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An actor's taste is not just idle gossip

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An actor's taste is not just idle gossip

EAT YOUR WORDS Stephanie Wilson

The Glebe

17 November 2005

YOU get a sense of how long Lyn Collingwood has been around when she said she bought her first house in Glebe for $6500.

"It was 1967 and it was also a total mess - we had to have truckloads of rubbish taken out," she laughed.

"We renovated it and then we sold it four years later - and I was kind of regretful about that.

"I think we sold it for $16,000 and we thought we made an enormous profit."

The Home and Away stalwart, who has played town gossip Colleen Smart since 1989, is back in Glebe and keeping busy.

She caught up with The Glebe recently to at her favourite eating spot, Cafe Otto.

"Some restaurants are a bit intimidating, I find but I think it's very comfortable and the winter is nice because the braziers go on," she said.

"They do a lovely octopus salad and they have a nice wine list."

Between juggling her television commitments, Collingwood directs the occasional play at Newtown's New Theatre.

Her latest project is Frank Hatherley's Manly Mates a comedy which follows the lives of crooked cops and bent politicians.

Collingwood's love for drama began when she was studying at Sydney University but she went on to pursue a career in teaching.

Then she met the late acclaimed theatre director Richard Wherrett, who offered her a part in a professional play.

"I liked teaching but I didn't really want to be in a staff room for the rest of my life. I had a little bit of money saved up, so I got an agent and lived off that," she said.

Collingwood joined Summer Bay in 1989 for 18 months, then appeared on and off until she rejoined the cast permanently in 1999.

"I think I'd be very nervous about doing theatre now," she said. "With TV, you've always got the safety net of being able to do a second take, whereas if you muck it up on stage, it's just sheer terror."

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