“I don't take myself too seriously considering what I do. I think I'm a kind person, good fun and adventurous. I'm a free spirit. In a man I look for a good sense of humor. Someone who can send himself up, has humility and is honest.” Michelle Collins
British actress Michelle Collins is widely recognized by TV audiences for playing Cindy Beale (1989-1998) on the popular, award winning BBC soap opera, "EastEnders." Collins, who was a TV presenter on the British late night variety series “The Word” in the early 1990s, also starred in the BBC dramas “Sunburn” (1999-2000) and “Two Thousand Acres of Sky” (2003). She recently co-starred with Sean Gallagher on the ITV television drama "Rock Rivals" (2008).
Collins has also starred in numerous TV movies, including "A Place to Be Loved" (1993), the novel-based "Real Women" (1998) and "Real Women II" (1999), "Perfect" (2001), "The Illustrated Mum" (2003) and "Can't Buy Me Love" (2004), and the miniseries "Daylight Robbery" (1999) and "Daylight Robbery 2" (2001). She also guest starred in such TV shows as "Full House," "Family Ties," "Baywatch," "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge," "French and Saunders" and "Doctor Who."
On the big screen, Collins could be seen in the films "Personal Services" (1987), "Hidden City" (1988), "The Night We Called It a Day" (2003) and "Don't Stop Dreaming" (2007).
Childhood and Family:
In Hackney, London, England, Michelle Collins was born on May 28, 1963. She trained at the Royal Court Activists and Cockpit Youth Theater and progressed to Kingsway Princeton College, where she studied drama and theater.
A chain-smoker, Collin, who suffered from anorexia when she was younger, has tried quitting a number of times and finally underwent hypnosis to help her quit. She is heavily involved with charity work and is an ambassador for Oxfam, campaigning for the basic right to education in such countries as Brazil, South Africa, and Armenia. She is also involved with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Smart Justice.
"I would have liked to go to university straight from school to have more exposure to a cross section of people as well as to study and enhance my existing career options. If I had gone on to higher education, I would have studied classics to help me understand a more varied amount of acting roles. I always remember my mother encouraging me to go to university but I didn't listen to her, which I now seriously regret. I will certainly be encouraging my child to go into higher education when they get to that age." Michelle Collins
Collins currently lives in Muswell Hill and gave birth to a daughter in 1996.
Two Thousand Acres of Sky
Sharpening her craft at the Royal Court Activists and Cockpit Youth Theatre and later at Kingsway Princeton College, Michelle Collins landed a part in Bulgakov's "The Crimson Island" at the Gate Theater after leaving school. She then turned to music and joined Mari Wilson and the Wilsations as a backup singer, touring the U.K. for 18 months. During this time, she also sang backup vocals for the hit song "Cool for Cats" in 1979.
Following her band's split-up in 1982, Collins appeared in the 1984 made-for-television movies "Good Neighbours" and "Morgan's Boy." She followed it up with guest spots in the detective show "Bergerac," the daytime soap "Gems," and the long-running ITV police procedural series "The Bill." She also made her film debut in director Terry Jones' comedy "Personal Services" (1987), starring Shirley Stelfox and Julie Walters, and got her first TV series regular role on the ITV 13-part sitcom, "Running Wild" (1987), in which she starred as Stephanie Wild.
Collins spent the rest of the 1980s guest starring in an episode of the hit ABC family sitcom "Full House" and the NBC long running sitcom "Family Ties." She also co-starred in the TV movie "Lucky Sunil" (1988) and played a small role in Stephen Poliakoff's independent mystery, "Hidden City" (1988). In 1989, Collins began playing Cindy Beale on the popular, award winning BBC soap opera, "EastEnders." She would portray the character until November 1998 when her character was killed off.
During her lengthy "EastEnders" tenure, Collins was a presenter on the Channel 4 television program "The Word" from 1990 to 1991. As for acting, she guest starred on the ABC thriller "Gabriel's Fire," the syndicated "Baywatch," NBC’s "Blossom," BBC2’s comedy show "Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge," the ABC comedy "Champs," and the drama series "Verdict." She also appeared in the TV movies "A Place to Be Loved" (1993) and "Real Women" (1998). She would later reprise the role in the TV movie sequel, "Real Women II" (1999). Meanwhile, in 1996, she played a nurse in the straight-to-video released superhero action film "Darkman III: Die Darkman Die," starring Arnold Vosloo. She also starred in a TV commercial for British Telecom (1996).
After her "EastEnders" stint ended in 1998, Collins had a Top 40 chart hit in 1999 with "Sunburn", which is the title of one of the TV programs she was in, a series that was broadcasted on BBC1 between January 16, 1999, and May 1, 2000. In the show, she portrayed Nicki Matthews, alongside Rebecca Callard, Sharon Small, George Layton, and Sean Maguire.
During this time, Collins also co-starred in two miniseries, "Up Rising" (1999), a comedy in which she and Kevin McNally played a wealthy, but tasteless, couple, and "Daylight Robbery" (1999), a drama in which she played an ex-wife of a wealthy former football star who joins other housewives (played by Geraldine Somerville, Brenda Kempner, and Emily Woof) to plot an armed robbery. She would later recreate the role in the miniseries sequel "Daylight Robbery 2" (2001).
From 2001 to 2003, Collins starred as Abby Wallace on the BBC Television drama "Two Thousand Acres of Sky," which is also syndicated in the United States on PBS. She earned a TV Quick Award nomination for Best Actress. She also appeared in Anne Misawa's short student film "Waking Mele" (2000), as well as the novel-based TV movies "The Sleeper" (2000) and "Lloyd & Hill" (2001).
Michelle next starred as a woman who marries 8 people within 10 years without divorcing any of them in the made-for-television movie "Perfect" (2001) and as the trophy wife to the charismatic Sean Gallagher's character in the television movie "Ella and the Mothers" (2002). She subsequently played Alice Connor and Holly Grainger's depressed, alcoholic mother in the dramatic TV movie based on the Jacqueline Wilson's novel, "The Illustrated Mum" (2003), Martin Kemp's cheated wife in the TV movie "Can't Buy Me Love" (2004), and supported Trevor Eve in the made-for-television movie "The Family Man" (2006). She also played Sarah Barton on the short-lived drama series "Single" (2003) and appeared in the family drama series "PJ's Storytime" (2004). On the big screen, she could be seen in the films "The Night We Called It a Day" (2003; starring Dennis Hopper, Melanie Griffith, Portia de Rossi, Joel Edgerton, Rose Byrne, and David Hemmings), an Australian film directed by Peter Clifton about Frank Sinatra's controversial tour in Australia, and "Bubblegum" (2004), a 9-minute short drama film by Lea Morement.
During this time, Collins was spotted as a guest on the BBC Television drama series "Sea of Souls," BBC Two’s sketch comedy television show "French and Saunders," and the ITV drama starring Peter Davison as Dangerous Davies, "The Last Detective."
Recently, Collins was cast in Aditya Raj's film "Don't Stop Dreaming" (2007) and Vicki Psarias' 15-minute period drama film, "Broken" (2007), alongside Peter Polycarpou and Marianna Neofitou. On the small screen, she guest starred in a May 2007 episode of BBC One’s science fiction drama "Doctor Who."
From March 5, 2008, to April 23, 2008, Collins co-starred with Sean Gallagher as husband and wife on the ITV television drama "Rock Rivals," which follows the lives, trial and tribulations of two celebrity judges on an “X Factor” style show as their marriage falls apart.