The Professionals star Lewis Collins dies, aged 67

The Professionals star Lewis Collins (opens in new tab) has died aged 67, his agent said.

The actor, who played Bodie in the 1970s crime drama alongside co-star Martin Shaw, died in Los Angeles on Wednesday after a five-year struggle with cancer.

His agent said: "He died peacefully at his LA home surrounded by his family. Privacy is asked for at this very sad time."

The Professionals, which made stars of Lewis and Martin, was based around the adventures of a fictional crime fighting unit called CI5.

Its memorable theme tune and action-packed plots made it a huge hit on ITV in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Lewis's other most notable role came in 1982's Who Dares Wins, when he played a member of the SAS. He also auditioned for the role of James Bond.

Of 007, Lewis said: "I was in [producer] Albert R Broccoli's office for five minutes, but it was really over for me in seconds. I have heard since that he doesn't like me. That's unfair. He's expecting another Connery to walk through the door and there are few of them around. I think he's really shut the door on me. He found me too aggressive. "

He was born on Merseyside and worked as a drummer in local bands and as a hairdresser before getting into acting.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.