50 Things You Didn't Know About Joan Collins
Joan Collins is an English actress, a best-selling author, an accomplished producer, and a successful entrepreneur. She is famous all over the world for her television and film roles. She is also known for her glamorous persona and as a fashion maven of timeless beauty. However, she is most known for her role as Alexis Carrington on the television series, Dynasty. At the beginning of her career, she was something of a cult film star but became a Hollywood star during the 1980s.
Joan Collins Was Born in 1933
Joan Collins was born in 1933 in England to Joseph and Elsa Collins. Her father was a theatrical booking agent, and her mother was a dance teacher and nightclub hostess.
She was born into the world of show business, and from a very young age, her parents had a huge influence on her career. Joan knew by the time she was a teenager that she wanted to become an actress and attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Joan Desperately Wanted A Romance
Joan had stated that for most of her teen years, she wasn't very boy crazy, but that all changed by the time she turned seventeen. She was eager to gain some intimate experience and desperately wanted a romance.
She stumbled through her first crushes and dates, and one day, she was given the opportunity to meet her idol, which changed everything for her.
She Met Maxwell Reed
When Joan was just eighteen, she was introduced to actor Maxwell Reed, her ultimate celebrity crush. As a young girl she had stated that she would one day marry Maxwell Reed, and now she was meeting him.
She stated that she was completely starstruck when she met Reed, who was thirty-two at the time. Reed asked Joan out, and she accepted without even thinking about it.
They Had A Horrific First Date
Joan thought going out with her idol Maxwell Reed would be an unforgettable and amazing experience. However, it was a nightmare that she has tried very hard to forget.
Reed didn't take her out on the town or even out for dinner; instead, he took her back to his place, drugged her, and sexually assaulted her. Joan later called the traumatizing experience "awful and degrading." However, she didn't choose to turn and run.
She Didn't Leave Reed
Joan decided that she would try and forget the whole first date with Maxwell Reed, and she continued to date him. She was even happy when he proposed, telling all of her friends that her dreams had come true.
She told her friends, "Told you I'd marry him!" However, she was very unhappy underneath those fake smiles and lies, and as her wedding day approached, she questioned her decision.
Joan Married Reed
Joan and Maxwell were married, but Joan stated that the intimacy with Reed never improved and that she didn't enjoy it at all. In fact, she had told her parents before the wedding that she didn't want to go through with it.
However, her parents urged her to marry him, as they were selfishly worried about their own careers and the opinions of others. So, Joan married Reed on her nineteenth birthday.
Maxwell Reed Was Terribly Jealous
Joan and Maxwell's marriage was doomed from the very beginning, and Maxwell was terribly jealous. He resented Joan's success and would even give her the cold shoulder for days.
His jealousy even scared her when it came to other men. If another man noticed her, Reed would get obsessive and even threaten to cut her face so men wouldn't look at her anymore.
Collins And Reed Divorced
The last straw for Joan was when a man at a nightclub offered Reed money to sleep with her, and he wanted to accept the deal. Joan stated that she ran from the nightclub to her parents' place and decided it was time to get a divorce.
The divorce process was a complete nightmare, and Joan ended up having to borrow money from 20th Century Fox to pay for it. She later said that she left that marriage "poorer, wiser, and with a growing distrust of men."
Joan Starred As A Juvenile Delinquent In I Believe In You
In 1952, Joan Collins starred in the film I Believe In You as a juvenile delinquent. The role earned her a bad reputation, with the press calling her "Britain's Bad Girl."
The film is based on the book Court Circular and is a story of the lives of probation officers and their charges. TV Guide wrote, "An engaging drama with surprisingly good performances from Joan Collins, Harry Fowler, and Laurence Harvey."
Joan Appeared In Cosh Boy
One year later, in 1953, Joan rocked the boat again after appearing in Cosh Boy. Her appearance in the film caused a great deal of controversy. In addition, it was one of the first films to get an X certificate in Britain.
It was also banned in Australia, Sweden, and Birmingham. Joan's reputation was heating up and not necessarily in a good way. She wasn't done with causing controversy in Hollywood.
She Received Weird Advice From Her Father
Joan went to her father for some advice before she left for Hollywood to pursue her acting career. Her father told her that if she wanted to kick-start her career, she would need to strip down for the camera.
That's very weird advice to get from a father. However, she was eager to make her mark with just her acting chops, even though in the future, she did end up doing some things she didn't want to.
She Starred In Howard Hawks' Land Of The Pharaohs
In 1955, Joan Collins starred in Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs, a cult classic. It ended up being her leg up into Hollywood as she managed to stand out in the film, playing a femme fatale.
She especially stood out in one of the scenes where there were almost ten thousand extras. 20th Century Fox noticed her, and they immediately signed her. Unfortunately, the movie flopped.
The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing
Joan had a great opportunity after Marilyn Monroe and 20th Century Fox had an argument that led to Monroe leaving the role in The Girl In The Red Velvet Swing. The film is about a woman whose husband murders her lover.
Collins was in the right place at the right time and was given the role of Evelyn Nesbit, a beautiful actress. Unfortunately, as her career was blossoming, her own love life was struggling.
Joan Was Not A Homemaker
After Collins' divorce, she entered serious dating mode. She went on so many dates that she was hardly ever home. In fact, when she moved out of her apartment, she realized that her oven still had its original plastic covering.
However, she continued dating, but soon she made the decision that she was not going to be a homemaker, and she was done with men.
Joan Gave Up On Men
Joan Collins decided she was done with men after her two failed relationships and serial dating period. She stated that nothing good had come from the men she had been with, as her first husband was an abuser and a loser.
She decided she would be better off on her own, but just as she'd made up her mind, she met her next handsome costar. And just like that, her decision was thrown out of the window.
Island In The Sun
In 1957, Joan Collins starred in Island in the Sun as Jocelyn Fleury, Maxwell's alluring sister, who is the romancer of Euan Templeton. The film was another controversial film for Collins, as it portrays an interracial romance.
It was banned in several areas of the United States, and Harry Belafonte and Joan Fontaine even received poisoned mail and threats. In 2009, there was a proposal to demolish the remains of the real mansion used in the film.
She Had A Forbidden Attraction
While filming Island in the Sun, Collins met the handsome Harry Belafonte. She didn't have any scenes with Belafonte, but the two fell for each other.
Joan was very aware that a white woman pursuing a black man in the 1950s was unheard of, and she had no intention of becoming involved with him. However, she couldn't resist his charm, and they became involved after the two went on a romantic twilight stroll on the beach.
She Met With Harry Belafonte In Private
Harry Belafonte asked Joan to meet him in secret later that year, and she agreed. The two met at the Coconut Grove Club, where she watched him perform jazz numbers. They embarked on a passionate affair that they knew would end in heartache.
Most of the time, they spent time at Joan's apartment so that no one would see them together. However, they knew it wouldn't work because an interracial romance was still taboo; it could have ended both of their careers, and Belafonte had a wife.
Joan Had An Affair With MGM Producer George Englund
After Joan ended the affair with Belafonte, she swore off men again until she met MGM producer George Englund. He told Joan numerous times that he and his wife were over, and she believed him. However, his wife, Cloris, came pounding on Joan's door one night looking for her husband.
As a result, Joan watched the two and saw that they were anything but over. After seeing George with his wife, she barged into his office, wanting to know why he was still with his wife. He responded to her by saying that his wife was pregnant. The affair ended after that, and Joan wanted to have some fun before dating again.
Rafael Trujillo Jr.
The next man that Joan had a relationship with was Rafael Trujillo Jr., son of the vicious dictator of the Dominican Republic. He was well known for giving extravagant gifts, once giving Zsa Zsa Gabor a chinchilla coat and a Mercedes Convertible.
Joan only agreed to meet Trujillo if she would receive an expensive gift. She was given a diamond necklace and went out to dinner and went dancing with him.
Rafael Said Joan Was Boring
Trujillo later told Gaber that the gorgeous actress wasn't what he had expected. He had spent the night with Joan and called her "boring." However, Gaber knew Collins and came up with a theory.
She suspected that Collins just pretended to be boring so that she could have her expensive necklace and not have to go out with Trujillo again. Either way, she got her diamonds and a great story.
Joan Collins had an amazing opportunity in 1960 when she was up for the lead role in Cleopatra. She was called in several times to audition and test for the part and became very hopeful that the role would be hers.
However, Joan soon found out that the CEO of 20th Century Pictures had sinister ulterior motives. He offered her the role and other things if she would agree to an intimate relationship with him.
Advice From Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe actually advised Joan to "watch out for the wolves in Hollywood." The head of the studio offered her not only the once-in-a-lifetime role of Cleopatra but also an apartment.
Collins refused his offer and therefore lost the role of Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylor. She never did find out if she lost the part because she refused the CEO's advances or if they just wanted a bigger name for the movie.
Joan Collins And Warren Beatty
While at a Hollywood restaurant one night, Joan noticed a handsome young man looking at her and becoming interested; she asked her friend who the man was.
The friend told her it was Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine's brother. There was a big age difference, but Warren and Joan got along great. However, they did not see eye-to-eye when it came to their physical relationship.
She Dated A Heartthrob
Even though they didn't always agree, especially in the bedroom, Joan Collins agreed to marry Warren Beatty. Unfortunately, their careers kept pulling them in separate ways, as did Warren's wandering eye and womanizing ways.
They were only together for a short time, but in that time, Warren had shot to fame and now had the attention of everyone. Joan heard some unsettling rumors and wanted out of the relationship.
She Couldn't Wait To Get Away From Beatty
Joan began hearing about Warren Beatty's infidelities but didn't want to believe it. However, that wasn't even their worst problem because the two were regularly engaged in vicious fights at home.
Collins got the opportunity to film on location in Hong Kong, and she jumped at the chance to leave. She wanted to get away from Beatty because she felt like their time together had run its course.
Joan Published A Memoir
Years later, Joan Collins published a memoir that detailed her tumultuous relationship with Warren Beatty. There was a secret that Joan had been holding onto, but she revealed it in her book.
She wrote that she had once been pregnant with Beatty's child but received an abortion because she feared it would cause a scandal and ruin her career. Joan is an award-winning author and has written many literary works. Her best-selling books include My Secrets and Prime Time. She has sold more than fifty million copies worldwide.
She Married Singer-Songwriter Anthony Newley
In 1963, Joan Collins married Anthony Newley, a singer-songwriter and actor. He became famous for the film Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?. Newley plays a man who relates his most promiscuous adventures to his young children.
In fact, Collins and Newley's real-life son and daughter played his children in the film. Later, Collins wrote that Newley had a criminal side and that she had only agreed to marry him if he kept his criminal urges under control.
Joan Married Ronald Kass In 1972
Collins eventually divorced Newley, and in 1972, she married Ronald Kass, a recording executive. However, after Kass lost his job, everything went downhill.
Joan was left to be the sole earner in the family and went through so much trying to support him and all of his bad habits. It was just another bad marriage for Collins.
The Marriage Was A Disaster
Joan Collins and Ronald Kass' marriage was a disaster. Collins was the only one bringing in any money, and she had to put food on the table and pay for Kass' expenses. His expenses included his drug habit and the alimony he paid to his ex.
The debts accumulated, and Joan joined a self-help group, trying to help her anxiety. However, it didn't help her, and the group basically told her off because she was being empathetic.
She Applied For Financial Assistance In 1976
Joan's life was crumbling, along with her career. In desperation, Collins applied for financial assistance. In addition, in 1976, she pulled up to the unemployment benefits office on Santa Monica Boulevard in a gold Mercedes.
The workers at the center were stunned to see Joan Collins there and asked, "Weren't you Joan Collins?" Collins replied, "I still am," and filled out her application.
Empire Of The Ants
In 1977, Joan Collins hit rock bottom, as her opportunities to make good films were quickly drying up. She ended up appearing in Empire of the Ants, which is a cheesy sci-fi horror film.
Her agent took her to lunch and laid out the situation for her. He was very blunt and said that her acting days were over. She stated that it was the first time she started to think about finding a new line of work.
She Took Matters Into Her Own Hands
Joan Collins had filed for assistance, but she never actually collected her unemployment check. She just couldn't get herself to take the help and continued to search for work. She ended up securing the rights to one of her sister's novels called The Stud.
She set out to find funding for the film, and she found George Walker, the head of a movie distribution company. Walker agreed to fund the film, but he had some sleazy conditions.
Joan Collins caused more controversy when she starred in her own film, The Stud. Many viewers considered the film to be softcore and rather crass. There were many sex scenes that Collins' character appeared in.
The movie earned more than twenty million dollars internationally and was one of the highest-selling British films ever. She then published her next memoir, titled Past Imperfect.
She Made Headlines
When Joan released her memoir, she didn't realize that it would cause her to make headlines. She never even considered that a newspaper would decide to publish excerpts from her book. The newspaper used Collins' most scandalous stories as headlines. Collins stated that she ran around LA trying to purchase all of the copies to save her friends from reading them.
"Show me a person who has never made a mistake, and I'll show you somebody who has never achieved much. All of a sudden, I found myself with the reputation of being a swinger and a home-wrecker. Beverly Hills wives were supposed to live in fear in case I cast my green orbs in the direction of their men. Ninety-nine percent of this was a total fabrication." ----- Joan Collins.
In the 1980s, there was the nighttime soap opera titled Dynasty. However, its second season needed a boost, and Collins provided it. She portrayed the character Alexis Carrington, and she took the show to new heights and even earned Collins six Golden Globe nominations and one win.
Collins helped the show get the edge over the show Dallas. "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.
In 1983, Joan Collins won the Golden Globe Award for Actress in a Drama TV Series for her role in Dynasty. When she accepted her award, her thank you speech was a complete surprise.
She thanked Sophia Loren, an Italian screen legend, for turning down the role of Dynasty. She got the role purely on luck because Loren turned it down. However, Collins later learned that success didn't necessarily ensure security.
She Was Too Expensive
Joan Collins' final season on Dynasty was cut to ten episodes, and they told her it was because she was too expensive and they couldn't afford to keep her on the show. During Dynasty's last season, Collins was the highest-paid woman on television.
She single-handedly saved the TV show and was getting paid accordingly. She was making one hundred and twenty thousand dollars per episode and said that "came with a caveat that they'd only put me in half the episodes as they couldn't afford to pay me."
Joan Posed For Playboy
In 1983, Joan Collins turned fifty years old, and she decided to pose for Playboy magazine. She knew it was kind of risky to have her photos in a magazine next to twenty-something models, but her photos were absolutely stunning.
It was a twelve-page spread and was photographed by old Hollywood glamor photographer George Hurrel. In one of her photos, she wore a low-cut sparkly red dress with matching red gloves.
Joan Collins And Peter Holm
In 1985, Joan married Peter Holm, a Swedish pop singer who was her co-producer and manager at the time. He was fourteen years younger than Joan, and the two had a secret affair while filming Dynasty.
When the two married, Holm made Joan sign a prenup, and it was later revealed by one of Holm's girlfriends that he only married Joan for her money. The two later divorced, and Holm demanded to be given tens of thousands of dollars in monthly alimony.
Collins' Marriage To Holm Soon Spun Out Of Control
Peter Holm had a bitter temper, which often led to heated arguments and constant fighting. Collins called him "the most combative person" she had ever met.
She placed a restraining order against him in 1986. The divorce proceedings were wild, with many accusations against Collins. However, Collins won the case, and Holm was only awarded eighty thousand dollars.
Joan Finally Found Love
After all of Joan Collins' failed marriages, she was finally able to find true love fifteen years later. She finally found someone more suitable in Percy Gibson, who is thirty-one years younger than Joan. They were both working in theater in 2000 when they met.
The couple got married in 2002 and are still happily together today. Gibson is a Hollywood producer best known for the films Banksy's Coming to Dinner, The Time of Our Lives, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. "The fact that I was older didn't matter to us. It was giddy, it was fantastic, and Percy and I fell madly in love. I've finally found my true soulmate. And my husband forever." ---- Joan Collins.
Joan Believes In Reincarnation
An interesting fact about Joan Collins is that she believes in reincarnation. Joan's sister, author Jackie Collins, suffered from cancer and succumbed to the disease in 2015. Jackie actually kept her disease a secret from everyone, including Joan.
However, Joan said that she doesn't have to miss her sister because she believes she is with her. She stated that a fly had been following her all over, between France, LA, and England, and she believes it is her sister, reincarnated.
Joan Collins has been married five times and has had many relationships throughout the years. In addition, she has two children with Anthony Newley and one child with Ronald Kass. Tara Newley was born in 1963, Alexander Newley was born in 1965, and Katyana Kass was born in 1972.
Her daughter, Tara, is a news anchor in England, and her son, Alexander, is an artist. Joan's daughter Katy is an actress and a theatrical production assistant. In addition, Joan is a grandmother, but she refuses to be called grandma.
She Has A Charitable Heart
Joan Collins is well known for her charity work and for having a huge heart for children. She has been actively involved in charities for many years, becoming a patron of the International Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities in 1983. She is an honorary founding member of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
She has always been deeply concerned about children all over the world, supporting several foster children in India for twenty-five years. In 1988, the Joan Collins Wing of the Children's Hospital of Michigan was opened. In addition, she works with several UK charities associated with breast cancer and children.
Joan Collins has made many guest appearances on television shows and in films throughout the years. In 1990, she returned to the stage as Amanda in the revival of the play Private Lives.
From 2014 until 2017, she played the recurring role of Crystal Hennessy-Vass in the sitcom Benidorm. In addition, from 2015 until 2018, she portrayed Alexandra, Grand Duchess of Oxford, in the primetime TV soap opera The Royals.
She Was Made An Officer Of The Order Of The Britsh Empire
In 1997, Joan Collins was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth. She was awarded this honor in recognition of her contribution to the arts and her charity work. In 2005, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Diego International Film Festival.
In addition, in 2013, she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sedona International Film Festival and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983. She has also received many nominations and awards throughout her career.
Joan had two childhood wishes that ended up coming true, and the first one was to be on Broadway and her second wish was to star as Amanda. In 1991, she starred as Amanda in Noel Coward's Private Lives. She performed as Amanda for six months to sold-out houses in London.
She then made her Broadway debut in the United States in Private Lives at the Broadhurst Theater. "I made my debut in the English theatre when I was nine, playing one of Nora's sons in A Doll's House. At nine, you can do that." ----- Joan Collins. She was born into a show business family as her mother was a dancer and her father was an agent in Britain.
Joan Collins' Net Worth
Joan Collins has a net worth of twenty million dollars. She has earned the majority of her money from starring in television shows and films but also as an accomplished author. In 2007, she and Percy paid $2.7 million for a large condo in West Hollywood, California. She then later sold it for $4.5 million, making a profit. Joan Collins has homes in Los Angeles, London, New York City, and France.
"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.