Have a Heart: Brent Collins–Actor, Marfan, and Dwarf

Brent Collins was an actor who had the strange genetic admixture of Marfan syndrome and dwarfism. A sudden growth spurt in mid adulthood led to his death in 1988. He starred on As The World Turns (1982-1983) and Another World (1984-1987), and was very prominent on the latter series. He had a few guest starring roles, most notably on an episode of _The Golden Girls_.

On _Another World_:

May he rest in peace.

10 responses to “Have a Heart: Brent Collins–Actor, Marfan, and Dwarf

  1. Did he get the girl?

  2. Such a talented man — but more importantly, such a wonderful human being. I was sorry to learn of his death 22 years ago, and I still miss him, today.

  3. I just saw his appearance on _The Golden Girls_–and apparently garnered a few search hits from it. If you know what you’re looking at, you can tell that his arms and fingers were very Marfanoid in proportion to his body, and relative to the normal proportions of a dwarf. I had gotten to wonder if he had Weill-Marchesani Syndrome, but that is not associated with aortic dilation.

  4. The first time I saw him was on The Golden Girls as Rose’s friend from work. He was a dwarf but began growing rapidly which caused him to have a heart attack. How tall did he get in the end?

    • I was a personal friend of Brent, and the last time I had dinner with him was in the October, the 3 months before he died. He never mentioned anything, and he looked no different to me than he always did. In fact, part of our last conversation was about the fact that my father had passed away when he was only 49, and Brent said, wow, so young! And here, a few months later, he died at the age of 46. I was honored to attend his memorial service in NYC. I’ll never forget him. His Christmas card photo is framed and in this room with me. For those that didn’t know him, you would never have wanted a better friend.

      • Thank you for sharing.

      • Gloria, all articles about Brent Collins says he had a Growth spurt that led to his death. Why did you not notice this when you saw him last? Curious Joe much of a growth spurt did he experience. Please reply LLJadeRing@aol.com thank you.

      • My understanding is that he dissected from it, so I doubt there was time to notice–his aorta grew faster than his insides. I think that’s what happened with my own dissection. I used to be 6’0″, and I’m now 6’1″

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