COLLINS, LOTTIE (1865–1910), British actress and music hall singer. Collins' family name was originally Kalisch. Her father, William Alfred Collins, was a wood turner and music hall entertainer. Lottie Collins gained fame in London in 1891 with the song, "Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay," originally a boating song from the lower Mississippi. She accompanied it with a swift, high-kicking dance and made it her main act for years. Her daughter, JOSE COLLINS (Cooney; 1887–1958), also became famous in musical comedy, especially in The Maid of the Mountains (1917) which ran for three years. She used the title for her memoirs (1932). They were relatives of the architect HYMAN HENRY COLLINS (c. 1832–1905), one of the few Jewish architects in Victorian Britain. Hyman Collins built several London theaters, including the Strand Music Hall, and worked extensively on housing projects for the poor. He was also a major synagogue architect, building at least five synagogues in London and several others in provincial cities. The well-known Hollywood stars JOAN COLLINS (1933– ) and her sister JACKIE COLLINS (1939– ), also a best-selling author, are members of this family.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.