Joan Henrietta Collins, the daughter of a theatrical booking agent, studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for 18 months and made her film debut in 1951 as a beauty pageant contestant in ‘Lady Godiva Rides Again’.
She appeared in a handful of other British films before gaining international attention in 1955, as the femme fatale in Howard Hawks' epic of ancient Egypt, ‘Land of the Pharaohs’.
A year later, Joan ventured to Hollywood and immediately capitalised on her sultry appeal in ‘The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing’, portraying Evelyn Nesbit Thaw, whose involvement with prominent architect Stanford White brought about his shocking murder in early 20th Century NYC.
Joan worked infrequently during her 1963-71 marriage to Anthony Newley, although she starred opposite him in his notorious sex comedy ‘Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?’
During 1967, Joan made several television appearances.
When she returned to films, it was in thrillers and horror sci-fi films like ‘Inn of the Frightened People’, ‘Tales From the Crypt’, ‘Tales That Witness Madness’ and ‘Empire of the Ants’.
Joan returned to the London stage in 1980, with ‘The Last of Mrs Cheney’, before she landed the role of super-bitch Alexis Carrington in the prime-time TV soap 'Dynasty'.
This role, which she played from 1981-89, opened up a whole new world of opportunity for her and bought her greater worldwide fame and recognition.
Playboy beckoned, featuring her as ‘50 Is Beautiful’.
Joan had already written three books, including a kiss-and-tell autobiography, ‘Past Imperfect’, when she followed in sister Jackie's footsteps and published her first novel, ‘Prime Time’.
In 1997, she was awarded an OBE.
In 2000, she also appeared in the play ‘Love Letters’, where she met Percy Gibson. Percy, who is 31 years Joan's junior, became Joan’s husband in 2001.