Legendary Australian film historian Bill Collins has died.
Collins, 84 – known as “Mr Movies” – died in his sleep on Thursday.
“Bill … lived a life filled with love and devotion for and from his family,” his former employer, Foxtel, said on Friday.
“It was also filled with passion for movies and Hollywood and all the adventures and opportunities associated with his 55-year career in the entertainment industry.”
Collins, who famously filmed his monologues in one take, introduced generations of Australians to the world of movies
Legendary “Mr Movies” Bill Collins has died at the age of 84.He presented his “Golden Years of Hollywood” on Network 10 throughout the 80s and early 90s. His wife Joan said “Bill’s love of film was encouraged by you, his audience, and his love of sharing his passion.”#BillCollins
— Angela Bishop (@AngelaBishop) June 21, 2019
He started his working life as a high school English teacher, before completed a master’s degree in the role of film in education and going on to lecture at Sydney’s Teacher’s College.
A love of cinema led him to start writing film reviews in the early 1960s. In turn, that led to a burgeoning television career talking about film appreciation on the ABC’s Roundabout program in 1963.
Collins went on to work as a movie presenter at the Nine, Seven and Ten networks. He signed with Foxtel for its launch in 1995, and remained there for the remainder of his career.
Sad to hear of the death of ‘Mr Movies’ – Bill Collins – who passed away in his sleep yesterday, June 20.
Bill was 84 and lived a life filled with love & devotion to film & his wife, Joan. He worked at nearly every network – and most recently at @foxtel #RIP #billcollins 🙏🏻📽🎥 pic.twitter.com/G93tBR1IoD
— Melissa Hoyer (@melissahoyer) June 21, 2019
His Foxtel show, Golden Years of Hollywood offered a mix of movie reviews, actor biographies, plot rundowns, techniques as special effects – as well as insider knowledge from Collins and tidbits from his celebrity interviews.
It ran until Collins retired, aged 83, just eight months ago.
Collins’ career-long dedication to sharing his love of movies earned him awards and accolades, including the Order of Australia Medal in 1987, the Hall of Fame Logie in 2009 and, in July 2013 he was presented with the inaugural ASTRA Award for Lifetime Achievement.
People of my age will remember the movies with Bill Collins so well, such an icon. Go well into the silver of the night Bill. https://t.co/zz2muufR7X
— Helen Edwards Writes (@helenedwards_) June 21, 2019
Joan, Collins’ wife of 36 years, said his love of film was encouraged by the audience “and his love of sharing his passion, which increased over the five decades” he presented on Australian television.
“Bill was always thrilled when he realised the joy and happiness he gave to his viewers. He never took them for granted, always wanting to please,” she said.
“Our hearts are broken by the loss of our dear Bill – he will never be forgotten. How fortunate we were to have him in our lives. On behalf of Bill’s family and myself, I would like to thank the public for the great support given to Bill over the years.
“Darling Bill, you will be loved and missed always.”
Collins will be farewelled at a private funeral in Sydney in coming days.