyn TV Movie
The Black Tower Maggie Hewson Ronald Wilson TV Mini-Series (5 Episodes)
1988 Tales of the Unexpected Eve Peregrine Barry Davis TV Series (1 Episode : "The Colonel's Lady")
1989–1992 Forever Green Harriet Boult David Giles
Sarah Hellings
Christopher King
TV Series (18 Episodes)
1989 Shirley Valentine Shirley Valentine-Bradshaw Lewis Gilbert BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Evening Standard British Film Awards – Best Actress
Golden Apple Award – Female Discovery of the Year
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1992 City of Joy Joan Bethel Roland Joffé
1995 My Mother's Courage Elsa Tabori Michael Verhoeven
1996 Flowers of the Forest Aileen Matthews Michael Whyte TV Movie
1997 Paradise Road Daisy 'Margaret' Drummond Bruce Beresford
1998–1999 The Ambassador Harriet Smith Various directors TV Series (13 Episodes)
2000 Little Grey Rabbit Jean Flynn TV Series
One Life Stand Karaoke Crowd May Miles Thomas
2002 Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War Thelma Caldicot Ian Sharp
Man and Boy Betty Silver Simon Curtis TV Movie
2003 Sparkling Cyanide Dr. Catherine Kendall Tristram Powell TV Movie
2005 Bleak House Miss Flite Justin Chadwick
Susanna White
TV Series (10 Episodes)
2006 Doctor Who Queen Victoria Euros Lyn TV Series (1 Episode : "Tooth and Claw")
What We Did on Our Holiday Lil Taylor Jeremy Webb TV Movie
2009 From Time to Time Mrs. Tweedie Julian Fellowes
2010 Agatha Christie's Marple Thyrza Grey Andy Hay TV Series (1 Episode : "The Pale Horse")
Merlin Alice Alice Troughton TV Series (1 Episode : "Love in the Time of Dragons")
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Cristal Woody Allen
2011 Albert Nobbs Margaret 'Madge' Baker Rodrigo García
2011–2012 Mount Pleasant Sue Dewi Humphreys
Ian Barnes
Dermot Boyd
TV Series (14 Episodes)
2012 Quartet Cissy Robson Dustin Hoffman
2015 Dough Joanna John Goldschmidt
The Time of Their Lives Priscilla Roger Goldby Post-Production
2015–2016 Dickensian Mrs Gamp Tony Jordan
Tony Jordan
TV Series (20 Episodes)
2017 The Time of Their Lives Priscilla Roger Goldby
2017 Byrd and the Bees Beatrice Finola Hughes Pre-Production

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pauline Collins Biography (1940–)".
  2. Collins, Letter to Louise. Retrieved 1 December 2016
  3. Pauline, Collins. (28 March 1999). "Pauline Collins – My secret for a good marriage? Give", Interviewed by Sharon Feinstein, Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2010. "But I was very worried about taking it on because I'm not Jewish. I'm a Liverpool Irish Catholic and this role was such a responsibility because it involved a huge and emotive part of the history of the Jewish race."
  4. Pauline Collins biography Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 21 July 2015
  5. "Actress Pauline Collins, age 75, and husband John Alderman, married since 1969, planning something special for their 50th anniversary??". 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  6. "Upstairs, Downstairs - Lyrics". Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  7. "No. 56237". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2001. p. 10.
  8. "Tony Award winners in 1989". Retrieved 5 June 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]