National News

Australia's 'Mr Movies' Bill Collins dies

Australia's "Mr Movies" Bill Collins has died.

Collins passed away in his sleep on the NSW South Coast on Thursday, aged 84.

"Our hearts are broken by the loss of our dear Bill - he will never be forgotten," his wife of 36 years Joan said on Friday.

"How fortunate we were to have him in our lives."

Collins began his 55-year television career talking about film appreciation on the ABC's Roundabout program in 1963.

He went on to work as a movie presenter at the Nine, Seven and Ten Networks before signing with Foxtel for its launch in 1995, where he worked until 2018.

"Bill was 84 and lived a life filled with love and devotion for and from his family," Foxtel said in a statement.

"It was also filled with passion for movies and Hollywood and all the adventures and opportunities associated with his 55-year career in the entertainment industry."

Collins received numerous awards and accolades over the years, including the Order of Australia Medal in 1987, the TV WEEK Hall of Fame Logie Award in 2009 and the inaugural ASTRA Award for Lifetime Achievement in July 2013.

"Bill's love of film was encouraged by you, his audience, and his love of sharing his passion, which increased over the five decades that he presented on every Australian television," Joan said.

"Bill was always thrilled when he realised the joy and happiness he gave to his viewers. He never took them for granted, always wanting to please.

"Darling Bill you will be loved and missed always."

Tributes poured in for the beloved film critic on Friday, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian among those who paid their respects.

"'Mr Movies' Bill Collins, a legend of Australian Television. Many of us grew up with his 'Golden Years of Hollywood'. Our thoughts are with his family, he will be missed," she tweeted.

Channel Nine entertainer David Campbell also posted a salute to Collins.

"My love of musicals and old movies is so linked to the Golden Years of Hollywood and Bill Collins. His knowledge and gentle style were perfect. So sad to hear of his passing," he said in a tweet.

A private service to remember Collins will be held in coming days.

© AAP 2019