Mr. Skin Bids Farewell to Roberta Collins

Claudia Jennings. Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith. Candice Rialson. And, now, Roberta Collins.

Those four ferocious-yet-vulnerable blonde beauties burned incandescently and indelibly in the most inventive, innovative, and oftentimes most absolutely insane low-budget cult sensations of the 1970s.

And, alas, now they have all departed this mortal coil, as surely as the grindhouses and drive-ins that served as their temples have collapsed and made way for home video and high-speed downloads.

Roberta Collins in Death Race 2000

Interestingly, it is through those modern technologies that the vital, electrifying efforts of Roberta Collins and her ilk will live forever.

Roberta’s leaving was reported by legendary filmmaker Jack Hill via his MySpace account, and he is a more-than-fitting messenger. Hill directed the flaxen powder-keg in The Big Doll House -- just one in a series of Roberta’s screen-scorchers.

Among Roberta's most robust other efforts are Jonathan Demme's Caged Heat and Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive.

Ironically, Roberta passed just as Death Race roared into theaters. It's a remake of one of Roberta's most motor-revving masterworks, Death Race 2000, wherein she played the lesbian lover of killer driver Mary Woronov.

Mr. Skin misses Roberta Collins already, but as long as we can rewind to her best parts, no one will ever forget her.