Friday, April 1, 2011

Remembering Peter Collinson

Peter Collinson was born in Lincolnshire, England on April 1, 1936. His parents were an actress and a musician who separated when he was two. He was raised by his grandparents and from age eight until fourteen he attended the Actor’s Orphanage in Chertsey, Surrey where he wrote and appeared in many plays. Noel Coward was the president of the orphanage and became his godfather and helped him obtain jobs in the entertainment industry. In 1954 he served two years in the national service during the Malaya Emergency. At the end of his service he entered the world of television which included jobs as floor manager for the BBC and directing for ATV at Elstree Studios. There he met Michael Klinger who offered him his first film to direct, “The Penthouse”. Peter then worked for Telefis Éireann for the Republic of Ireland’s television station. In 1963 he won a Jacob’s Award for his production, “The Bomb”. He then emigrated with his wife to the U.S. during the mid 1970s. Known as a talented director he was rather sadistic and an authoritarian towards his actors. Peter directed only one Euro-western “The Man Called Noon” (1973) based on the Louis L’Amour novel. Collinson discovered during the filming of the 1980's “The Earthling” that he had contracted a terminal disease and died on December 16, 1980 in Los Angeles, California. Today we remember Peter Collinson on what would have been his 75th birthday.

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