Actor Lewis Collins has died at the age of 67.
The actor, who is best known for his role as Bodie in 70’s TV series The Professionals, died in Los Angeles yesterday after a five-year struggle with cancer.
His agent said Collins died peacefully in his home in Los Angeles surrounded by his family, and asked for privacy during “ this very sad time”.
The Professionals, which propelled Collins and co-star Martin Shaw to stardom, 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 during its run on ITV from 1977 to 1983.
Shaw, currently appearing in a West End production of 12 Angry Men, said he was saddened by the news of his co-star’s death.
“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 said.
"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 the 1982 film Who Dares Wins, when he played a member of the SAS.
Around this time, he auditioned for the role of James Bond, but his audition was reported to be “too aggressive”.
His other TV appearances included Jack the Ripper (1988), Cluedo (1991-2) and The Bill (2002), but he did not achieve the same success brought by The Professionals.
Born in May 1946 in Cheshire, Collins worked as a drummer in local bands and as a women’s hairdresser before becoming an actor.
He went on to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and toured with a number of theatre companies before making his West End debut.
He is survived by his wife Michelle and their three sons.