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Television host and actor Gary Collins dies at age 74

By Mary Slosson

(Reuters) - Television host and actor Gary Collins died early on Saturday in Biloxi, Mississippi, of natural causes at the age of 74, according to the local coroner's office.

Collins was admitted to the Biloxi Regional Medical Center less than 24 hours before he was pronounced dead at 12:56 a.m., according to Brian Switzer, deputy coroner at the Harrison County Coroner's Office.

He starred in the 1970s TV series "The Sixth Sense" and appeared in other series including "JAG," "Yes, Dear" and "The Young and the Restless," as well as on "The New Hollywood Squares" game show.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Mobley, a former Miss America from Brandon, Mississippi, and the couple spent some of their time in the state. Collins had been a host of the Miss America pageant.

In January 2011, he was accused of skipping out on a $59.35 restaurant tab in Biloxi, which in Mississippi is a felony. Those charges were later dropped but not before Collins was arrested in his Biloxi home after the restaurant's employees called the police.

In 2007, Collins was sentenced to four days in jail as the result of a car wreck in California. Police blamed that accident on the driver of the other car, though Collins pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

In the 1980s, he hosted talk shows "Hour Magazine" and "The Home Show."

(Editing by Eric Beech)