Collins began his, what some would call “a solid career”, on Broadway, (The Blue Bandanna, 1924; Conscience, 1924; Eve’s Leaves, 1925; Bridge of Distances,1925; The Donovan Affair, 1926; On Call, 1928; A Strong Man’s House, 1929 and Paging Danger, 1931) he worked on a series of short films based on Booth Tarkington’s “Penrod” stories, from 1930-1932. Then he started a successful run with Orson Welles in “The Shadow”, 1937-1938 on radio, continuing on with Welles, as part of the Mercury Theater of the Air and the Campbell Playhouse. Truly, Collins was a supporting actor. He had turns in four great movies, in which he deserves recognition, for in those roles he found his acting destiny: Citizen Kane, 1941; The Magnificent Ambersons, 1942; The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946 and Touch of Evil, 1958; that is not to say that Collins did not perform well throughout his more than 70 film appearances, for that is evident by the rest of his dependable resume; one well acted film after another. After his long stint in film Collins portrayed Lt. Arthur Tragg on the CBS television series “Perry Mason”, from 1957-1965, of which most people probably became familiar with his work.
By C. S. Williams