Mary Clancy Collins

Mobley was the first Mississippian to win Miss America, and she was also the first woman to be inducted into the University of Mississippi’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

She and her husband, Gary Collins, became well known for their philanthropic work. They traveled around the world with relief organizations to fight hunger and poverty.

About the Artist

Mary Clancy Collins is the daughter of actor and talk show host Gary Collins. She was born on October 12, 1968 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

She is married to Dean White since June 23, 2007. The couple got married in Ojai, California in a beautiful ceremony.

The actress was a former beauty queen and had a long career on the stage and screen. She also had a charitable streak. She was an avid supporter of the March of Dimes and traveled the world to help relief organizations end world hunger.

She was also a great advocate for breast cancer awareness. She was a board member of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and she fought against Crohn’s disease. She was a longtime supporter of the University of Mississippi, where she was the first Miss America to be inducted into its alumni hall of fame. She also directed more than $1.6 million from her estate to the school.

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Biographical Information

Mary Ann Mobley Collins, the first Mississippian to win the Miss America crown and a renowned actress and humanitarian, died of breast cancer on December 9, 2014. She and her husband were extremely loyal to their alma mater and home state, traveling with relief organizations around the world to end hunger.

She had a varied career as a television personality and actor, appearing on Love, American Style, Different Strokes, Falcon Crest, Ironside and The Partridge Family. She was a recurring celebrity panelist on the game show Match Game and also made documentaries to show the plight of starving children in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

She was married to Gary Collins, an actor and talk show host, in 1967. They had a daughter together and both were devoted to several charities. She was a strong advocate for the March of Dimes and a passionate supporter of breast cancer research. She was also a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist for the Crohns & Colitis Foundation and other causes.


Mobley made a number of movies and was also a guest star on many television series. She replaced Dixie Carter as Maggie McKinney Drummond in the last season of Diff’rent Strokes, and appeared on Designing Women as Karen Delaporte, a snide head of a historical society who crossed swords with Carter’s character Julia Sugarbaker.

Throughout her career, Mobley was active in the humanitarian field. She and her husband, actor Gary Collins, volunteered for the March of Dimes and traveled to Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Sudan to film documentaries about the plight of homeless and starving children.

She and her husband were known for their work as representatives for World Vision, a Christian relief organization that filmed them interacting with impoverished children in refugee camps around the world. Mobley and Collins are also credited with raising money and awareness for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and for the March of Dimes. They were married for 47 years and had one child together.


Her TV and film output decreased in the 1970s as she raised her daughter, Clancy Collins White, with her husband, Gary Collins. During that decade, she appeared as a guest on series such as Love, American Style (1969), Fantasy Island (1977), The Love Boat (1977) and the game show Match Game 73 ( 1973) alongside such other famous wiseacres as Betty White, Brett Somers, Patti Deutsch and Charles Nelson Reilly.

She also made a few notable TV and movie appearances in the 1990s. She toured in the popular play, “Love Letters,” with her husband and performed a cabaret act at the Cinegrill in Hollywood. She also hosted an oft-run late 1990s television infomercial for “SelectComfort,” a specialty bed product.

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