|Mary Ann Mobley on the set of Diff'rent Strokes.|
Danny Blanton, a spokesman for the University of Mississippi, said Collins was close friends with a former chancellor of the university. She graduated from Ole Miss in 1958, the same year she won the Miss America crown.
She became an actress a few years later, playing roles such as Jonelle Andrews (a member of Lesley's therapy group) on ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital and Dr. Beth Everdene in CBS primetime serial Falcon Crest.
In the final season of ABC comedy Diff'rent Strokes, she replaced Dixie Carter in the role of Maggie McKinney Drummond. The show had switched networks in its last year.
Her other TV credits included Perry Mason, Designing Women, The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. She also starred in films such as Girl Happy with Elvis Presley and Three on a Couch with Jerry Lewis. It was on that film she met her husband, Gary Collins, who died in 2012.