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Born in Hackney, East London, Michelle had her fair share of guest roles in various television series including ITV's The Bill, before her big break came in 1988 when she was cast as the man-eating Cindy Williams (later Beale) in the BBC soap EastEnders. Although initially signed up for just eleven episodes, Michelle proved a hit and was asked to stay on for much longer. Cindy was to become one of the most popular villains the series has ever had, and Collins spent a decade, on and off, in the role before the character was killed off while off-screen in prison in November 1998.
Following her exit from EastEnders, Collins enjoyed a successful acting career with roles in dramas such as Real Women (BBC), Sunburn (BBC), Prefect (ITV), Two Thousand Acres Of Sky (BBC) and Rock Rivals (ITV).
On 15th April 2011, it was announced that Michelle would be joining the cast of Coronation Street as the new Rovers' landlady Stella Price. Her first scenes subsequently aired on 16th June. Collins quit the show two years later in August 2013, and the character's departure scenes aired during the following April.
Aside from acting, Collins has also taken an interest in singing - first being involved in pop group "The Wilsations" in the early 1980s and then scoring a solo #28 hit in 1999 with the theme tune to Sunburn.