Pat Collins — “The Hip Hypnotist”

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There have been many famous male stage hyp­no­tists in the 20th Cen­tu­ry, includ­ing Wal­ford Bod­ie, Franz Pol­gar, Ormond McGill and Gil Boyne, but there has only been one female stage hyp­no­tist with an equal amount of fame then.

That hyp­no­tist was Pat Collins — “The Hyp Hypnotist”.

No one did more to pop­u­lar­ize hyp­no­sis in gen­er­al and stage hyp­no­sis in par­tic­u­lar in the 60’s than Pat Collins, the “Hip” Hyp­no­tist. She made fre­quent appear­ances in TV series, talk shows, game shows and movies in the 60’s, then did two spe­cials for the Show­time cable chan­nel in the 70’s and 80’s, as well as hav­ing a night­club of her own on the famous Los Ange­les Sun­set Strip and in Reno, Neva­da, at such casi­nos as the MGM Grand and Harrah’s.

(Mae­lene Collins-Grenat, Pat Collins’ daugh­ter)“Pat Collins did her per­for­mance in the ear­ly 60’s at clubs until she opened her own club on the Sun­set strip at the cor­ner of Sun­set and Dohe­ny next to Gil Turn­ers Liquor, where she did her show and also held self hyp­no­sis class­es. Then in the ear­ly 80’s she closed the club and moved to Reno NV and per­formed at the MGM and in Tahoe. She only did a brief appear­ance in Las Vegas about 1981. She appeared on almost every talk show you can think of from late 60’s through the 70’s. ( I would love to have copies of them if any one has one) She played her self in Divorce Amer­i­can Style, The Lucy Show, & an episode of the Bill Dana Show. She played a car­i­ca­ture called BABS IVAR in an episode of the Hon­ey West Show. She was also on an episode of Whats My Line and a show called No Time for Sear­gents. She made 2 record albums [Turn On!] and anoth­er called “Sleep With Pat Collins”. She nev­er did a TV show although it would have been great. I am sure that she was con­cerned about peo­ple think­ing it was rigged. She became ill and in her 60’s decid­ed to stop per­form­ing and moved back to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia where she passed in 1997.

His­to­ry: Pat learned hyp­no­sis after she had been cured by a psy­chi­a­trist of a case of hys­ter­i­cal paral­y­sis through hyp­no­sis. Her teacher was stage hyp­no­tist Tri­one Boy­er (real name Tra­ian Ted Boy­er), who was per­form­ing at the Club Cairo on North Sheri­dan in Chica­go. Pat got her­self an agent and start­ed work­ing clubs in the Mid­west, then made the jump to Los Angeles.

Her agent made a deal with the own­ers of The Inter­lude, a night­club on the famed Sun­set Strip, andw oudl even­tu­al­ly open her own night club at the cor­ner of Sun­set and Dohe­ny next to Gil Turn­ers Liquor store in LA. She prob­a­bly was­n’t the first female stage hyp­no­tist in town, but her tal­ent, skill and per­son­al­i­ty more than equaled any com­peti­tors, female or male. She was such a sen­sa­tion that stars flocked to her show, even appear­ing in it, such as actor Lloyd Bridges (of “Sea Hunt”), who was hyp­no­tized into believ­ing he was swim­ming under­wa­ter through the audi­ence. In addi­tion to Los Ange­les, she played the such cities as New York and Las Vegas.

She appeared on many TV pro­grams over the years, most­ly sit­u­a­tion come­dies, where hyp­no­sis was always part of the com­e­dy in that episode.

  • “The Bill Dana Show” The Hyp­no­tist’ — Bill Dana’s char­ac­ter Jose Jimenez wants to have a bet­ter work­ing rela­tion­ship with his boss Mr. Phillips (played Jonathan Har­ris). Pat Collins is play­ing at the hotel and offers to help, with the expect­ed comedic results.
  • “Change of Mind” — The only infor­ma­tion I can find is that she prob­a­bly appeared in a small part.
  • “Hol­ly­wood Squares” — Guest appear­ance as one of the celebri­ties in the “squares” from July 10 to July 14, 1967.
  • “Hon­ey West” ‘The Grey Lady — Pat played a hyp­no­tist under the name of Babs Ivar.
  • “I’ve Got a Secret” — One of the most suc­cess­ful quiz shows from the 50’s and 60’s, it was brought back to the small screen for two months in 1976. Pat Collins was one of the pan­elists, which also includ­ed Hen­ry Mor­gan, Richard Daw­son, and Elaine Joyce.
  • “The Lucy Show”  ‘Lucy and Pat Collins’ — Lucy’s boss (Gail Gor­don) can’t sleep so Lucy con­vinces him to attend one of Pat Collins’ per­for­mances, where they both are on stage as part of her act. After the act is over, Pat leaves Gail Gor­don a post-hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tion and, dis­be­liev­ing that it works, trig­gers it and falls com­plete­ly asleep.
  • “Star­lost”  ‘The Implant People’
  • “No Time for Sergeants” ‘Two Aces in the Hole’ — Stage hyp­no­tist Pat per­forms at the US Army Ai Force base after WW II: two ser­vice­men watch the per­for­mance back­stage and are acci­den­tal­ly hyp­no­tized into becom­ing WW II bomber pilots. They take a bomber up with the intent of bomb­ing Ger­many but when they’re con­scious, they for­get how to pilot the plane.
  • “Play­boy After Dark” (1969)
  • “What’s My Line?”  (1961) — She appeared as a con­tes­tant just about the time she was get­ting start­ed in the business.

Lat­er she would do pro­grams for the cable net­work Show­time. One was at the night­club in LA, and anoth­er was taped in Los Vegas.

She also appeared in the movie “Divorce, Amer­i­can Style” as her­self in a scene where she hyp­no­tizes Deb­bie Reynolds as part of her stage act. Deb­bie is at the night­club with her date; Dick van Dyke is also in atten­dance. As part of the act, Deb­bie is giv­en a hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tion to go out into the audi­ence and give the man she tru­ly loves a pas­sion­ate kiss. Her date is in for a big sur­prise when Deb­bie heads straight to Dick instead! Also, accord­ing to the IMDb, she also con­tributed the song ‘Let’s Fall in Love’ which she sings dur­ing part of the stage per­for­mance for the movie soundtrack.

She also record­ed two records, one from one night’s per­for­mance enti­tled “Sleep With Pat Collins” and one of her singing enti­tled “Turn On!”. “Sleep With Pat Collins” is a record­ing of one of her stage hyp­no­sis shows, “record­ed live at the world famous Inter­lude on Sun­set Strip, Hol­ly­wood.” “Turn On!” con­sists of what could be con­sid­ered a pre-talk on the front side and five songs on the back side, includ­ing ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ and ‘Goin’ Out Of My Head’.

But more than just a stage hyp­no­tist, she also taught self-hyp­no­sis to celebri­ties and audi­ence mem­bers alike. She was friends with such Hollyw0od celebri­ties as Lucille Ball, Robert Wag­n­er, Ed Beg­ley Sr. and many oth­ers, and her stu­dents includ­ed Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill. She taught pitch­ing great Sandy Koufax how to reduce his smok­ing habit.

Pat Collins died in San Bernadi­no, Cal­i­for­nia, on May 31, 1997, from the effects of a stroke. She was 62.

Com­men­tary: Pat’s charis­ma and rep­u­ta­tion was such that she would often have to wear her trade­mark glass­es in pub­lic because of the com­mon mis­con­cep­tion about hyp­no­sis and the eyes of a hyp­no­tist. (She joked in the episode of “The Lucy Show” that she would rather have peo­ple star­ing at her eyes than fur­ther down at her breasts.) Even among friends such as Rod­dy McDow­ell there were times when they would fall into a trance just by being in her presence.


  • She was such a sen­sa­tion that, when in New York, she was pho­tographed for Life Mag­a­zine (May 8, 1964) at one of her live per­for­mances. Dur­ing the per­for­mance, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er paid a lit­tle too much atten­tion to Pat’s eyes and wound up being hyp­no­tized. He would spend the rest of the shoot in a trance.
  • When shoot­ing the episode of “The Lucy Show” Lucy, hyp­no­tized, orig­i­nal­ly respond­ed to Pat’s query of who she was by say­ing some­thing to the effect that she was Lucile Ball and she owned this show. Pat had to apply some cre­ative sug­ges­tions to get Lucy to act in char­ac­ter under hyp­no­sis to pro­cede with taping.


  • Vari­ety mag­a­zine obit­u­ary
  • Pat Collins Face­book trib­ute page
  • Reno stage hyp­no­tist Chris Cady rem­i­nisces about Pat Collins.
  • Time Mag­a­zine arti­cle on Pat Collins
  • IMDb entry for Pat Collins
  • Biog­ra­phy notes on Pat Collins
  • Cot­ton Can­dy Tru­an blog entry on Pat Collins
  • Doing Hard Time in Shak­er Heights blog entry on Pat Collins
  • Beau­ty and the Bouf­fant blog entry on Pat Collins

{Thanks to Gil Boyne for his remem­brances, post­ed in the “alt.hypnosis” news­group, in memo­r­i­al of Pal Collins’ birth­day. Gil says that he used to bring his stu­dents to see Pat’s shows, and that Pat would refer peo­ple who came to her for pro­fes­sion­al assis­tance to Gil.}

3 comments to Pat Collins — “The Hip Hypnotist”

  • jack wright

    Right after August 19, 1967 I had just got­ten back from Viet­nam. A close friend took me to the LA Play­boy Club (my first and only time)
    When Pat called for vol­un­teers from the audi­ence my bud­dies insist­ed that I go up. So, I did. After work­ing with a group of us she elim­i­nat­ed all the oth­ers on stage because I was the eas­i­est to hyp­no­tize. She put me under and did sev­er­al tricks with me as part of her show. 

  • Kelli

    Hi… I just want­ed to clear some­thing up that is very impor­tant to me 😉  In the above arti­cle you men­tion my Grand­fa­ther’s name:
     “Her teacher was stage hyp­no­tist Tri­one Boy­er (real name Ted Boyer)”
    His com­plete “real” name is “Tra­ian Ted Boyer” 
    Very inter­est­ing arti­cle. … Thank you 😀

  • Kelli

    Hi… I just want­ed to clear some­thing up that is very impor­tant to me 😉  In the above arti­cle you men­tion my Grand­fa­ther’s name:
     “Her teacher was stage hyp­no­tist Tri­one Boy­er (real name Ted Boyer)”
    His com­plete “real” name is “Tra­ian Ted Boyer” 
    Very inter­est­ing arti­cle. … Thank you 😀