Produced British espionage drama 'Callan'

Reginald Collin, a producer and director for British television, died of heart and chest problems in Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, on Friday, Dec. 16. He was 84.

Collin produced the esteemed, dark espionage drama “Callan,” which ran from 1967-72 and starred Edward Woodward. He also wrote and directed some episodes, and he was nominated for two BAFTA Awards for his work on the series; Woodward won a BAFTA for his performance.

Collin joined ABC Television (later Thames TV) in 1959. As a director in the features department, he created the 1963-65 arts series “Tempo” and helmed a pair of episodes. Later he produced the series “Sat’day While Sunday,” “Special Branch,” “Six Days of Justice,” “Napoleon and Love” and “Armchair Cinema.”

Collin was born in London and left school at 14. His first job was as a lab boy at a London hospital at the height of the blitz. During service after the war in the RAF, he was a shorthand typist at Headquarters Bomber Command but spent a great deal of his time running the amateur drama group.

After leaving the military he won a scholarship to the Old Vic Theater School and spent some performing in repertory, followed by several years in which he directed pantomime and summer shows.

In addition to his BAFTA noms, Collin received a Royal Television Society fellowship (the RTS’ highest award) in “recognition of an outstanding contribution to the furtherance of television” as well as nods for service to the industry from BAFTA and Kodak.

Collin also penned the book “BAFTA Behind the Mask: Personal Recollections.”

Survivors include Collin’s wife, Pamela Lonsdale, a BAFTA Award winner for the preschool program “Rainbow,” which she created.

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