Vale Lewis Collins

28 Nov

Came online this morning to the news that the actor Lewis Collins had passed away at the age of 67.

I couldn’t help but feel a little sad.  I was devoted to the television show “The Professionals” when I was in my teens.  The premise of a special unit that took on the villains using their methods against them was quite an interesting one.  The show had an amorality that nothing else at the time did.  All other cop shows tended to be black and white; The Professionals was several hundred shades of grey.

I was captivated by the two lead actors, Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins.  Martin was my favourite, but I did have a soft spot for Lewis Collins.  Mostly because his character, Bodie, was cynical and sarcastic, so he got most of the best lines!

I had The Professionals posters on my bedroom wall, and my book shelves held every single tie-in novel.  These were read until they literally fell apart.

The 1970s and 1980s was a time when the paparazzi was still pretty much an abstract idea, so all that I really knew about Lewis Collins was the information he gave in interviews.  And he was pretty closed mouthed.  I honestly didn’t know a single thing about his private life, nor did I want to.

On the career front, apart from the Professionals, there was one other thing that he did that I really loved.  There was a mini-series/TV movie made about the hunt for Jack the Ripper.  Michael Caine played Detective Inspector Freddie Abberline, and Lewis Collins played his sergeant.

Lewis Collins played types.  Ex-soldiers and cops.  Tough, hard, and totally no-nonsense.  He wasn’t able to break out of the mould the way Martin Shaw was able to, which was a pity, as Lewis really did have a lot to offer apart from his brooding looks.

Rest in Peace, Lewis Collins, you made a generation of teenage girls very happy.

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