She is best known for playing the character of Natalie Marlowe on the ABC soap opera All My Children, a role she originated in 1985. Born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Washington D.C., Collins is the eldest child of astronaut Michael Collins, who served as Command Module Pilot on the historic Apollo 11 mission (the first human Moon landing) in 1969. She studied theater at Northwestern University and graduated in 1981. She married Charles Newell, who is the Artistic Director of the Court Theatre in Chicago, in October 1992. They have two sons and live in Hyde Park, Chicago.