Bill Collins, Australia’s legendary film reviewer, TV presenter and celebrity interviewer known as “Mr Movies” has died aged 84.
The renowned presenter of Foxtel’s Golden Years of Hollywood died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.
Foxtel issued a tribute to the film critic and film historian, radio and television presenter, journalist, author and lecturer.
“Bill was 84 and lived a life filled with love and devotion for and from his family,” the statement read.
“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.
“Bill introduced generations of Australians to the world of movies.
“His passion for filmmaking, his eye for detail and his knowledge of the work of the great screen talents, added with his natural charisma and spirited presentations, turned watching a movie presented by Bill into an ‘event’.”
Born in 1934 a policeman’s son from the southern Sydney suburb of Sutherland, Collins left high school to study for a teaching degree.
The legendary show ran until Collins’ retirement, aged 83, just eight months ago.
With his wife of 36 years Joan in the South Coast NSW town of Berry, Collins lived in a house packed with memorabilia from his lifetime obsession with Hollywood.
Joan Collins issued a statement today, saying, “Our hearts are broken by the loss of our dear Bill — he will never be forgotten.
Foxtel’s executive director of television Brian Walsh said: “Australia has lost an icon of the television industry, a true legend.”
Collins was a university lecturer on film and cinematography, and released a book of his reviews, Bill Collins Presents The Golden Years of Hollywood in 1987.
In the same year, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to film and television.
In 2009, Collins was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame.
His family will bury him privately over coming days.