Dorothy Collins, born Marjorie Chandler on November 18, 1926, was a Canadian-American singer and actress. She was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. Collins gained recognition for her role as the Lucky Strike girl on the 1950s show, Your Hit Parade.
As a teenager, Collins (who went by Marjorie until she officially adopted her stage name) was entered in a talent show called Major Bowes Amateur Hour. She won first place and went on to win other radio contests in the 1930s. Collins’ parents arranged for her to audition for Raymond Scott, a composer and band leader. Impressed with her talent, Scott set up a seven-year tutoring contract.
In 1940, at the age of 13, Collins left Windsor to pursue a career as a vocalist. Collins secured a position as a featured vocalist with the Raymond Scott Orchestra in 1942. When Scott was given a position as director of the orchestra in 1949 for the show Your Hit Parade, Dorothy was trained by Scott to lead in his absence. On the show, Collins sang a number of hit tunes, including “Be Happy, Go Lucky”, a cigarette jingle for the brand Lucky Strike cigarettes. While working on the show, Collins also obtained a contract with Coral Records and experienced some commercial success with the song “Seven Days”. Your Hit Parade struggled to maintain popularity by the late fifties and, on April 24th, 1959, the show aired its final episode.
In the 1960s, Collins played a prominent role on the television show Candid Camera. Collins was also greatly involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), acting as an MDA representative and consistently attending the annual meetings. From 1973 to 1982, she held a position on their Board of Directors.
Collins passed away on July 21, 1994 in Watervliet, New York at the age of 67.
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Windsor-born singer the “Lucky strike girl”. (1994, Jul 23). The Windsor Star.