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Roger Collins
Roger Collins 001.jpg
Roger Collins
Continuity: Dark Shadows
Type: Main character
Gender: Male
Location: Collinwood, Collinsport, Maine
Known relatives: Jamison Collins (father, deceased); Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (sister); Laura Collins (wife); David Collins (son); Carolyn Stoddard (niece); See Collins family for extended family line.
Born: September 14th, 1925
Died: 1971 [1]
1st appearance: Dark Shadows: 1
Actor: Louis Edmonds

Roger Collins is one of the central characters featured in the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Played by actor Louis Edmonds, he was introduced in the first episode of the series and remained a steadfast presence throughout the duration of the show.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Roger Collins grew up in his family estate at Collinwood under the shadow of his older and more responsible sister Elizabeth. A self-ascribed playboy, Roger had little interest in the family business at first, preferring to spend his inheritance on frivolous pursuits. In time however, after a failed marriage and the birth of an unwanted son, Roger returned to his home town to take an active role in the family business. Though always prone to fits of irritation if not outright anger, Roger always did what he could to preserve the family reputation and legacy.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early years[edit | edit source]

In the 1950s, Roger met and fell in love with a young woman named Laura. He vied for Laura's affections with a rival named Burke Devlin. In 1957, the three were out driving and were involved in a motor vehicle accident, which claimed the life of a motorist. At the inquest, Roger accused Burke of driving the vehicle and he was sent to prison for five years on a manslaughter charge. As it was actually Roger who had been driving at the time, Burke swore that he would avenge himself against anyone bearing the Collins family name.

Roger and Laura were married soon after and Laura gave birth to a son, David. Roger always suspected that the child was actually Burke's and because of this, he nursed a deep-rooted jealousy and hatred of the child. A mentally abusive father, Roger always threatened to send David off to boarding school.

In 1961, Laura Collins began to suffer from severe mental anxiety and alcoholism, so Roger was forced to have her committed to a hospital. She was eventually released and left her family, relocating to Phoenix, Arizona. [citation needed]

Following Laura's departure from his life, Roger began to show a greater interest in the family business. Elizabeth set him up with an office at the Collins Fishing Fleet & Cannery and he began spending a lot of time involved with the day-to-day operations of the business.

The Governess[edit | edit source]

In 1966, when David was about ten-years-old, Roger hired a young woman named Victoria Winters to serve as governess to young David. [2] This was done primarily to keep David out of Roger's hair. Roger had found Victoria via a contact he had with the Hammond Foundling Home in New York. An orphan, Victoria always believed that there was some mysterious connection between the Collins family and herself. If Roger was privy to any such information, he certainly gave no indication of it.

It was around this time that Roger learned that Burke Devlin was out of prison and back in Collinsport. He was terrified that Burke would take action against him for framing him on the manslaughter charge. Roger's fears were correct and Burke was gathering information which he intended on using to destroy the Collins family.

Attempted patricide[edit | edit source]

By 1967, Roger and David's relationship continued to worsen. He once again threatened to send him away, but David refused to go. To get back at his father, David sabotaged Roger's car, resulting in an automobile accident that nearly ended his life. [3]

Cassandra[edit | edit source]

In 1968, a portrait of a 17th century witch known as Angelique surfaced at Collinwood. Roger grew obsessed with the portrait and would spend hours staring at it. One evening, he was scheduled to leave Collinsport on a business trip, but instead, he returned to Collinwood cheerfully announcing that he has remarried. He introduced his family to his new bride Cassandra, a woman who bore a stark resemblance to Angelique save for her jet black hair. In truth, Cassandra actually was Angelique in disguise. She had returned to Collinwood to renew her persistent schemes against Barnabas Collins. [4]

Roger was unaware of Cassandra's true identity as well as all of the things she had been doing behind Roger's back. When David learned of his father's sudden marriage, he developed an instant dislike for Cassandra. As usual, Roger dismissed his son's concerns and continued making plans to go on a honeymoon. This interfered greatly with her plans, which involved an elaborate dream curse that affected most members of the Collins family. To manipulate Roger even further, she placed a spell on David that rendered him mute. Realizing that something was wrong with his son, Roger cancelled their honeymoon and remained in Collinsport.

Barnabas, fully aware of exactly who Cassandra was, made no secret of his contempt for her. However, he restrained himself from exposing her to Roger or the other family members out of fear that she would take direct action against them. Roger knew of Barnabas's scorn and ultimately blew up at him, demanding that he should act more civil to his new wife. In the interest in keeping the peace, Barnabas swallowed his pride and promised Roger that he would change his behavior in regards to Cassandra. [5]

Patricide (revisited)[edit | edit source]

Roger's "accident"

Later that year, David Collins and his new friend Amy Jennings fell under the sway of the malevolent spirit of Quentin Collins. Quentin wanted revenge against the entire Collins family for murdering him back in 1897. He manipulated David and Amy into trying to murder Roger. David placed a trip wire on the steps at Collinwood, causing Roger to fall, nearly killing him. Roger recovered, but knew that someone living in the house had tried to murder him. [6][7]

Death[edit | edit source]

Roger Collins ultimately discovered the dark terrible secret of Barnabas Collins. Feeling sympathy for him, he pledged to put an end to Barnabas' vampiric existence and went to his resting place armed with a hammer and stake. Angelique appeared and, unwilling to see Barnabas killed, murdered Roger. His body was later discovered on the grounds of Collinwood and his death was ruled the result of a heart attack.

Like most who came to an unnatural end at Collinwood, Roger's spirit lived on beyond his death. His niece Carolyn saw his ghost wandering the halls of Collinwood, pointing a spectral finger at the portrait of Barnabas Collins. With the aid of Doctor Julia Hoffman and Professor Timothy Eliot Stokes, Carolyn conducted a séance in an effort to contact Roger's spirit. The séance proved to be unsuccessful. It is known that on certain stormy nights Roger's ghost can be seen coming down the stairs, staring at the portrait of the man who caused his death. [8]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

What a dick![edit | edit source]

Roger Collins was nothing if not passionate. More often than not however, he expressed his passion in less than honorable ways. In short, he could occasionally be a dick.

  • Upon first meeting Victoria Winters, Roger became obsessed with finding out what she knew about his old rival Burke Devlin. He interrogated her at length, frightened her, insulted her, and even accused her of lying to him. His anger towards her was so severe that she had considered quitting the Collins employ. What a dick!
  • Roger Collins discouraged Elizabeth from constructing her own private mausoleum, which would be equipped with an alarm system because of her irrational fear of being buried alive. He admitted that part of his concern was how these actions would harm the family's already scandalous reputation. What a dick! (DS 614)

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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