Acting since the early 1950s, actress Joan Collins shot to superstardom portraying the role of seductive cunning Alexis Carrington Colby, from 1981 to 1989, on the international huge hit series, Dynasty. The sizzling actress, who measured in at 38C-23 1/2-37 in 1960, received notice in Hollywood for earlier films like Land of the Pharaohs (1955), The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), and Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958).
"The secret of having a personal life is not answering too many questions about it." Joan Collins
"It is unseemly to undress on stage. I won't do that." Joan Collins
Off screen, stunning, brunette-haired Joan has been seen on the arm of many men. She has been romantically linked to Dennis Hopper, Arthur Lowe, Sydney Chaplin, Ryan O'Neal, and George Englund (Cloris Leachman's husband). Rumors also whispered that she turned down such men as Frank Sinatra, Robert F. Kennedy, Darryl F. Zanuck, and Dean Martin. Joan, who has been married 5 times, was also once engaged to actor Warren Beatty.
On another note, Joan is widely known for her benevolent acts. She is actively involved in such organizations as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the International Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities, the Joan Collins Wing of the Children's Hospital of Michigan, Variety Clubs International, and the Association of Breast Cancer Studies. For her substantial input to art and charity acts, the British actress was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), in March 1997, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Childhood and Family:
"I have always tried to live my life with enthusiasm and pleasure." Joan Collins
The eldest daughter of well-known theatrical agent Will Collins (a.k.a. Joseph William Collins), and dancing teacher Elsa Collins, Joan Henrietta Collins was born on May 23, 1933 in London, England, UK. Joan's younger sister is the famous novelist Jackie Collins (a.k.a. Jacqueline Jill Collins, born on October 4, 1939), who wrote the movie based books The Stud (1978) and The Bitch (1979), in which Joan starred. She also has one younger brother, William Collins Jr.
In her childhood, Joan attended Frances Holland School in London, England, UK. She then developed her interest by studying acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, UK.
From May 24, 1952 until 1956, Joan was married to actor Maxwell Reed, a man who attempted to sell her to an Arab Sheik. She then was married to and later divorced from songwriter/actor Anthony Newley, of Sammy Davis Jr.'s The Candy Man and the title song lyricist for the James Bond's Goldfinger (1963-1970). Subsequently, she tied the knot with music and film producer Ronald S. Kass (1972 - 1983) and later Swedish pop singer Peter Holm (November 1985 - August 1987). On February 17, 2002, 68-year-old-Joan shared vows with 36 year-old-sweetheart Percy Gibson, a theatre manager whom she met during the Love Letters tour production.
"I'm very happy, and very much in love." Joan Collins
"We're a team. Percy's my soulmate." Joan Collins
"Percy is the most honorable man I've met." Joan Collins
From her marriages, Joan has three children. Shared with Anthony Newley, she has daughter Tara Cynara Newley (UK newscaster, b. October 12,1963) and son Alexander Anthony "Sasha" Newley (a.k.a. Sacha Newley, painter, b. November 8,1965). With Ronald S. Kass she has daughter Kennedy "Katy" Kass (a.k.a. Katyana Kass, actress and theatrical production assistant, b. June 20, 1972). Joan is also the grandmother of three, Miel and Weston (Tara's children), and Ava Grace Newley (born July 2004, Sacha's daughter). However, Joan refuses to be called "Grandma," instead, her grandchildren call her "DoDo."
"I've never chased fame. I came into this business to be a theatre actress. I was nine when I first appeared on stage. But I can't say I would turn my back on fortune. I'm someone who enjoys the benefits of money. I created a lifestyle for myself. Nobody else did it for me. Everything I have I've bought with my own money." Joan Collins
Playing her first role as a male in Ibsen's A Doll's House, at London's Arts Theater at age 9, Joan Collins honed her talent in London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and landed a contract with the Rank Organization. With their help, Joan netted the stage role of Sabina in Thornton Wilder's The Skin Of Our Teeth and other important parts in notably The Seventh Veil, The Praying Mantis, Jassy And Claudia & David. She also nabbed roles in films like Our Girl Friday (1954), I Believe in You (1952), and The Good Die Young (1954).
Other work included appearing on the big screen as a beauty contestant in Lady Godiva Rides Again (1953) and several British movies like The Woman's Angle (1952), Cosh Boy (1952), and Decameron Nights (1953). In America, Joan debuted as Princess Nellifer in Howard Hawks' Egyptian classic; Land of the Pharaohs (1955), which scored her a contract with 20th Century-Fox. Afterwards, she was cast in several undistinguished roles in such low-budget films as The Virgin Queen (1955), Girl on the Red Velvet Swing (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956), and The Bravados (1958), as well as Rally Round the Flag, Boys (1958, starring Paul Newman), for which she was named the "B" movies queen.
In the 1960s, one could find Joan on such films as The Road to Hong Kong (1962, also starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope), Warning Shot (1967), and Subterfuge (1969). The 70s kept her very busy with work in films like horror film Tales from the Crypt (1972), Dark Places (1973, costarring Christopher Lee), Empire of the Ants (1977), and The Big Sleep (1978, starring Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles. The 70s also brought controversial titled films The Stud (1978) and The Bitch (1979) her way.
In 1981, Joan was given the role of tempting beauty Alexis Carrington Colby on the much-admired nighttime soap opera Dynasty. Joan achieved rave reviews and garnered a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in 1982. Her rising status even encouraged her to pose nude on the cover of Playboy magazine.
" 'Dynasty' was the opportunity to take charge of my career rather than waiting around like a library book waiting to be loaned out." Joan Collins
During the 1990s, Joan appearing in Steven Berkoff's Decadence (1994), Kenneth Branagh's acclaimed In The Bleak Midwinter (1995), and the comedy The Clandestine Marriage (1999, alongside Nigel Hawthorne and Timothy Spall). She also guest-starred in six special episodes of Aaron Spelling's drama Pacific Palisades in 1997. Additionally, her more recent works including The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000), Ozzie (2001), The Guiding Light (TV series, cast as Alex Spaulding von Halkein Thorpe, 2002), and Ellis in Glamourland (2004).
On stage, Joan performed the role of Amanda in Noel Coward's Private Lives (1990), which was performed in the West End and on Broadway. In 2000, she teamed with George Hamilton and Stacy Keach in the American tour of Love Letters, followed with Ken Ludwig's Over The Moon at London's Old Vic Theater in 2001.
Joan also branched out her talent in writing. She debuted her writing with her hit autobiography, Past Imperfect, in 1978, which later was revised in 1984. She followed it up with The Joan Collins Beauty Book and released the second volume of her autobiography, Second Act (1996), published by Andre Deutch. She also launched the books Prime Time (1988), Love, Desire & Hate (1990), Too Damn Famous (1995), and My Secrets (1994). Following the success of My Secrets, Joan penned its sequel, My Friends Secrets, which was published in America in April 2000. In fall 2001, Hyperion published her novel, Star Quality, in the U.S. and Joan continued with her beauty and reference book, Joan's Way, in October 2002.
Additionally, Joan is a talented producer. She both produced and acted in the top-rated mini-series Sins, and television's Monte Carlo (opposite George Hamilton). She is also an astute businesswoman, establishing her own fashion company, the Joan Collins Eyewear Fashion Line Collection.
"After a certain age, you get the face you deserve." Joan Collins
Golden Camera (Germany): Millennium Award, 1999
People's Choice: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Dynasty, 1985
Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Drama Series or
Television Movie, Dynasty, 1982