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Bill Collins Collection: Who is Bill Collins?

Discover what's in the Bill Collins Collection.

About Bill Collins

Born William Roderick Collins, the popularly named 'Mr. Movies' was born in Sutherland, New South Wales, on December 4th, 1934. Originally a high school English teacher and lecturer at Sydney Teacher's College, Bill followed his love of cinema away from the classroom and onto the silver screen. After a stint writing reviews, Bill started working as a film presenter beginning on ABC's Roundabout in the 1960s before moving to Channel 9, using the program name The Golden Years of Hollywood. When Bill moved to Channel 7 in 1975, he brought the name with him, causing a court battle between the stations. In 1980, when Bill jumped over to Channel 10, he took the name again. It was particularly during the '80s and early '90s that Bill found his strongest success and when Bill signed off from his program in 2018 (having moved to Foxtel in 1995), he thanked his audience for sticking with him throughout the years. Bill passed away, age 84, on June 20th, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Joan.

Bill was celebrated within the industry, receiving an ASTRA for lifetime achievement in 2013, entering the Logie Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, and being celebrated by Foxtel in 1996 with a gala event for the series thirtieth anniversary. He also received the Order of Australia medal in 1987.

Bill's family has kindly donated Bill's vast collection of books, numbering over 20,000. His mother, Rita, was a teacher and librarian who insisted that her son read the book if he saw the movie. A voracious reader, Bill could read two books a day as child and wrote his "first novel" at 11 years old. In Bill's memory, the Jerzy Toeplitz Library has organised the Bill Collin's Collection. The collection can be found by the windows of the library, on the far left when you enter.