I am pleased to say that after many years, he did finish his autobiography days before his death, and we will stay true to our promise to him and get it published as soon as we can. Americans head to polls to choose their president, with nearly 100 million early votes already cast.

Yes, he should have been Bond and yes he was very much underrated, but these losses allowed us to be a 'real family" and live a relatively normal life here in America and for that we are grateful... You all had him in the 70's and 80's and we had him the rest of the time! He also learned to play the drums that his father, Bill, a jazz dance band leader, bought him, and by 13 was playing in the Renegades, who were occasionally on the same bill as the Beatles at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

• Lewis Collins, actor, born 26 May 1946; died 27 November 2013.

He was a black belt in jujitsu and a crack shot, and had taken the entrance tests to join the SAS.

What does developing a Covid-19 vaccine look like? In 1968, Collins auditioned successfully for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After graduation, he worked at Glasgow Citizens theatre and the Royal Court, London, before, in 1974, landing his TV debut in the police series Z Cars. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. After The Professionals concluded, Collins went on to play several relatively minor TV roles – including a sheriff of Nottingham in Robin of Sherwood (1986), and Colonel Mustard in six episodes of a British TV game-show adaptation of Cluedo (1991-92). "He took up parachute jumping soon after joining The Professionals. Video. His character was never troubled by self-doubt.

You all knew Lew as 'Bodie', and a great one he was.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle, whom he married in 1992, and three sons, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron. Photography. At its height, The Professionals was watched by 12 million viewers a week, and Collins became a heart-throb.

Oliver, is the artistic, creative, sensitive one - sharing a lot of his dads talents, meanwhile both Elliot and Cameron are themselves entering into the USAF (Cameron a fighter pilot and Elliot a PJ) and mirroring their father's heroism and grit in life.

© Michelle CollinsImage courtesy of Michelle. You were supercool.". The Professionals was based around the adventures of a fictional crime fighting unit called CI5. Message From Lewis's Family. © 2020 BBC.

"But what you saw on screen was the same as what you saw off the screen - he was just a big, hunky, macho character with a lovely innocence about him.". He will never be forgotten. He was a method actor in a sense.". Collins leaves his wife, Michelle - whom he married in 1992 - and three sons.

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He was the year below me at drama school. A very moving message to all of Lewis's fans from Michelle, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron Collins... Our sincere gratitude from Michelle Collins and boys

Rescuers rush to save beached pilot whales. Lew will live on in our hearts and memories, he will live on in his screen roles, he will live on as a dad and soul mate, but he will also live on as a great writer.

But she remembers a very different version of events and after 35 years, she is finally telling her story. Read about our approach to external linking.

He was an amazing father and a loved husband. Collins was born in May 1946 in Cheshire, and worked as a drummer and a hairdresser before breaking into acting.

"Well," retorts Bodie, "at least we're at the right end of the cat.". US election 2020 polls: Who is ahead - Trump or Biden?

The original stated that Lewis Collins played the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin of Sherwood. Had style! The actor, who played Bodie in the cult 1970s TV series, alongside Martin Shaw, died in Los Angeles after a five-year struggle with cancer. Former Doctor Who star Colin Baker tweeted: "Sad to hear that Lewis Collins has died.

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He played an SAS officer, Captain Peter Skellen, who goes undercover to foil a group of anti-nuclear terrorists. He is survived by his wife, Michelle, whom he married in 1992, and three sons, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron. Both Oliver and Elliot skydive, and Cameron is the pilot in the family.

It was widely derided for its hawkish politics and for its implausibility, with the critic Roger Ebert remarking: "There are so many errors of judgment, strategy, behaviour and simple plausibility in this movie that we just give up and wait for it to end.

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I know from all the lovely messages that Lew's passing was a big shock, but as a family we wanted to keep his battle private, and live as normal a life as we could. It has been just over five weeks since we lost our beloved Lewis, and what a tough time it has been. He got us into trouble one time where he had a few days off from filming where he went parachute jumping and broke his leg which held up the filming. It was even suggested that Collins should audition to replace Pete Best as the Beatles' drummer. "He's expecting another Connery to walk through the door and there are few of them around.". Towards the end of The Professionals, Collins played the lead in the British thriller Who Dares Wins, as an SAS soldier who infiltrates a terrorist group.

Collins was super-fit, a part-time paratrooper from the docks of Birkenhead. "I knew he had auditioned [for James Bond] and I think they were wrong not to take him up.". Of all the many unreconstructed hardmen of 70s and 80s British TV, Collins was the most unremittingly macho in real life.

Lord Grade, who launched the programme in 1977 when he was director of programmes at London Weekend Television, told BBC Radio 4 the on-screen partnership of Collins and Shaw would "never be forgotten". "He was tough and he could fight, he looked good, he was handsome and he had this nice sense of humour. Apr 11, 2017 - An official website celebrating the career of British actor and musician, Lewis Collins. In a 1980 episode of the hit British cop show The Professionals, an ill-advised villain tries to threaten the ex-mercenary William Bodie with his snarling doberman pinscher. We miss him terribly, but clearly he has left his mark on this world and been such an influence in many peoples lives. ", Brian Conley, who co-starred with Collins in the 1999 TV series The Grimleys, also paid his respects: "God bless Lewis Collins, my dad in The Grimleys. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Bodie and Doyle were 'the Beatles' of TV, Trump or Biden? Art.

.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}The Professionals star Lewis Collins has died aged 67, his agent has said.

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Instead, he became a hairdresser.

The ITV show became huge hit in the late 1970s and early 1980s. VideoThree elders reveal what it takes to be a leader, .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}US election 2020 polls: Who is ahead - Trump or Biden?.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, US Election 2020: When will we get a result and could it be contested?2, Vienna shootings: Three men praised for helping emergency services3, Vienna shooting: Arrests after 'freed jihadist' kills four4, Jack Ma's Ant Group: World's biggest market debut suspended5, US Election 2020: Americans choose between Trump and Biden6, Twitter hides Trump mail voting tweet ahead of polling day7, Sean Connery: Harrison Ford pays tribute to 'dear friend'8, US election 2020: What to look out for on election night9, Coronavirus: Sweden brings in rule of eight for diners amid spike in infections10. He was even considered to replace Roger Moore as James Bond. "You CI5 boys think you're the cat's whiskers, don't you?"

asks a CID sergeant in one episode of The Professionals. As Gavin Rumsey, he played the kind of self-regarding Lothario who was not a million miles away from Bodie.

"He will be remembered as part of the childhood of so many people, and mourned by his fans.

"We spent a very tough four years together in making the Professionals, and shared in the production of what has become an icon of British television," he said. VideoWhat does developing a Covid-19 vaccine look like? Early work included roles in popular TV series such as Z Cars and The New Avengers, as well as a recurring role in The Cuckoo Waltz. A great actor and a lovely man. However, he became a household name with the debut of The Professionals in 1977, which ran for six years and won him a global following as hard man William Bodie.

Privacy is asked for at this very sad time.".

", Nonetheless, after the film's release, Collins was invited to meet the James Bond producer Cubby Broccoli, who was looking for a new 007.

He was unremittingly macho in real life.

Michelle, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron. "That still doesn't tell me which is which," she says. Photography Subjects. Unlike his co-star, Collins was never able to match his success in The Professionals. Our sincere gratitude from Michelle Collins and boys. Lew battled his disease with more courage than Bodie, Gavin or Skellen could ever have had, and we were blessed to have had so much extra time, Lew outliving doctors time frames! Mr Clemens recalled Collins also undertook a lot of physical training for the role of Bodie. He struggled at school, but developed an interest in martial arts and shooting. "Everyone laughed in the pop business but I really felt I could do it.".

• This article was amended on 29 November 2013.

"RIP Lewis Collins.

The Professionals is currently being re-run on ITV4. "I thought he would have made a marvellous Bond," he told the BBC.