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Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Joan Bennett in Dark Shadows.jpg
Dark Shadows
Portrayed by Joan Bennett (1966 — 1971)
First appearance June 27, 1966
Last appearance January 1971
Cause/reason Left to hear her brother speak at city hall.
Created by Dan Curtis and Art Wallace
Profile
Nickname(s) Liz
Aliases Elizabeth Collins (maiden name)
Gender Female
Occupation Socialite
Residence Collinwood

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard was a fictional character played by Joan Bennett on the cult television ABC-TV Gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows from 1966-1971. Elizabeth is the matriarch of the Collins family, the longtime owners of a cannery and shipping company in a small Maine fishing town.

Contents

Original series

In the story, her husband Paul Stoddard disappeared 18 years before the arrival of governess Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke), at the show's beginning. Elizabeth had not left the ancient family mansion, Collinwood, since her husband went missing. Paul Stoddard would reappear in 1969 and die for real in 1970.

Elizabeth's daughter is spoiled rich girl Carolyn Stoddard (Nancy Barrett). Her younger brother is the snobbish Roger Collins (Louis Edmonds). The father of both Elizabeth and Roger was Jamison Collins. Roger has a darkly mischievous (some would say diabolical) son named David Collins (David Henesy), of whom Elizabeth is quite fond. Despite her imperious and reserved exterior, Elizabeth is a deeply passionate woman who harbors several dark secrets.

Many of the 1966-67 storylines centered on the character of Victoria Winters and her relationship with Elizabeth (as well as the greater Collins family as a whole). It was implied throughout the story that Vicki may have even been a blood relative of the family, but this plotline was never fully realized. The character of Vicki was eventually written out of the show in 1969, by having her fall in love with a young man named Peter Bradford from the years 1795-6, and returning with him back to his time period, to live out her life there. In 1999, writers Stephen Mark Rainey and Elizabeth Massie wrote the Dark Shadows novel Dreams of the Dark. The story concludes with a confirmation that Vicki Winters is in fact that illegitimate daughter of Elizabeth Collins. The identity of Vicki's father however, is never revealed.

The character of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard also appeared in the 1970 MGM film, House of Dark Shadows. There is very little distinction between the film version of Elizabeth and the television version, despite the fact that both productions take place within independent continuities. In the film's sequel, Night of Dark Shadows, Grayson Hall's character, Carlotta Drake, states that Elizabeth died some time after the events of House of Dark Shadows.

Elizabeth also appeared in several of the Marilyn Ross gothic novels by Paperback Library published during the 1960s-70s, as well as the original Dark Shadows comic book series published by Gold Key Comics.

Revival series

In 1991 Dan Curtis Productions revived the Dark Shadows series as a one-hour night time soap opera for NBC. The role of Elizabeth was played by veteran actress Jean Simmons. Due to cancellation, very little attention was given to Simmons' character, but she differed from her predecessor in that she was not portrayed as an eccentric recluse, but rather as a high-spirited passionate woman with a strong devotion to her family. This version of Elizabeth also appeared in three separate comic book adaptations by the defunct publishing company Innovation Comics.

Production

  • Joan Bennett, who played Elizabeth Collins Stoddard is the only actor from the series who appeared in both the first and final episodes of Dark Shadows. Bennett was also one of only three actors who remained on the series during the entire length of its production.
  • Actress Joan Bennett played several other characters during her tenure on Dark Shadows including, Naomi Collins, Judith Collins-Trask, Flora Collins, Elizabeth Collins (of Parallel Time) and Flora Collins (of Parallel Time).

References

  • Dreams of the Dark; Stephen Mark Ramsey and Elizabeth Massie, 1999

External links

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