Bill Collins may have earned the nickname "Mr Movies" but for him, films began and ended in Hollywood's Golden Age.
What set him apart from his contemporaries was the breadth of his knowledge and his passion for filmmaking.
The career he eventually found suited him down to the ground - no fan of modern cinema, he delighted in presenting on television the movies of a bygone era to be watched at home.
Collins died in his sleep last night, aged 84.
Born William Roderick Collins at Sutherland in Sydney on December 4, 1934, Collins was introduced to the silver screen early, growing up within walking distance of the local picture house, where his aunt was an usherette.
His father was a policeman and his mother a teacher, inspiring in Collins a love of learning.
But it was the ability to see films for free at the movie theatre where his aunt worked that made its greatest impression on him, with his first viewing of Gone With the Wind at the age of 10 an event which Collins himself said began his obsession with cinema.
He was educated at Canterbury Boys' High School and the University of Sydney, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Latin in 1959.
He would then go on to get a Diploma of Education in 1960 and a Master of Education in 1965 and initially followed his mother into teaching before completing a Master's degree in film and in 1961 lecturing at Sydney Teachers College.
His passion for movies translated to television in 1963, when he produced and presented a series on film appreciation for the ABC.
Collins also had a long-running movie review column in TV Times magazine and moved from the ABC to present films on all the commercial channels in turn, using the title The Golden Years of Hollywood which became synonymous with his name.
After many years on the free-to-air stations a declining interest in having him present and discuss the films to be shown led Bill off the small screen and back to university, this time to lecture on film appreciation.
He joined pay-TV network Foxtel in 1995, the year of its launch, as a presenter on its FXM channel and then moving to Fox Classics.
His career as a film enthusiast earned him many accolades and in 1987 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
In 2009 Collins was inducted into the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame and in his 50th year in television in 2013, pay-TV decided to mark the occasion.
"Bill Collins has introduced generations of Australians to the greatest films ever made, so we could think of no better tribute than to award him the inaugural ASTRA Lifetime Achievement Award," said ASTRA CEO, Andrew Maiden.
Collins said he delighted in finding something fresh to say about the films he presented, some well-known and others that might have slipped from people's memory.
"I love what I do," he said.
"I love movies and I love teaching and for 50 years I have been able to teach in my own way on television about the art of great movies."
At the time Collins put together a list of his top 10 films of all time, which he presented for the Fox Classics channel.
He said his choice of movies had never been influenced by other critics, public opinion or box office receipts.
"It's a very personal list and has nothing to do with the critics' attitudes towards the film in question," he said.
"It's just something I love."
BILL COLLINS' 10 FAVOURITE MOVIES (SELECTED IN 2013 TO MARK HIS 50 YEARS IN TELEVISION)
1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
2. The Band Wagon (1953)
3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
4. Vertigo (1958)
5. All About Eve (1950)
6. The Voice of the Turtle (1947)
7. The Razor's Edge (1946)
8. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
9. Brief Encounter (1945)
10. Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Australian Associated Press