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Lewis Collins

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Lewis Collins

Lewis Collins (27/05/1946-27/11/2013), best known to an entire generation of forty-somethings as hard man Bodie in The Professionals. Not so hard as flash, womanising lodger Gavin in the Cuckoo Waltz. Collins put some time in with London-based 10 PARA (3 Coy. Finchley), who he joined in 1979 - fitting in TA service around his filming schedule. After stuffing his leg on a jump halfway through his BPC, Collins finally gained his wings in the mid-1980s. He even attempted selection with 21 SAS (V) but his high profile foiled any further aspirations with the regiment and he left the TA.

Collins made up for this in another way by being the first man to give the SAS a media image after the release of the movie Who Dares Wins. Panned by some and adored by others, it's a film that is a must have DVD for the shelf. Several movies followed but none came anywhere near close to 'WDW' and the parts eventually dried up. He was also before his time and was the Bond that never was. The Roman philosopher Serpico (or was that Al Jolson) summed it up perfectly: It is a far far better thing to make one decent film and be remembered for it than make many and be forgotten.

Collins was an enthusiastic and accomplished marksman and Jujitsu practitioner, and it is likely that it was through this that he once met a certain James Shortt - who's positively milked the celebrity association since.

Collins once lost out badly to Johnny 'Three Bollocks' McKenzie in a particularly nasty bout of Freckles in the Pigs' Bar at the back of the Spottie... probably. The bloke was a fanny magnet in the bop and no mistake and was generally regarded by his peers as an 'alright bloke'.

Collins moved to Los Angeles and became a successful businessman before succumbing to cancer in 2013 after a five year battle. He was also a qualified pilot and an experienced free fall parachutist. Television icon, movie star and paratrooper - and a total and utter legend.