Professionals Star Lewis Collins Dies In LA

Lewis Collins, 67, who played Bodie in the iconic British 1970s TV series The Professionals, has died after suffering from cancer for five years.

The actor, who played Bodie in the crime drama alongside co-star Martin Shaw as Doyle, died on Wednesday, his agent said.

"He died peacefully at his LA home surrounded by his family. Privacy is asked for at this very sad time."

The Professionals, which made stars of Collins and Shaw, was based around the adventures of a fictional crime fighting unit called CI5.

Its memorable theme tune and action-packed plots made it a huge hit on ITV in the late 1970s and early 1980s for 57 episodes.

Martin Shaw said: "I was very sad to hear today that Lewis has died.

"We spent a very tough four years together in making The Professionals, and shared in the production of what has become an icon of British television.

"He will be remembered as part of the childhood of so many people, and mourned by his fans. I send my love and condolences to his family, and the great many who will miss him."

Collins' other most notable role came in 1982's Who Dares Wins, when he played a member of the SAS.

His Professionals character was a former paratrooper and SAS soldier.

In real life he passed the actual selection course for 23 SAS, one of the SAS' two Territorial Army battalions, but was turned down because of his celebrity status.

He also auditioned for the role of James Bond but was turned down by Cubby Broccoli who, the actor said, was really looking for another Sean Connery.

Collins is quoted as saying the producer found him "too aggressive".

He said: "It would be nice to get back to the original Bond, not the character created by Sean Connery, but the one from the books.

"He's not over-handsome, over-tall. He's about my age and has got my attitudes."

Collins was born on Merseyside and worked as a drummer in local bands and as a hairdresser before getting into acting.

He married teacher Michelle Larrett in 1992 and they had three sons, Oliver, Elliot and Cameron.

Although he still dabbled in acting, he ran a successful computer business in LA, according to his biography on the film website IMDb.