Former master of ceremonies at the long running Miss America pageant Gary Collins has passed away aged 74. According to the Los Angeles Times, Collins passed away from natural causes soon after arriving at the Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Harrison County.

Though perhaps known best in the USA for his run as compere at the Miss America Pageant between 1982 and 1990, Collins was also an accomplished actor and TV host. He hosted the television talk show 'Hour Magazine' between 1980 and 1988 and later went on to co-host ABC television series 'The Home Show' between 1989 and 1994. His performances when hosting 'Hour Magazine' in particular won him great acclaim, Collins receiving six Emmy Award nominations in 1983 for his hosting, and eventually receiving a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Married to a former Miss America - 1959 victor Mary Ann Mobley - Collins clean cut image unfortunately suffered a series of blemishes towards the end of his life. In 2009 he pleaded guilty in Santa Barbara to driving under the influence, whilst in 2010 he was fined with leaving the scene of a traffic accident. Nevertheless, these were merely slight marks on a life well-lived, Collins making many friends during a media career that lasted close to half a century.