December 22, 1934 to March 2, 2013
In Memorial :
We will always remember him as the cofounder of Living Legends
Gene Collins was in reality a 79-year-old kid, who refused to grow up.
He left a 20-year career in Pharmacy to seek a new life in the theatrical
world. At 45, he was selected to study at the American Academy of Dramatic
Arts, the country’s oldest drama school, and in a short time he
was appearing in plays and on TV as a genuine character actor.
He had appeared on General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, Young and the
Restless, Capitol, Happy Days, LaVerne and Shirley, Archie Bunker’s
Place, as well as Hardcastle and McCormick. Also in many “industrial”
how-to films, but his first love had always been the stage. He had
appeared in more than 100 stage productions, including summer stock in
West Virginia, dinner theater in Orange County, and many Hollywood drama
productions. In all, he had appeared on stage more than 40,000 times and
showed no signs of stopping.
He became interested in American History while employed at Knott’s
Berry Farm as a melodramatic villain and an 1850's medicine man. He first
portrayed Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, and later Benjamin Franklin as he
became a born-again Patriot,
Gene had studied Franklin’s life through books, films and first-hand
visits to Franklin’s Philadelphia. His admiration for the man and
his life works had continued to grow as his studies increased. His
dedication to this man’s legacy continued with his one-man show
of Benjamin Franklin. He hoped that his portrayal had inspired you to
learn more about this man and our country’s rich history.
Franklin was an ever-changing renaissance man, a printer, philosopher,
statesman, inventor, philanthropist, author, and yes, a ladies man.
His 84 years encompassed some of the most important times of our country’s
beginnings and indeed was the only man in our history to sign The
Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the United
States Constitution, and the Paris Peace Treaty that finally enabled us
to emerge as a world power.