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Family and Early Life
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joan Henrietta Collins OBE (born May 23, 1933) is a British actress and best selling author. Her younger sister is Jackie Collins, a famous novelist; and her much-younger brother is William Collins, an estate agent.
Collins was born in London, England to Joseph William "Will" Collins (a South African-born Jewish talent agent) and Elsa Bessant (an English mother). She was educated at the Francis Holland School.An aspiring actress, she trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) with others actors such as Sir Roger Moore and Sir Michael Caine.She has one sister, the author Jackie Collins, and a brother Bill Collins.
Early Film Career
At the age of 17 Collins was signed to the J. Arther Rank Film Company, a highly profitable English studio and charm school.
In 1951, She made her feature debut as a beauty contest entrant in Lady Godiva Rides. In the early 1950s, she did double duty by posing for pin-up photos and acting in B-movies in Britain. After mild success, she was signed by 20th Century Fox in 1954 as their answer to Elizabeth Taylor.
However, after her youthful and highly splashy career as a sultry starlet, Collins became known more for her personal affairs with leading men such as Warren Beatty than her on-screen achievements. After losing such high-profile roles as Cleopatra (Collins was cast when Elizabeth Taylor fell ill, then dumped upon Taylor's recovery), Collins continued to work in film, and occasionally television.
Her notable guest appearances on American TV during the 1960s included Star Trek , Batman , Mission: Impossible and Police Woman.
In the 1970s, Collins starred in the film versions of several of her sister Jackie Collins' romantic novels The Bitch and The Stud. The films, like the books which inspired them, were trashy, full of nudity and raunchy sex scenes. Both films were smash hits in England, becoming the most profitable films since the James Bond series.
Collins career changed dramatically when she was offered a role in the then-struggling prime time TV soap opera Dynasty (1981 — 1989) by producer Aaron Spelling. Created by Esther Shapiro, Spelling wanted Collins to play the role of tycoon Blake Carrington's vengeful ex-wife.
The role of Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan successfully relaunched Collins as a powerful sex symbol and icon of independence in her late 40s. Her performance helped the show beat main rival Dallas to become the No. 1 U.S. TV show in the early 1980s, and she became the highest-paid actress on television at the time.
She also appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine at the age of 50 to further establish herself as a sex symbol despite the then popular cultural opinion that older women couldn't be sexy.
After the end of Dynasty in 1989, Collins worked considerably less, making guest starring appearances in such wildly popular series as Roseanne and The Nanny while dabbling in films like Decadence and A Midwinter's Tale in the mid 1990s.
In 1992 she made her successful Broadway debut in an adaptation of Noel Coward's Private Lives. She also guest starred in six special episodes of Aaron Spelling's prime time soap opera Pacific Palisades in 1997.In the late 1990s she appeared in several theatrical tours with the likes of George Hamilton and Stacey Keach. Additionally, she appeared in a West End production of Over the Moon with eccentric actor Frank Langella in 2000.
In 2002 she appeared in a limited run on the legendary daytime soap opera Guiding Light to flattering reviews.In 2004 she toured the United Kingdom with a revival of the play Full Circle to great success and much critical praise. In 2005 she proved to be a formidable guest host of the popular British quiz show Have I Got News For You, often making quick jokes with the audience.
Also that year, Collins sucessfully toured the United Kingdom in A Night With Joan Collins, a popular one woman show in which she detailed the highs and lows of her roller coaster career.
Collins also joined the cast of the hit British television series Footballer's Wives for a limited run as a glamorous magazine mogul, aptly named Ava de Woolfe. She also held a recurring role in the BBC series Hotel Babylon as an aristocrat desperate for romance.
In late 2006 she is set to tour North America in the play Legends! with former Dynasty co-star Linda Evans.
Marriage and Family
While starring in a handful of Rank productions in 1952, Collins married British screen icon Maxwell Reed, whom she divorced in 1956 on her twenty-third birthday after he attempted to sell her to an Arab sheik. During this time she carried on much talked about romances with Conrad Hilton Jr., Dennis Hopper, Ryan O'Neal, Terence Stamp, Sydney Chaplin, and Warren Beatty.
The gossip mills set ablaze when Collins walked away from Hollywood and a successful career in the early 1960s when she married Anthony Newley, an award winning singer, actor and film composer. With Newley she had two children, a daughter, Tara (now a British television broadcaster) and a son, Sacha (who, in present day is a highly regarded artist). However, all was not well in the Newley marriage with infidelity on both sides leading to the couples divorce in 1970.
In 1972 Collins married her third husband, Ron Kass, who had been the president of Apple Records during the reign of The Beatles. During their marriage Collins had her third and final child, a daughter, Katyana (a photographer). In 1980, Collins's world was turned upside down when Katy was struck by a speeding car, leaving the young child in a coma.
During this horrific time Collins and her husband bought a trailer and parked it in the hospital parking lot in order to be as close to their daughter as possible. Their persistence paid off when Katyana emerged from her coma a few months later although it would take years for her to fully recover.Unfortunately, like her other two marriages, Collins's third attempt at matrimony failed as she and Kass divorced in 1983 as he battled substance abuse, although they remained very close until his death, from cancer, in 1986 as Collins was riding the crest of her super stardom on Dynasty.
In 1985, Collins became a bride for the fourth time when she married Swedish singer Peter Holm in a quickie ceremony in Las Vegas. The marriage lasted a year and the divorce proceedings lasted just as long with an embarrassing media circus hitting its peak when Holm's mistress burst out of her blouse on the stand, to thunderous laughter from Collins.
Blistered from her last foray into wedded bliss and with Dynasty winding down after a decade Collins left Los Angeles and returned to London where she lived with much younger art dealer Robin Hurlstone for over a decade.In 2001 Collins and Hurlstone ended their relationship and Collins struck up a romance with theatrical company manager Percy Gibson, a man thirty-two years her junior. They married on February 17th, 2002 at Claridge's Hotel in London.
After decades of flirting with British politics on May 24, 2004, Collins joined the UK Independence Party.  In October 2004, Collins stated she was not a supporter, but rather a patron of the party.In early 2005, Collins comented that she had rejoined the Conservative Party, stating, "The Labour Party doesn't care about the British people."  In addition, after writing several articles for the UK newspaper The Daily Mail in 2005, it has been rumoured that Collins was approached by several members of the Conservative Party in hopes of luring her to run for Parliament.
Collins has lived, at different times, in London and Los Angeles. In 2001 Collins sold her Los Angeles penthouse, moving to a ritzy Manhattan condo in the Upper East Side.She now divides her time between her luxurious condo in New York, a flat in London and a villa in the south of France.
Although her sister Jackie Collins is a best-selling writer, Joan Collins has ventured into writing on a handful of occasions. Her two best-selling memoirs are Past Imperfect (1978) and Second Act (1996).She has written several best-selling fictional novels: Prime Time, Love & Desire & Hate, Infamous, Star Quality and Misfortune's Daughters.
On February 29, 1996, Collins won a U.S. $2 million suit with Random House for breach of contract. Humiliated by the claims that she was over the hill and not a talented writer, Collins felt she was on the losing end of the case until, on the advice of her loved ones, she became highly confrontational and emotional on the witness stand, newspapers around the globe hailed the court case as "her finest performance."In addition, she has written several best-selling lifestyle books, The Joan Collins Beauty Book, My Secrets, My Friends Secrets and Joan's Way.
In 1997, Collins was granted the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.Collins often styles herself in the following ways for official patronage to several charities:
Ї Joan Collins OBE.
Ї Joan Collins, Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Ї 1978: Saturn Award nomination, Best Actress in a Science Fiction film, Empire of the Ants.
Ї 1982: Golden Globe nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1982: Golden Apple Award, Female Star of the Year.
Ї 1983: Emmy Award nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1983: Golden Globe, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1983: Cable ACE Award nomination, Best Actress in a Drama Series, Faerie Tale Theatre's Hansel and Gretel.
Ї 1983: Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Career Achievement.
Ї 1984: Soap Opera Digest Award, Outstanding Villainess in a Primetime Drama Series, Dynasty.
Ї 1984: Golden Globe nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1985: People's Choice Award: Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Dynasty.
Ї 1985: Soap Opera Digest Award, Outstanding Villainess in a Primetime Drama Series, Dynasty.
Ї 1985: Golden Globe nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1986: Soap Opera Digest Award nomination, Outstanding Villainess in a Primetime Drama Series and Outstanding Actress in a Comic Relief Role in a Primetime Drama Series, Dynasty.
Ї 1986: Golden Globe nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1987: Golden Globe nomination, Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama), Dynasty.
Ї 1988: Soap Opera Digest Award nomination, Outstanding Villainess in a Primetime Drama Series, Dynasty.
Ї 1996: OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and the British Government for her contribution to the arts and ongoing charity work.
Ї 1999: Millennium Award of Achievement, Golden Camera Film Council.
Ї 2001: Golden Nymph, Outstanding Female Actor, Monte Carlo Television Festival.
Ї 2005: Lifetime Achievement Award, San Diego International Film Festival.
Ї Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)
Ї The Woman's Angle (1952)
Ї Judgment Deferred (1952)
Ї The Slasher (1952)
Ї I Believe in You (1952)
Ї The Square Ring (1953)
Ї Turn the Key Softly (1953)
Ї Decameron Nights (1953)
Ї The Adventures of Sadie (1954)
Ї The Good Die Young (1954)
Ї Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
Ї The Virgin Queen (1955)
Ї The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955)
Ї The Opposite Sex (1956)
Ї The Wayward Bus (1957)
Ї Island in the Sun (1957)
Ї Stopover Tokyo (1957)
Ї Sea Wife (1957)
Ї The Bravados (1958)
Ї Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958)
Ї Seven Thieves (1960)
Ї Esther and the King (1960)
Ї The Road to Hong Kong (1962)
Ї Hard Time for Princes (1965)
Ї Warning Shot (1967)
Ї Wedding of the Doll (1968) (documentary)
Ї Besieged (1969)
Ї Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969)
Ї It It's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium (1969) (Cameo)
Ї Subterfuge (1969)
Ї The Executioner (1970)
Ї Up in the Cellar (1970)
Ї Inn of the Frightened People (1971)
Ї Quest for Love (1971)
Ї Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Ї Fear in the Night (1972)
Ї Dark Places (1973)
Ї Tales That Witness Madness (1973)
Ї Football Crazy (1974)
Ї The Devil Within Her (1975)
Ї Alfie Darling (1975)
Ї The Cry of the Wolf (1975)
Ї The Promise (1976)
Ї The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones (1976)
Ї Magnum Cop (1977)
Ї Empire of the Ants (1977)
Ї The Stud (1978)
Ї The Big Sleep (1978)
Ї Zero to Sixty (1978)
Ї A Game for Vultures (1979)
Ї The Bitch (1979)
Ї Sunburn (1979)
Ї Nutcracker (1982)
Ї Homework (1982)
Ї Decadence (1994)
Ї In the Bleak Midwinter (1995)
Ї The Clandestine Marriage (1999)
Ї The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Ї Ozzie (2001)
Ї Ellis in Glamourland (2004)
Ї 1946, A Dolls House at the Arts Theatre, London.
Ї 1952, The Seventh Veil at the Queens Theatre, London.
Ї 1952, Jassey at the Queens's Theatre, London.
Ї 1953, The Praying Mantis UK Tour.
Ї 1953, Claudia and David at the Queen's Theatre, London.
Ї 1954, The Skin Of Our Teeth at the Queen's Theatre, London.
Ї 1979, The Last Of Mrs. Cheney at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester.
Ї 1979, Murder In Mind at the Chichester and Brighton Theatres, Chichester & Brighton.
Ї 1981, The Last Of Mrs. Cheney at the Cambridge Theatre, London.
Ї 1990-1991, Private Lives at the Aldwych Theatre, London.
Ї 1991-1992, Private Lives at the Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway, New York.
Ї 2000, Love Letters USA Tour.
Ї 2001, Over The Moon UK Tour.
Ї 2004, Full Circle by Alan Melville (writer) UK Tour.
Ї Batman (1967}
Ї Star Trek "The City on the Edge of Forever" (1967}
Ї The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972}
Ї Drive Hard, Drive Fast (1973}
Ї Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers (1976} (miniseries)
Ї Dynasty (1981-1989}
Ї Paper Dolls (1982}
Ї The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (1982}
Ї Making of a Male Model (1983}
Ї Her Life as a Man (1984}
Ї The Cartier Affair (1984}
Ї Sins (1986} (miniseries)
Ї Monte Carlo (1986} (also executive producer)
Ї Red Peppers (1991}
Ї Collins Meets Coward, Tonight at 8:30 (1991}
Ї Dynasty: The Reunion (1991}
Ї Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995}
Ї Hart to Hart: Two Harts in Three-Quarters Time (1995}
Ї Pacific Palisades (1997}
Ї Sweet Deception (1998}
Ї Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999}
Ї These Old Broads (2001}
Ї Guiding Light (2002}
Ї Have I Got News For You (2005}
Ї Footballers' Wives (2006}
Hotel Babylon (2006}
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