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Dame Joan Collins
I met Joan Collins at Autographica held at the Birmingham Hilton in April 2009. She signed a photograph for me and also my copy of the first part of her autobiography called Past Imperfect. When she saw the book, she exclaimed, "Where did you get this, I haven't seen one of these for ages?! And it's a first edition!" she added as she looked at the title page, and then signed it for me. I also had my photograph taken with this screen legend.
Joan Collins was born in London in 1933. Her father Joseph Collins, was a theatrical agent whose clients included Shirley Bassey, The Beatles and Tom Jones, and her mother, Elsa was a dance teacher and night club hostess. She has a
Joan Collins' first role was uncredited as a beauty contestant in Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951) but, after a number of minor film roles, she made
younger sister (the author Jackie Collins) and a brother, Bill. Joan Collins was educated at the Francis Holland Independent School in Westminster, and then went to RADA to train as an actor.
Joan Collins in the 1950s
an auspicious American debut as an Egyptian
princess in Land of the Pharoahs (1955). 20th Century Fox
studios gave her a contract but, despite a few good dramatic roles like Evelyn Nesbitt in Girl on the Red Velvet Swing (1955) opposite Ray Milland, she was written off by critics as merely 'decorative'.
Such films made around this time include the war drama Sea Wife (1956) with Richard Burton, and Esther and the King (1960).
Joan Collins as Evelyn Nesbitt in
Girl on the Red Velvet Swing
Girl on the Red Velvet Swing
Joan Collins & Richard Burton in Sea Wife
Over the next 30 years she appeared in countless 'B movies', many of them quite forgettable.
Joan Collins in
Joan Collins & Robert Wagner in
Esther and the King
Tales That Witness Madness
Joan Collins as Bella Thompson in
Joan Collins as Esther in
Joan Collins with Bing Crosby & Bob Hope
in Road To Hong Kong
In the 1970s, Collins starred in the film versions of two of her sister Jackie's racy novels The Stud (1978) and The Bitch (1979). She played the part of Fontaine Khaled in both films, which were smash hits in England at the time.
Joan Collins as Joanne Clayton in
Tales from the Crypt
Empire of the Ants
Joan Collins as Marilyn Fryser in
Joan Colllins & Oliver Tobias in The Stud
Film Poster for The Bitch
During the 1960s, Joan Collins made a number of guest appearances on American
American TV including Batman (1967), and an episode each of Star Trek (1967) and Mission Impossible (1969). She was also seen on British TV in three episodes of Tales of the Unexpected (1979).
Joan Collins in Star Trek
Joan Collins in Tales of the Unexpected
It was in 1981, however, that Collins' became a mega-star, and a powerful 'sex symbol', with her role of Alexis Colby (the vengeful ex-wife of tycoon Blake Carrington) in a struggling new American series Dynasty.
The opening credit for Dynasty
The success of Dynasty (which was shown in more than 80 countries) made Collins the highest-paid
Joan Collins in Dynasty
Linda Evans and Joan Collins in one of
Linda Evans, Joan Collins and
John Forsyth in Dynasty
their many Dynasty fights!
episodes of Dynasty's final season because the producers told her they couldn't afford to pay her every week!
actress on TV at the time. In fact she only appeared in 13 of the 22
The 1990s saw Collins in a number of Noel Coward productions. She played Amanda in Private Lives in the West End in 1990 and, a year later, she appeared in the TV version of Tonight at 8:30, playing eight different women in Cowerd's series of one-act plays. In 1992, Collins made her Broadway debut in an adaptation of Coward's Private Lives.
In 2006 and 2007, Joan Collins and Dynasty co-star Linda Evans, starred in James Kirkwood's Legends, taking it on tour to 18 different theatres in Canada and the USA. The show had poor reviews and Collins and Evans were 'bitchy' throughout!
Joan Collins published the first volume of her autobiography Past Imperfect in 1978, with a second volume called Second Act appearing in 1996. She has
In recent years, Joan Collins has been seen playing Pearl Slaghoople in the comedy The Flintston
Linda Evans, Joan Collins & Joe Farrell in Legends
Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000); the TV film These Old Broads (2001); the American daytime soap Guiding Light (2002); the British TV seri
In the early 1980s, Joan Colllins appeared in a number of commercials with the actor Leonard Rossiter, advertising the drink Cinzano.
Joan Collins in
The Flintstones in Viva
series Footballers' Wives (2006) and the Agatha Christie mystery They Do It with Mirrors (2009).
Joan Collins' commercial advertising Cinzano
Joan Collins has been a popular choice for magazine covers since she first appeared
on the front of Picture Post in September 1954. When the popular celebrity magazine OK! was relaunched as a glossy weekly magazine in March 1996, Collins was chosen as its first cover model. The magazine Woman also chose Collins for their first-ever cover in July 1979.
Joan Collins has been married five times. Her first husband (Irish actor Maxwell Reed) tried to sell her to an Arab sheikh for £10,000, just seven months after their wedding in 1952! They were divorced four years later. Collins married actor & singer Anthony Newley in 1963 but that too ended in divorce in 1970. They had two children - Tara (an actress) and Sacha (an artist). Collins' third
had a daughter, Katy. Joan Collins was then married to the Swedish singer Peter Holm from 1985 until 1987. She married her present husband, theatre manager Percy Gibson, in 2002.
marriage was to
duced her films The Bitch and The Stud).
It lasted from 1972 until 1983. They
Joan Collins and Percy Gibson
With husband No.1 Maxwell Reed
With husband No. 2 Anthony Newley
With husband No.3 Ronald Klass
Joan Collins & Peter Holm
also published several novels including Prime Time (1998), Love & Desire & Hate (1990), Too Damn Famous (1995), Infamous (1996), Star Quality (2002) and Misfortune's Daughters (2006). She has also published several best-selling beauty books.b
Ronald Kass (who pro-
Joan Collins signed my 'first edition' of her autobiography for me
Collins was awarded the OBE in the 1997 Queen's New Year's Honours list for her services to Drama. In the 2015 New Year's HonoursList
Joan Collins has signed this photo to me
Honours list, she was made a Dame.