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"Name your price, my dear. Whatever you want."

- as Alexis Carrington Colby in Dynasty (1983)

JOAN COLLINS

In 2005, actress Alice Krige (The Borg Queen from Star Trek First Contact) played Joan Collins in Dynasty:
The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalised television film based on the creation and behind-the-scenes production of Dynasty. Collins herself appeared in the original
Star Trek episode,
"The City on the
Edge of Forever."

Dame Joan Henrietta Collins, DBE (born May 23rd 1933) is an English actress, author and columnist. Born in Paddington, west London, and brought up in Maida Vale, Collins grew up during the Second World War, the daughter of Elsa Collins, a dance teacher and nightclub hostess, and Joseph William Collins, an agent whose clients would later include Shirley Bassey, the Beatles, and Tom Jones. Her father, a native of South Africa, was Jewish, and her British mother was Anglican. Collins has two younger siblings, Jackie (1937 -2015) and Bill, a property agent. She was educated at the Francis Holland School, an independent day school for girls in London and then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. At age 17 she signed an exclusive contract with the Rank Organisation and appeared in various British films.

Collins made her feature debut as a beauty contest entrant in Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951) followed by The Woman's Angle (1952) in a minor role as a Greek maid. Next was a more significant role as a gangster's moll in Judgment Deferred (1952). Her big break came with I Believe in You (1952). Other roles to follow included Cosh Boy (1953), Decameron Nights (1953), Turn the Key Softly (1953), The Square Ring (1953), and Our Girl Friday (1953).

When she was 22, Collins headed to Hollywood and landed sultry roles in several popular films. She was chosen by director Howard Hawks to star in his lavish production of Land of the Pharaohs (1955) as the scheming Princess Nellifer opposite Jack Hawkins. This role led to a contract at 20th Century Fox which had Collins appear or star in such films as The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956), Sea Wife (1957), The Wayward Bus (1957), Island in the Sun (1957), Stopover Tokyo (1958), The Bravados (1958), and Rally Round the Flag, Boys (1959). She finished her Fox contract with the crime caper Seven Thieves (1960) and the biblical epic Esther and the King (1960). One notable film release in the 1960s was The Road to Hong Kong (1962 above) the last "road" picture of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

She took a hiatus from her film career to concentrate on having a family after marrying Anthony Newley, and when she resumed her career, it was in the medium of television. Her notable guest appearances on American television during the 1960s and 1970s included Batman (above), The Virginian, Mission: Impossible, Police Woman, and Star Trek; in the role of Edith Keeler in the fan favorite episode "The City on the Edge of Forever" (below).

In the 1970s, Collins made several films, few of them notable, and then starred in the film versions of her sister Jackie Collins's racy novels The Stud and The Bitch. The films were extremely successful financially. The Stud, made for $600,000, went on to gross over $20,000,000 internationally.

In 1981, Collins was offered a role in the second season of the then-struggling new soap opera Dynasty playing Alexis Carrington, the beautiful and vengeful ex-wife of tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). Her performance is generally credited as one factor in the fledgling show's subsequent rise in the Nielsen ratings to a hit rivaling Dallas.

In 1985, Dynasty was the no. 1 show in the United States, beating out Dallas, which ranked at no. 2. For her portrayal of Alexis, Collins was nominated six times for a Golden Globe Award (every year from 1982 to 1987), winning once in 1983, the same year she was nominated for an Emmy as Best Actress in a Drama Series. Upon accepting the award, Collins thanked Sophia Loren for turning down the part of Alexis. Collins also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 for career achievement.

In the 2001 E! True Hollywood Story episode featuring Dynasty, former ABC executive Ted Harbert stated, "The truth is we didn't really believe that we had this thing done as a hit until Joan Collins walked down that courtroom aisle." Co-star Al Corley noted that Collins "just flew" in the role that was "tailor made... just spot on." In Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling's final press interview, he said of Collins: "We didn't write Joan Collins. She played Joan Collins. Am I right? We wrote a character, but the character could have been played by 50 people and 49 of them would have failed. She made it work."

During the run of Dynasty, Collins starred in Making of a Male Model (1983) with young model-actor Jon-Erik Hexum, and in 1984 played a soap star in The Cartier Affair with David Hasselhoff. In the same year, she co-hosted the ABC-TV special Blondes vs. Brunettes. With Dynasty at the height of its success, Collins began producing and starred in the 1986 CBS miniseries Sins and Monte Carlo. But both of these last two were critical and ratings disappointments.

After the end of Dynasty in 1989, Collins took time off. She rejoined her co-stars for Dynasty: The Reunion, a 1991 miniseries that concluded the series which had been left with a cliffhanger ending after its abrupt cancellation. In the 1990s, Collins made several guest star appearances on series such as Roseanne, Will & Grace and The Nanny, where she played Maxwell Shefiled's step mother (Robert Vaughn played Maxwell's father). She also appeared as the main characters of films such as Decadence (1994) and Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995).

She began appearing on stage, playing the title role in the 1980 British revival of The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, and later had a lead role of Amanda in the 1990 revival of Noel Coward's Private Lives. In 1991 Collins she also appeared in TV series, Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30, and again in another production of Private Lives in 1992.

In 1999, Collins was cast in the film version of musical theatre show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She played two roles in this film: a pianist and Mrs. Potiphar, the wife of Egyptian millionaire Potiphar. In 2000, Collins joined the cast of The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, a prequel to the 1994 Universal Studios live-action film The Flintstones. She reprised the supporting role of Pearl Slaghoople, Wilma Flintstone's mother, that Elizabeth Taylor had originated. In 2001, she co-starred in the television film These Old Broads with Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine, and Taylor. The film was written for television by Reynolds's daughter, Carrie Fisher.

At the age of 50, Collins appeared in a 12-page photo layout for Playboy magazine shot by George Hurrell.

On December 31st 1996, Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama, and in the 2015 New Year Honours promoted Dame Commander of the same Order (DBE) for services to charity.

In 2002, Collins returned to soap operas in a limited guest run on the American daytime soap Guiding Light.

In early 2006, Collins toured the United Kingdom in An Evening With Joan Collins, a one-woman show in which she detailed the highs and lows of her career and life, directed by her by-then husband Percy Gibson. In 2006, she reunited with her Dynasty co-stars for the nonfiction special Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and Caviar. Later that year, she began a tour of North America in the play Legends! with former Dynasty co-star Linda Evans, which concluded in May 2007 after a 30-week run.

In 2005, Collins joined the cast of the hit British television series Footballer's Wives for a limited run. She also guest-starred in the BBC series Hotel Babylon in 2006 as a lonely aristocrat desperate for romance. Collins appeared in "They Do It with Mirrors," a two-hour episode of the murder-mystery drama Marple in 2009, as Ruth Van Rydock, a friend of detective Miss Jane Marple.

In January 2010, it was announced that Collins was joining the German soap opera Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love) for a short run. She played an aristocratic British woman, Lady Joan, who takes a young prince, portrayed by German actor Stephan Kaefer, in tow.

She made her pantomime debut in Dick Whittington as Queen Rat at the Birmingham Hippodrome during the 2010 Christmas season, starring alongside Nigel Havers, Keith Harris, and Julian Clary. In May 2013, Collins announced on her Twitter profile that she would be joining the cast of British TV sitcom Benidorm in a guest role. She lent her voice to the animated feature film Saving Santa (2013) and starred in the fantasy Molly Moon (2015).

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In August 2014, People reported that Collins would guest star on the forthcoming E! drama series The Royals (above) as the Grand Duchess of Oxford, the mother of fictional British Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley).

In June 2015, Collins backed the children's fairytales app GivingTales in aid of UNICEF, together with Roger Moore, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine, David Walliams, Charlotte Rampling and Paul McKenna.

Collins has been married five times, first to Northern Irish actor Maxwell Reed, whom she married on May 24th 1952 after he allegedly raped her, and divorced in 1956. She then married Anthony Newley (below left) in 1963 and Ron Kass in 1972; she had two children, Tara and Sacha, with Newley and her third, Katyana, with Kass. Collins's marriage to Kass ended in divorce in 1983. On November 3rd 1985, Collins married Swedish singer Peter Holm in a ceremony in Las Vegas. They were divorced on August 25th 1987. At age 69 she married 37 year old Percy Gibson (below right) on February 17th 2002 at Claridge's Hotel in London.

Collins maintains residences in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and France, describing her life as being "that of a gypsy".

Collins' younger sister was Jackie Collins, a pioneer of romantic novels, who died in September 2015. Collins was told only two weeks before her sister's death of the breast cancer she had had for over six years.

Collins contributes to The Spectator as a guest diarist, something she has done since the late 1990s. Collins also writes occasionally for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Lady, and in the USA, Harper's Bazaar. In September 2008, Collins signed on to the Sunday Telegraph as a weekly opinions columnist through the final quarter of the year before leaving to pursue other projects. She noted that she was a huge supporter of the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and was one of the handful of guests to be invited to Thatcher's funeral on April 17th 2013. Collins is also a staunch monarchist, stating "I'm a big monarchist and I love the Queen."

Collins has publicly supported several charities for several decades. In 1982, Collins spoke before the U.S. Congress about increasing funding for neurological research. In 1983, she was named a patron of the International Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities, earning the foundation's highest honour in 1988 for her continuing support. Additionally, 1988 also had the opening of the Joan Collins Wing of the Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

In 1990, she was made an honorary founding member of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. In 1994, Collins was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Association of Breast Cancer Studies in Great Britain for her contribution to breast cancer awareness in the UK. Collins is patron of Fight for Sight; in 2003, she became a patron of the Shooting Star Chase Children's Hospice in Great Britain while continuing to support several foster children in India, something she has done for the past 25 years.

Collins serves her former school, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, as the Honorary President of the RADA Associates.

Since the 1970's, Collins has established herself as a successful author. In addition to her bestselling novels, 'Prime Time', 'Love & Desire & Hate', 'Infamous' (aka 'Too Damn Famous'), 'Misfortune's Daughters', 'Star Quality' and 'The St. Tropez Lonely Hearts Club', she has also written six lifestyle books, 'The Joan Collins Beauty Book', 'Health, Youth & Happiness: My Secrets', 'My Friends' Secrets', 'Joan's Way: Looking Good, Feeling Great' (aka 'The Art of Living Well'), and 'The World According to Joan', as well as memoirs, 'Past Imperfect', 'Katy: A Fight for Life', 'Second Act' and 'Passion For Life'. She has sold over 50 million copies of her books which have been translated into 30 languages.

In the 1990s, Collins was embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with the publisher Random House, which was televised daily on Court TV. Collins had signed a two-book deal with the company for $4 million and they had given her a $1.2 million advance. In September 1991, Collins delivered a 690-page manuscript of a novel entitled The Ruling Passion to Random House. However, the publishing firm deemed the manuscript to be of such poor quality that they demanded the return of the $1.2 million advance they had paid to Collins, claiming she had failed to deliver completed books as per her contract. Collins countersued, arguing that her contract required her only to submit a "complete manuscript" not an "acceptable" one. Since she had turned in two novels to the publishing company, A Ruling Passion in 1991 and a second novel, Hell Hath No Fury, in 1992, as her contract stipulated, she felt Random House owed her the rest of the $4 million. She contended that Random House had not provided the editorial assistance she had expected.

Her Random House contract, negotiated by agent Irving Lazar, required that she be paid even if her completed manuscripts were not published. When the case was finally heard in February 1996, a court determined that Collins could keep the advance given to her plus a further $1 million for the first completed manuscript, but that the publisher did not have to pay for the second manuscript since it was essentially a reworking of the first. The Guinness Book of World Records cites Collins as holding the record for retaining the world's largest unreturned payment for an unpublished manuscript.

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    Selected Joan Collins TVography

Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers
- Mini series (1976)

Baretta
- Pay or Die (1976)

Batman
- Ring Around the Riddler (1967)
- The Wail of the Siren (1967)

Benidorm
- Recurring chacter (2014 - 2016)

The Danny Thomas Hour
- The Demon Under the Bed (1967)

Dynasty
- Series regular, 195 episodes (1981 - 1989)

Ellery Queen
- The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne (1975)

Egoli: Place of Gold
- Guest star (1993)

Fallen Angels
- TV pilot (1974)

Fantasy Island
- My Fair Pharaoh/The Power (1980)

The Fantastic Journey
- Turnabout (1977)

Footballers' Wives
- Episodes: 5.5 and 5.6 (2006)

Future Cop
- The Kansas City Kid (1977)

Gibbsville
- Andrea (1976)

Great Mysteries
- The Dinner Party (1973)

Guiding Light
- Special guest star (2002)

Happily Divorced
- 3 episodes (2012 - 2013)

Hotel Babylon
- Episode: 1.7 (2006)

The Human Jungle
- Struggle for a Mind (1964)

The Love Boat
- The Captain's Crush (1983)

Mama's Back
- TV pilot (1993)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- The Galatea Affair (1966)

Mission: Impossible
- Nicole (1969)

The Nanny
- Me and Mrs. Joan (1996)

Pacific Palisades
- 7 episodes (1997)

The Persuaders!
- Five Miles to Midnight (1972)

Police Woman
- The Pawn Shop (1976)
- The Trick Book (1976)

Roseanne
- First Cousin, Twice Removed (1993)

The Royals
- Recurring chacter (2014 - 2016)

Rules of Engagement
- Les-bro (2010)

Run for Your Life
- The Borders of Barbarism (1966)

Sins
- TV mini series (1986)

Slavery and the Making of America
- Seeds of Destruction (2005)

Space: 1999
- Mission of the Darians (1975)

Star Trek
- The City on the Edge of Forever (1967)

Starsky and Hutch
- Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island (1977)

Switch
- Stung from Beyond (1975)

Tales of the Unexpected
- 3 episodes

Tonight at 8.30
- Series regular, 8 episodes (1991)

The Virginian
- The Lady from Wichita (1967)

Will & Grace
- My Best Friend's Tush (2000)

    Selected Joan Collins Filmography

1951

Facts and Fancies

Lady Godiva Rides Again

1952

The Woman's Angle

Judgment Deferred

I Believe in You

1953

Decameron Nights

Cosh Boy

Turn the Key Softly

The Square Ring

Our Girl Friday

1954

The Good Die Young

1955

Land of the Pharaohs

The Virgin Queen

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing

1956

The Opposite Sex

1957

Sea Wife

The Wayward Bus

Island in the Sun

Stopover Tokyo

1958

The Bravados

Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

1960

Seven Thieves

Esther and the King

1962

The Road to Hong Kong

1964

Hard Time for Princes

1967

Warning Shot

1968

Subterfuge

1969

Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy
Humppe and Find True Happiness?

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

L'amore breve

1970

The Executioner

Up in the Cellar

1971

Revenge

Quest for Love

1972

Tales from the Crypt

Fear in the Night

The Man Who Came to Dinner (TV Movie)

1973

Dark Places

Tales That Witness Madness

Drive Hard, Drive Fast (TV Movie)

1974

L'arbitro

1975

I Don't Want to Be Born

Il richiamo del lupo

1976

Alfie Darling

The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones

Il pomicione

1977

Empire of the Ants

1978

Fearless

The Big Sleep

Zero to Sixty

The Stud

1979

Game for Vultures

Sunburn

The Bitch

1982

Homework

Paper Dolls (TV Movie)

The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (TV Movie)

1983

Nutcracker

Making of a Male Model (TV Movie)

Hansel and Gretel (TV Movie)

1984

Her Life as a Man (TV Movie)

The Cartier Affair (TV Movie)

1986

Monte Carlo (TV Movie)

1991

Red Peppers (TV Movie)

Dynasty: The Reunion (TV Movie)

1994

Decadence

1995

In the Bleak Midwinter

Annie: A Royal Adventure! (TV Movie)

Hart to Hart: Two Harts in 3/4 Time (TV Movie)

1996

The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story

1997

Coronation Street: Viva Las Vegas!

1998

Sweet Deception (TV Movie)

1999

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The Clandestine Marriage

2000

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

2001

These Old Broads (TV Movie)

2004

Ellis in Glamourland

2006

Ozzie

2007

Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven

2008

Valentino: The Last Emperor

2009

Agatha Christie Marple: They Do It with Mirrors
(TV Movie)

2010

Fetish

2013

Saving Santa

2014

Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist

2016

The Time of Their Lives

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

    Joan Collins links

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