Joan Collins Is 80-Years Old Today – the actress famous for playing Alexis Carrington Colby in Dynasty is a very surprising 80-years old today.
Joan was born into a show-business family with her father an agent for such stars as Shirley Bassey, Roger Moore and Peter Sellers and her mother Elsa a dance teacher and nightclub hostess. Joan’s sister Jackie is of course a novelist and has sold over 500m copies of her books. In the 1950’s both sisters started out acting in British B movies.
Joan was one of the Rank Starlets, the name given to those who passed through the Rank Organisation’s Company of Youth acting school. Other famous Rank Starlets include Diana Dors, Jill Ireland, Shirley Eaton, Honor Blackman, Kay Kendall and Petula Clark. The Starlets scheme was the Rank Organisation’s version of producing a stream of movie stars in the same way as the major Hollywood studios were doing at the time.
Joan’s first movie role was in the 1951 Rank movie Lady Godiva Rides Again where she played the part of a beauty contest competitor. She was appearing in up to 4 movies a year during the 50’s including such titles as The Virgin Queen, Our Girl Friday, The Opposite Sex and Rally Round The Flag Boys!
Joan carried on appearing in movies right through the 60’s and 70’s including a 1969 musical with her then husband ,singer Anthony Newley. The bizarrely named “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?” The movie also starred Strictly’s Bruce Forsyth, Playboy centrefold Connie Kreski as well as two of Anthony Newley’s young children. Apart form having one of the strangest titles in movie history (it won a 2006 Chicago Tribune poll to be named the worst movie title ever) the film is also well-known for its X rated release due to its erotic content. Joan Collins later cited the movie as a factor in her divorce from Newley.
Probably the two movies Joan is most famous for are the 1978 and 1979 adaptations of her sister Jackie’s erotic novels The Stud and The Bitch. Despite being 46-years old at the time Joan appeared naked in both movies with one infamous scene showing her nude on a swing in a health club. She played the part of Fontaine Khaled a nymphomaniac nightclub owner who hires Oliver Tobias to keep her amused. The movies were very successful at the time and helped resurrect Joan’s flagging career.
Her most well-known role came a few years later when she took on the part of Alexis Carrington in 80’s US soap opera Dynasty. Her portrayal of the bitchy wife of tycoon Blake Carrington is thought to be one of the major reasons that Dynasty became the top US television show of the time even edging out the incredibly popular Dallas.
Since Dynasty finished Joan has spent much of her time with her family as well as writing several novels and volumes of autobiography. In addition to this she spends much of her time raising funds for charity with some of her worthy causes including childrens’ charities, breast cancer awareness and neurological research. In 197 Joan was awarded an OBE, in part for her charitable work.
Joan is famous for keeping her good looks throughout her career and even posed nude for Playboy in 1983 at the age of 50-years old earning a rumoured £500k in the process. She always looks immaculate and picks flattering and stylish outfits to wear. She does her own hair and make-up and says that her best beauty tip is to make sure that you always exercise and never get too fat or too thin. She also recommends being married to somebody 32 years younger!
Happy Birthday Joan and we wish you many more.