Former TV host and actor Gary Collins can breathe a sigh of relief after a felony dine-and-dash charge against him was withdrawn on Wednesday, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Collins, 72, was arrested in Biloxi, Mississippi in January, after trying to walk out of Jazzeppi’s restaurant without paying a $59.35 bill.
A restaurant staffer followed Collins into the parking lot and called the cops.
Collins’ ‘dine-and dash’ proved to be a big mistake on his part because refusing to pay a restaurant bill for anything over $25 in Mississippi is actually a felony offense.
The employee of the restaurant who filed an affidavit in January withdrew his complaint against Collins in court, and after questioning the employee, Judge Albert Fountain dismissed the case.
Collins, who was present in court, made no comments and had not entered a plea before the case was dismissed.
Collins first found fame as an actor in the 1970s on TV shows such as The Sixth Sense and Born Free, among others. In 1980’s, he revived his career by hosting The Miss America Pageant and Hour Magazine, for which he won an Emmy as Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1983.
Collins has hit hard times recently — he has been arrested three times and convicted twice of DUI — since his career went into a tail-spin.
He pled no contest to driving a motor home drunk following his arrest Jan. 31, 2009, in Santa Barbara County, California, and was put on four months probation and ordered to wear a GPS ankle bracelet.
In January 2008, he served four days in a Glendale, Calif., jail for what was his second DUI conviction at the time.
Records show that he was also convicted of a DUI in Malibu, 2004, also – he is married to Mary Anne Mobley, a former Miss America from Brandon, Mississippi.