LOS ANGELES — A former Miss America who went on to appear in movies with Elvis Presley and make documentary films around the world has died.
A spokesman for the University of Mississippi confirmed Mary Ann Mobley Collins died Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California, after a battle with breast cancer. She was 77.
Mobley Collins graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1958, the same year she won the Miss America crown. She was the first Mississippian to wear the crown.
A native of Brandon, she was the University of Mississippi’s first Carrier Scholar and later became the first woman voted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. While at the university, she was a majorette and member of Chi Omega Sorority.
A few years after being crowned Miss America, she became an actress with credits including such TV shows as “General Hospital” and “Perry Mason,” and films such as “Girl Happy” with Presley and “Three on a Couch” with Jerry Lewis. It was on that film that she met her husband, actor Gary Collins, who died in 2012 after the couple moved from Hollywood, California, to Biloxi.
Mobley Collins was also a documentarian, traveling to Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Sudan to make movies about the struggles of homeless and starving children.
She and her husband were also active humanitarians, raising money and awareness for organizations such as the March of Dimes and the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Mobley Collins is survived by daughters Clancy Collins White and Melissa Collins, son Guy William Collins, sister Sandra Young, and two grandsons.
Services were planned for Monday in Jackson.
Information from an Ole Miss Public Relations media release was used in this report.