Catching Up With Joan Collins


By Dustin Fitzharris

Did you ever wonder what one night with Joan Collins would be like? Would it be glitz and glam? Would she be anything like the scheming Alexis Carrington, the part she played to perfection on Dynasty for nine years? And just how many younger men would you have to fight off?

The mystery is about to end. From November 16'27 Joan (as she asked me to call her) will be appearing at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York City in her one-woman show One Night with Joan.

Since Dynasty ended with a reunion movie in 1991, Joan has not strayed from the spotlight -- making memorable guest appearances on various television shows, performing in the theater, and penning several books. In August she received the best actress award at the New York City International Film Festival for her role as an aging sex symbol in the short dark comedy Fetish.

We caught up with 77-year-old icon, wife (her husband is 32 years her junior), mother, and grandmother to chat about her new show, mourning the death of sophistication, and being the ultimate cougar.

Outi>: You named your show One Night with Joan. What can we expect from a night with you?
Joan Collins: What can you expect from it? Well, I think you can expect that you're going to be very entertained. I'm going to hopefully make the audience laugh, and I hope people are going to go away feeling that they've had a really good evening. It's the story of my life. It's a story about survival in a business that people don't survive in for that long. I've had so many ups and downs -- both in my life and in Hollywood. Then behind me is a screen that portrays all of these many events in my life with people like Bette Davis, Paul Newman, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor. So, it's a non-stop visual of things that have gone on with newsreels, magazine covers, and clips from Dynasty.

You mentioned your ups and downs in your life and in Hollywood. What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
About me? I don't really know. What do you think?

You're turning the tables here!
Well, it's good to know.

Well, first off, that you're a vamp.
A vamp?

Yes, and that you're just about beauty, glam, and image.
And what's wrong with that? I mean, I don't exactly wear sequins all the time, and I've been happily married for 10 years, so I'm not really a vamp. So, I would say sequins and a vamp are definitely misconceptions [laughs].

You have such a big gay following.
I know! That's great.

Why do you think gay men love you?
I think it's extremely flattering. I know that the gay community has a lot of people that are my fans, and I think that they like me maybe because I'm a survivor and because I don't take life too seriously. Maybe because I have had a lot of ups and downs. I think the glamour has a lot to do with it as well.

You recently wrote a piece for the Daily Mail in the U.K. on how sad you were to learn that you could now wear jeans to the Ritz in London.

Do you feel society has lost sophistication?
Totally! Where was I at two nights ago? Oh, we were at the Beverly Hilton. I was doing the COLA Awards (California On Location Awards) with Linda Gray. Percy [Collins's husband] and I went down afterward to sit in this very sophisticated bar downstairs, and people were there in shorts at 9:00 at night! I think that people don't care anymore.

Why is that so important to you?
Well, I was brought up being well-groomed and well-dressed and to present to the world the face that I wanted the world to see. I always want to look as good as I can in whatever circumstance. Even when I go to the supermarket -- I won't wear makeup particularly. Well, just a touch perhaps!

Tags: Television