This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for

Joan Collins

Joan CollinsAKA Joan Henrietta Collins

Born: 23-May-1933
Birthplace: London, England

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Alexis on Dynasty

Both her parents were on the periphery of show business, and Joan Collins made her professional stage debut at the age of nine, playing a boy in a London production of The Doll's House. When she was 17, her father became her agent, and purchased full-page ads touting his beautiful daughter in England's show business trade papers.

She landed her first film role almost immediately, with a tiny part as a beauty contestant in Lady Godiva Rides Again with Stanley Holloway. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but dropped out when film offers began piling up. After roles in several British films, she came to moderate fame in 1955 with Land of the Pharaohs with Jack Hawkins. In her most serious film roles, she played the femme fatale in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing with Ray Milland, and went down The Road to Hong Kong with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

By the early 1960s, Collins was passť in the big-budget movie business, and began working mostly on television. In one of her most memorable performances, she played the saintly depression-era social worker in one of the best episodes from the original Star Trek, Harlan Ellison's "City on the Edge of Forever". In the 1970s, she continued appearing on television, making the rounds from The Love Boat to Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999. In small-budget big-screen efforts, she played the titular Homework in that high school sexploitation movie, and starred in The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones with Trevor Howard and Empire of the Ants with, well, a lot of giant ants. In her most tawdry work, she starred in The Stud and had the title role in The Bitch, films based on her sister Jackie Collins' popular but trashy novels.

In the 1980s, of course, Collins' career was reborn when she found her most famous role, as the backstabbing and frequently married Alexis Morrell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan on TV's campy prime-time soap Dynasty. "There is a bit of Alexis in me", Collins has said, and indeed, much of Joan's private life could have come from the scripts of Dynasty.

She has been married five times, and in her autobiography, Past Imperfect, she recounted entanglements with numerous Hollywood stars, near-stars, and others, including the husband of Cloris Leachman, and Charlie Chaplin's son Sydney. In a less-than-flattering nickname, Collins has been called "The British Open". She is notorious for being difficult to work with, and she has said that her first husband, British movie star Maxwell Reed, tried to sell her to an Arab sheik. Her fourth husband, Swedish singer Peter Holm, sued to break their prenuptial agreement so he could have access to more of her money, but lost his case in court. She has never since referred to him by name; when she must mention him he is merely "the Swede".

Collins has written three novels, but before the first was published she was sued by her publisher, Random House. The company alleged that her writing was so poor it could not be fixed by editing, and demanded the refund of her $2 million advance. She won in court, and her novels have subsequently been published by Hyperion Books, to minimal acclaim.

Father: Joseph William Collins (theatrical agent)
Mother: Elsa Bessant (dance teacher)
Sister: Jackie Collins (author, b. 4-Oct-1937, d. 19-Sep-2015)
Brother: William Collins, Jr. (real estate agent, b. 1946)
Husband: Maxwell Reed (actor, b. 1919, m. 1952, div. 1957, d. 1974 cancer)
Husband: Anthony Newley (songwriter/actor, b. 1931, m. 1963, div. 1971, d. 1999)
Husband: Ronald S. Kass (businessman-film producer, b. 1935, m. 1972, div. 1983, d. 1986 cancer)
Husband: Peter Holm (Swedish pop singer, b. 1947, m. 1985, sep. 1986, div. 1987)
Husband: Percy Gibson (stage producer, b. 1966, m. 17-Feb-2002)
Daughter: Tara Cynara Newley (British newscaster, b. 12-Oct-1963 with Newley)
Son: Alexander Anthony Newley ("Sacha", artist, b. 8-Nov-1965 with Newley)
Daughter: Katyana Kass ("Katy", b. 20-Jun-1972 with Kass)
Slept with: Harry Belafonte, James Dean, George Hamilton,
Slept with: Conrad Hilton, Dennis Hopper, Arthur Lowe, Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Boyfriend: Warren Beatty (actor)
Boyfriend: Robin Hurlestone (art dealer)
Boyfriend: Bill Wiggins (businessman)
Boyfriend: Michael Winner (film director)

    High School: Frances Holland School, London, England
    University: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, England (dropped out)

    Endorsement of Cuervo Tequila 1987
    Officer of the British Empire
    Posed Naked for Playboy
    Wedding: David Gest and Liza Minnelli (2002)
    Fainted Los Angeles (27-Feb-2011)
    Funeral: Margaret Thatcher (2013)
    Jewish Ancestry half
    Risk Factors: Smoking

    The Guiding Light Alex Spaulding (2002)
    Pacific Palisades Christina Hobson (1997)
    Dynasty Alexis Carrington Colby (1981-89)

    Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (1-Jul-2016)
    Brave Miss World (21-Jun-2013) · Herself
    Valentino: The Last Emperor (7-Sep-2008) · Herself
    Ellis in Glamourland (24-Sep-2004)
    These Old Broads (12-Feb-2001)
    The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (15-Apr-2000) · Pearl Slaghoople
    The Clandestine Marriage (12-Nov-1999)
    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (8-Nov-1999)
    The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (27-Sep-1996) · Herself
    Annie: A Royal Adventure (18-Nov-1995)
    In the Bleak Midwinter (10-Sep-1995)
    Decadence (28-Jan-1994)
    The Cartier Affair (4-Nov-1984)
    Making of a Male Model (9-Oct-1983)
    Homework (27-Aug-1982)
    Nutcracker (1982)
    Sunburn (10-Aug-1979)
    Game for Vultures (1979)
    The Bitch (1979)
    Zero to Sixty (Jun-1978) · Gloria Martine
    The Big Sleep (13-Mar-1978)
    The Stud (1978)
    Empire of the Ants (Jul-1977)
    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones (10-May-1976)
    Alfie Darling (20-Feb-1976)
    I Don't Want to be Born (Feb-1976) · Lucy Carlesi
    The Great Adventure (4-Aug-1975) · Sonia
    Tales That Witness Madness (31-Oct-1973)
    Dark Places (1973)
    Fear in the Night (9-Jul-1972)
    Tales from the Crypt (8-Mar-1972)
    Quest for Love (9-Sep-1971)
    Inn of the Frightened People (1971)
    Up in the Cellar (12-Aug-1970)
    The Executioner (1-May-1970)
    If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (24-Apr-1969) · Girl on Sidewalk
    Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (19-Mar-1969)
    Subterfuge (1968)
    Warning Shot (18-Jan-1967)
    The Road to Hong Kong (27-Apr-1962) · Diane
    Esther and the King (18-Nov-1960)
    Seven Thieves (11-Mar-1960) · Melanie
    Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (23-Dec-1958) · Angela Hoffa
    The Bravados (25-Jun-1958) · Josefa Velarde
    Stopover Tokyo (3-Dec-1957)
    Sea Wife (16-Oct-1957)
    Island in the Sun (12-Jun-1957)
    The Wayward Bus (27-May-1957)
    The Opposite Sex (26-Oct-1956) · Crystal
    The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1-Oct-1955)
    The Virgin Queen (22-Jul-1955) · Beth Throgmorton
    Land of the Pharaohs (24-Jun-1955) · Princess Nellifer
    The Good Die Young (2-Mar-1954) · Mary
    The Adventures of Sadie (1-Dec-1953)
    Decameron Nights (16-Nov-1953)
    Turn the Key Softly (3-Aug-1953)
    The Square Ring (13-Jul-1953)
    The Slasher (Feb-1953)
    I Believe in You (5-Mar-1952)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Past Imperfect: An Autobiography (1985, memoir)
Second Act (1997)

Create a map starting with Joan Collins
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications