Roberta Collins

Roberta Collins (November 17, 1944 – August 16, 2008)[1] was a film and television actress who was known for her attractive physique, blonde, curly hair, and Marilyn Monroe appearance. She starred in many exploitation films, including the prostitute Clara in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, and as Matilda the Hun in the science-fiction film Death Race 2000.

Roberta Collins
Roberta Lee Hefley

(1944-11-17)November 17, 1944
DiedAugust 16, 2008(2008-08-16) (aged 63)
Cause of deathOverdose of drugs and alcohol
Years active1969–1986
Spouse(s)Gunther Collins (1966-70; divorced); 1 child

Jack Hill, who directed her in The Big Doll House, said of her, "I think she could have had a great career, but she couldn't get her personal life together ... she would be fantastic one day, do everything right, and then she would be out until 4 am partying and the next day she would be useless."[2]


Collins was born Roberta Lee Hefley in 1944. She was married to Gunther Collins from 1966–70 and took his surname. The couple had one child, a son, Michael. She won numerous beauty contests growing up and signed to a contract with a studio almost immediately after graduation from high school. However, her option was not picked up, something that was repeated with another studio, "so that made me want to study and become a good actress", she later said.[3]

In 1969, she was appointed queen of the Warner Bros-Seven Arts International Film Festival in Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island.[4] She gained a level of fame with her appearance in the enormously popular The Big Doll House. This led to a series of roles in exploitation films. She worked in a number of nonexploitation roles, as well, notably on television.

In the early 1970s, Collins briefly dated Glenn Ford.[5] In the early 1990s, she reportedly worked as a caregiver for Ford.[6]


Collins died August 16, 2008, from a reportedly accidental overdose of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.[7] Her son predeceased her.[8] She is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).


In 2014, a tribute to Collins was part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. Caged Heat was screened and in a concert, Stace England and the Screen Syndicate played an album of songs inspired by Roberta Collins.[9][10]

Partial filmography


  1. "Ancestry Library Edition". Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  2. Callum Waddell, Jack Hill, MacFarland (2009), pg. 151
  3. Lane, Lydia. "BEAUTY: Olive Oil for Natural Facial", Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File), [Los Angeles, Calif], June 28, 1976, p. f4.
  4. Roberta Collins Queen of Festival Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], May 8, 1969, p. f17.
  5. Henry Berger, Chef, Take Turns Noting Year of Rat Jacobs, Jody. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif], February 23, 1972.
  6. Peter Ford, Glenn Ford: A Life, pg. 300
  7. Lentz, Harris, I, II (2008, 12). Obituaries: Roberta Collins, 64 - August 16, 2008.
  9. Tom Stockman (2014-11-19). "SLIFF Interview: Stace England of Screen Syndicate - A Tribute to Roberta Collins". We Are Movie Geeks. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  10. Tom Stockman (2014-10-26). "SLIFF 2014 - Roberta Collins Tribute with Screening of CAGED HEAT & Live Music November 22nd". We Are Movie Geeks. Retrieved 2016-12-29.


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