Pauline Collins

Actor, Teacher
This lovely British actress with china-blue eyes and a childlike smile is best-known in the USA for her role as the feisty Sarah in the TV series "Upstairs Downstairs", but has since played other widely-praised roles ... Read more »
Born: 09/02/1940 in Devon, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (15)

Lust 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Quartet 2012 (Movie)

Cissy Robson (Actor)

Albert Nobbs 2011 (Movie)

Mrs. Baker (Actor)

Merlin 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2010 (Movie)

Cristal (Actor)

Doctor Who 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mrs. Caldicot's Cabbage War 2003 (Movie)

Thelma Caldicot (Actor)

My Mother's Courage 1997 (Movie)

Elsa Tabori (Actor)

Paradise Road 1997 (Movie)

Margaret Drummond (Actor)

City of Joy 1992 (Movie)

Joan Bethal (Actor)

Shirley Valentine 1989 (Movie)

Shirley Valentine (Actor)

No, Honestly 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Upstairs, Downstairs 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Bleak House (TV Show)

Actor

The Black Tower (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This lovely British actress with china-blue eyes and a childlike smile is best-known in the USA for her role as the feisty Sarah in the TV series "Upstairs Downstairs", but has since played other widely-praised roles. Raised near Liverpool, Collins was a teacher until 1962, when she began to act part-time. She made her West End debut in "Passion Flower Hotel" in 1965, and spent the next few years building her reputation as a stage actress in many London (and touring) productions.

Collins didn't become an international star until 1970, when she appeared as the charming, saucy maid Sarah in the first season of London Weekend Television's classic "Upstairs Downstairs" (debuting in the US on PBS in 1974). Her ability to switch from boisterous comedy to stark tragedy made her the hit of the series. Collins' husband (since 1969), John Alderton, appeared on that show, and the two were also featured on such British series as "Thomas and Sarah" (an ill- advised "Upstairs Downstairs" spin-off), "Forever Green", the popular "No--Honestly" and the amusingly fey "Wodehouse Playhouse". Sans Alderton, Collins was seen in "Country Matters" (shown on PBS in 1979) and "The Black Tower" (shown on PBS in 1988).

The second blossoming of Collins' career came in 1988 with a starring role in "Shirley Valentine", a one-woman show about a discontented, middle-aged housewife. Winning a Laurence Olivier Award, Collins brought the show to Broadway, where she won several more awards (including a Tony) in 1989. She reprised the role later that same year in the feature version of "Shirley Valentine", which had been expanded from its monologue format. She followed with a co- starring role opposite Patrick Swayze in Roland Jaffe's "City of Joy" (1992) as the operator of a dispensary in Calcutta, India. Collins ventured to Germany to film "My Mother's Courage" (1995, released in the USA in 1997), a concentration camp drama in which she protrayed writer George Tabori's mother. More recently, she was one of the European women detained in a prison camp in Malaysia in Bruce Beresford's "Paradise Road" (1997).

Relationships

Louise

Daughter
Born 1964; father, Tony Rohr; given up for adoption; later worked as teacher in Japan

John Alderton Actor

Husband
Married 1969 Acted together on "Upstairs, Downstairs" (ITV)

Kate Alderton

Daughter
Father, John Alderton

Nicholas Alderton

Son
Father, John Alderton

Richard Alderton

Son
Father, John Alderton

William Collins

Father

Mary Collins

Mother

Elaine Reid

Grandmother

EDUCATION

Convent of the Sacred Heart

Central School of Speech and Drama

London , England

Milestones

2012

Played a retired opera singer opposite Tom Courtenay, Maggie Smith, and Billy Connolly in "Quartet," Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut

2011

Cast as hotel owner Margaret Baker in "Albert Nobbs," starring Glenn Close

2010

Appeared in Woody Allen directed romantic comedy "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"

2006

Guest starred as Queen Victoria on "Doctor Who" (BBC)

2005

Featured in BBC drama miniseries "Bleak House"

1997

Played one of the women detained in a Malaysian prison camp opposite Glenn Close and Frances McDormand in "Paradise Road"

1995

Played the real-life mother of writer George Tabori, a Jewish woman who had escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII in "My Mother's Courage"

1992

Appeared in support of Patrick Swayze in "City of Joy"

1989

Broadway debut, "Shirley Valentine"; won Tony Award for one-person show

1989

Made feature film debut recreating her stage role in "Shirley Valentine"; received Oscar nomination as Best Actress

1979

Reprised role on "Upstairs, Downstairs" spin-off series "Thomas and Sarah" (ITV)

1970

Landed breakthrough role as the maid Sarah on ITV's "Upstairs, Downstairs"

1965

London stage debut, "Passion Flower Hotel"

1962

Made stage debut at Windsor in "A Gazelle in Park Lane"

Raised in Liverpool, England

Bonus Trivia

.

"I always work instinctively. It's like putting a sweater on...I never analyze anything too much when I do it, because I think the playwright has provided a voice for the character and you, the actor, are the channel." – Collins quoted in TheaterWeek, Feb. 20, 1989

.

Collins was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2001.

SIMILAR ARTICLES