Joan and Jackie Collins were the sisters who came out of nowhere to conquer Hollywood. On Thursday, Joan recalled – in her own sparkling words – their romantic entanglements with glamorous stars before they turned 30 and beckoned the marriage and the children. While Jackie created a new career as a bestseller author, Joan left acting to embrace life as a wife and mother with actor Anthony Newley. Today she reveals how, unfortunately, her happiness would not last. . .
After a gypsy existence that brought me to England and Switzerland and back to New York, I finally laid roots (which I desperately wanted to do) in Beverly Hills.
But at the age of 32, with more than 17 years of acting experience and practically non-stop work in films, TV and theater, I had absolutely nothing to do with it except a load of clothing and a car.
No own house, no furniture, paintings or money, and just a few jewelry, usually bought by my husband, Anthony Newley. As I explained yesterday, I had given up my career when I had our children, first Tara and then, 22 months later, Sacha.
But now that the kids started kindergarten and kindergarten, Tony spent the whole day writing and getting ready to shine in a movie, and I started missing out on acting.
After a gypsy existence that brought me to England and Switzerland and back to New York, I finally laid roots (which I desperately wanted to do) in Beverly Hills
Only an actor can know how much the & # 39; roar of the grease paint and the scent of the crowd & # 39; for them. Although it is & # 39; the world's most overcrowded profession, it is in our blood.
As always, over the years I have decided to consult Jackie, who was happily married to her second husband, the beautiful Oscar Lerman. "Go for it," she insisted. "You are still young, you have your whole life ahead of you. You have to do what your heart tells you. & # 39;
& # 39; OK for you, & # 39; I grumbled. "You write and will be published. I have no career and it seems that a marriage is not going anywhere. & # 39; Although I thought Tony would be the perfect husband and father, the truth turned out to be quite different.
"Then why don't you take a cop?" She answered.
So i did. Because my former agent, the formidable Sue Mengers, had told me that I & # 39; was too old to get parts & # 39 ;, I switched to Tom Korman, who started to find me guest roles in popular TV shows such as Batman , Star Trek and Police Woman.
Jackie and Oscar were married in our house, with Tara and Tracy (mine and Jackie & # 39; s daughters) as little bridesmaids, and then they returned to London, where her first novel, The World Is Full of Married Men, immediately bestseller and her radiant career took flight.
Tony and I broke up in 1970. I couldn't have lived with him anymore after watching the movie Can Heironymus Merkin ever forget Humppe's grace and find happiness where? at a screening.
Only an actor can know how much the & # 39; roar of the grease paint and the scent of the crowd & # 39; for them. Although it is & # 39; the world's most overcrowded profession, it is in our blood
It bleakly told the somewhat dramatized story of his life in which he had affairs with every woman who crossed his path. It was terribly upset and I left the room in tears.
I was too proud to swallow this. In a minor revenge, I had an affair with a TV actor, but it was a Pyrrian victory. I was desperately sad for Tara and Sacha, but they didn't have that many father figures either, because Tony was always working.
Jackie, however, was delighted that I now moved back to London. She spent weeks finding me the right home and glowing with the continued success she had with her novels, plus she and Oscar were expecting their first baby together.
Back in the UK, my career suddenly experienced a renaissance. & # 39; I haven't forgotten, & # 39; I said to Jackie while we sat on the spacious terrace of her apartment watching our four children play games together. & # 39; You have never been, & # 39; she smiled.
Oscar owned Tramp, the trendy nightclub nightclub on Jermyn Street. Every night it was full of the movers and shakers of the early seventies. Michael Caine, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, beautiful models and all Beatles were regulars, and we too: Oscar, Jackie, our brother Bill and me.
We land on the ground every night. Jackie was brilliant to stay up every night until 1 AM or 2 AM, prepare the children for breakfast and school and then write all day.
During tea time, she often picked up my children too, because I was now the only breadwinner and worked hard on TV sets and films, leaving me 12 to 16 hours a day away from home. I suddenly became known as "Queen of the Horror Movies," because I played in a row with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Ralph Bates.
During this time I also met the new man in my life, the American producer Ron Kass, who was president of the Apple Records company of the Beatles. I remember going to Abbey Roof for their last concert when they played Hey Jude, but I left before I succumbed to a high point of all smoked marijuana.
When The Beatles broke up, Ron Warner started Brothers Records UK. My career seemed to follow an upward trend, with a number of TV and film roles.
My beautiful daughter, Katyana Kass, known to us as Katy, was born in London shortly afterwards. With three boys from Ron's previous marriage, we now had six younger than 12 and bought a beautiful summer house in Marbella.
We land on the ground every night. Jackie was brilliant to stay up every night until 1 AM or 2 AM, prepare the children for breakfast and school and then write all day. During tea time, she often picked up my children too, because I was now the only breadwinner and worked hard on TV sets and films, leaving me 12 to 16 hours a day away from home. Suddenly I became known as "Queen of the Horror Movies," while playing in a row with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Ralph Bates
We often spent Easter and summer vacations with Jackie & # 39; s tribe in Marbella and France, and it was a happy time in my life, career, and marriage.
Then Ron insisted that we all go back to the United States, where he signed up as president of Sagittarius, a film company founded by businessman and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman.
The two men were very close. Ron had been Edgar & # 39; s rock through the incredible ordeal of having his oldest son abducted. Edgar was Katy's godfather and when he asked us to throw his second son Edgar Jr.'s 21st birthday to our home in LA, we said yes. I organized it, invited the highest and most powerful show business and even brought the money for the party to the fore from my personal account.
It was a huge success, with people like Dionne Warwick, Kirk Douglas, director Dick Donner, Rod and Alana Stewart and many others all at the height of their power and fame.
But on the day after the party, when congratulations and flowers arrived, Ron announced, "Edgar fired me." I couldn't believe it. After years of friendship and business partnership, after he had dragged our family across the Atlantic, his boss fired him.
I don't think Ron ever recovered completely from the trauma Edgar caused him. This was certainly a turning point in our hitherto happy marriage. We started selling the house and contracting to live off the proceeds, but that would not last indefinitely. Now I had to take on the mantle to be the only breadwinner. I decided to accept all offers.
But despite my TV appearances, I had already lost my profile after years away from the Hollywood showbiz circuit. "Joan who?" Was the expression I heard most during my rounds of casting directors and producer offices. When the parts dry up, I even ended up at the unemployment office to collect benefits.
When I submitted my application to the assistant, she exclaimed: "Joan Collins ??? Were you not her? & # 39;
& # 39; It's still me, & # 39; I replied coolly. Well, at least she recognized me.
In the 1970s, life became a long flight between California and London, where I also walked back and forth. But it was great to be in California, since Jackie had also moved there with Oscar and her three children and produced best-selling novels.
I felt extremely anxious about our finances and suggested to Jackie that her 1969 novel The Stud, about the social wife of a wealthy businessman who owns a nightclub and rather loves men, would make a wonderful scenario and I would be perfect to play the heroine, Fontaine. "I'll write you a script," she said lightly.
Years of rejection followed because no one could see the appeal of the subject until I finally met George Walker, a distributor of B-flicks in England.
But at the age of 32, with more than 17 years of acting experience and practically non-stop work in films, TV and theater, I had absolutely nothing to do with it except a load of clothing and a car
I gave him my pitch and he fell in love with Jackie's script. We were shooting within four months.
He insisted that I do a scene where I wave topless about a swimming pool. I definitely didn't want to do that scene unless I was wearing a bathing suit or some sort of cover, but he was terribly insistent. & # 39; It's in the book, & # 39; he said.
"I have three children – it's too embarrassing," I answered helplessly while supporting my husband. It was not forthcoming. "My children will hate me," I protested.
After several days of fierce arguments, I reluctantly agreed, although I had to get extremely drunk to shoot it.
The film was a huge success and I received a lot of attention, not least because a woman in her 40s didn't have to look so good or be sexually attractive.
Despite the apparent success of the cash register, the receipts on our account were not available and to date I have never really understood why.
But then the biggest tragedy of my life happened. I was asked to play a play, The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney, in the West End. I could hardly afford to reject it, despite the success of the films.
I was in Paris with a suit matching the legendary couturier Érte when I was told that my beloved eight-year-old Katy had been hit by a car and was not expected to live. The horror of the nightmare journey back to London on our friend Roger Whittaker's plane will never leave me.
When I saw my sweet girl in the hospital, unconscious, with shaved head and tubes on her little body, I became hysterical. & # 39; Keep it in you, & # 39; my wise brother Bill advised as he put his arms around me. "Don't let Katy feel that you're upset – I'm sure she will recover."
I spent six weeks in a caravan in the hospital parking lot and stayed with Katy every day and night when the hospital allowed it, reading and talking to her, despite the advice of the specialists that my actions were meaningless. And thank goodness my strong little girl finally came out of her coma.
Katy, however, still had a long way to recover and started a long period of therapy while I first played in Cheyney and then another play, Murder In Mind.
Finally we were able to take her on vacation to Spain. While I was there, I received a call from Tom Korman, my LA agent. & # 39; You know what & # 39; dynasty is & # 39; He asked.
"A Chinese restaurant?" I answered.
He sighed. "It's the new TV show from Aaron Spelling. His answer to "Dallas". It is a season broadcast, but the ratings continue to fall and they have written this mysterious new character Alexis, hoping to boost it. & # 39;
& # 39; I love the name, & # 39; I said. "Can I think about it?" I was just thinking about Katy at the moment.
& # 39; I will fax you a few scenes, & # 39; he said. "It's a great role, but Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren have already rejected it."
"How long does the show last?"
& # 39; Maybe another season, & # 39; he replied. & # 39; Call me tomorrow. ABC had to get to know it quickly. & # 39;
I spent six weeks in a caravan in the hospital parking lot and stayed with Katy every day and night when the hospital allowed it, reading and talking to her, despite the advice of the specialists that my actions were meaningless. And thank goodness my strong little girl finally came out of her coma
Ron and I discussed how going back to California would be great for Katy's recovery, between the LA sun and the astonishing progress that medical research had made in the US, not to mention a steady salary.
I read the scenes and loved them and within two weeks our family was in LA. I started photographing the second season of the dynasty on my old pounding ground, 20th Century Fox Studios.
It was unbelievable how quickly Alexis Carrington Colby stormed America. Within two weeks after broadcast, reviews were zoomed in and by January 1982 it was one of the ten most popular shows.
I took control of my own outfits on Dynasty and shunned the tweed suits and pussycat snares that were offered to me. The couture of Paris was now rich with huge sleeves, massive shoulder pads and waisted waistlines, and this was where the most important & # 39; look & # 39; Alexis was based on. I became & # 39; the world's favorite & # 39; bitch & # 39 ;.
Katy flourished and my sister and I were closer than ever.
In 1983, I won a Golden Globe for best actress in a TV show and Jackie & # 39; s latest novel was number 1 on the NY Times bestseller list.
We were eating popcorn surrounded by our children and watched a tape from a French and Saunders sketch that a friend had sent us from England.
Jennifer played with huge hair and huge shoulder pads. Dawn played Jackie in animal prints and cateye sunglasses. We watched amusedly as the two comedians relentlessly saturated our perceived public persona and laughed aloud when they both looked at the camera and announced, "Because we are those lucky bitches."
& # 39; I think we made it, sister, & # 39; said Jackie.
"I think so," I laughed. "And against all odds!"
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