Joan Collins’ life – Fame, Royal crush, tragic loss and Piers Morgan shut down

Fans were recently delighted when Dame Joan Collins appeared at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration, paying tribute to the monarch in a televised event on ITV.

Joan Collins has spoken openly about her love for the Royal family throughout the years, as well as her incredible Hollywood career, charity work and personal life in the 2022 documentary This Is Joan Collins.

Ever since rising to fame in the fifties, Joan has become of the world's biggest stars – particularly for her role in the hit eighties series Dynasty.

However, her life has also included its fair share of loss, including the tragic death of her famous sister in 2015.

As Joan celebrates her 89th birthday on May 23, 2022, Daily Star takes a look inside her life as part of our Golden Icons series.

Hollywood fame

Joan Collins is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, having risen to fame in the fifties in films such as Land Of The Pharaohs, The Wayward Bus and Esther and The King.

During the sixties and seventies she also appeared in TV series and films including Tales From The Crypt, Empire Of The Ants and The Stud, based on sister Jackie Collins' best selling book.

However, it was her role as Alexis Dolby in the hit eighties series Dynasty that brought her worldwide acclaim, with the star playing the role between 1984 and 1989 – landing a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the process.

It remains one of the actresses' favourite roles, with Joan Collins telling Forbes: "The thing that I liked about Alexis was her wit. She was very witty, she was cutting, and she didn’t let anybody get anything over on her."

From there Joan has not left our screens, appearing in These Old Broads alongside fellow Hollywood royalty Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat opposite Donny Osmond and even making a memorable cameo in ITV series Footballers Wives.

Along with appearances in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, ITV comedy Benidorm and musical film Tomorrow Morning, it is no surprise that the Hollywood icon has an eye-watering estimated net worth of £16million.

Her life and career was also documented in the programme This Is Joan Collins in 2022, with the star telling Forbes: "Well, I’ve been asked to do them several times over the years and the format was always the same.

"Yes, we will get a bunch of your friends in, Joan, and they’ll all talk about you and say how fabulous you are – blah, blah, blah! And I said I don’t want to do that, and so I just waited until [producer] Karen [Steyn] came to me and said ‘Well, we have this idea that you would narrate the [documentary] yourself and we would take most of the text from your autobiographies that you’ve written.

"That’s what we did."

Famous sister and heartbreaking loss

Joan Collins was not the only star in her family, as her sister Jackie Jill Collins OBE was also a famous author.

Their younger brother Bill is also reported to be a property agent.

Jackie was a romance novelist, with all 32 of her books listed on the New York Times Bestseller List, selling over 500 million copies around the world – including The World Is Full Of Married Men, The Stud and Hollywood Wives, which was made into a TV series.

In 2013, she was also appointed an OBE for services to fiction and charity.

However in 2009, Jackie was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and it is reported that she kept the diagnosis to herself, with sister Joan only discovering the news two weeks before Jackie's death.

Jackie Collins died aged 77 years old on September 19, 2015 – two weeks before her birthday.

Fans and friends from the world of entertainment paid tribute to the author following her death, with sister Joan also recently sharing an emotional tribute to her sister on Instagram, posting a photograph of her sat with baby Jackie on her knee.

In the photograph she has her hands wrapped around Jackie, as she gazes lovingly at her, with the post captioned: "Sad thinking about my #babysister who left this world six years ago today," Joan wrote. "#ripjackiecollins."

Fans and famous faces paid tribute to Jackie in the comments, with Good Morning Britain star Richard Arnold saying: "I absolutely loved being around her."

A fan also commented: "Gorgeous photo. Thinking of you today, darling, & sending a big hug x," while a third added: "Sending you love on a difficult day."


Throughout her life, Joan Collins has been married five times, including to first husband and actor Maxwell Reed from 1952-1956, and then to the songwriter Anthony Newley in 1963, with who she had two children called Tara and Alexander.

Following their split in 1970, Joan married American businessman Ron Kass in 1972 and although the couple divorced in 1983, it is reported that they remained good friends.

During their marriage, they welcomed a daughter called Katy, but in the new 2022 documentary This Is Joan Collins, the actress revealed that Katy had suffered a horrific accident after being hit by a car in 1980.

Her daughter recovered, but Joan said in the documentary: "I was told she was going to die and she was in a coma for a long time.

"Eventually she started to make little sounds and then she took her first faltering steps. She was going to be alright.

"Katy's accident was the worst thing that had ever happened to me."

Following her divorce from Ron Kass, Joan married Swedish pop singer Peter Holm, who was also her manager at the time, with the couple's marriage lasting two years between 1985-1987.

It would be nearly two decades before Joan would marry again, with the star finding love with film producer Percy Gibson, who she has been married to since 2002.

The couple met while Joan was working on a theatre production two years previously, with the star saying in the documentary This Is Joan Collins: "It was giddy, it was fantastic and Percy and I fell madly in love.

'I've finally found my true soulmate. And my husband forever.'

Reflecting on her life and career, she added: "I know I've had a lucky life but I've also had my fair share of disaster and unhappiness.

"There have been miserable, horrible divorces, the terrible situation when my daughter almost died, bankruptcy, almost, not getting any work as an actor. A lot.

"But who wants reality? There's already too much of it in today's world, that's not what the public pay for."

Royal crush and Piers Morgan shut down

Joan Collins has spoken openly about her love for the Royal family and will soon be commemorating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, by appearing in a parade in Central London on Sunday, June 5, 2022.

She also appeared in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration, 'A Gallop Through History', which was broadcast on ITV on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, the star revealed that she had an obsession with Royal fashion and even kept clippings of the outfits in a scrapbook, which was sadly stolen when she was younger.

Joan also revealed how much the Queen meant to her, as well as letting viewers into a little secret about a crush she had on a member of the Royal family.

She said: "She’s been so much a part of everybody’s life.

"I mean, even me, since we can remember. I can remember being a little girl, a teenager, and getting terribly excited about the Royal Wedding.

"Seeing these pictures of Prince Philip, all of us, suddenly at school, got a major crush on him!

"He was better looking than Marlon Brando or Montgomery Clift, the big swoons of the time."

Throughout her career, Joan has had multiple connections to the Royal Family, having met Diana, Princess of Wales multiple times and been presented with her damehood by Prince Charles.

However, last year Joan shut down a question from Piers Morgan about The Sussexes, when appearing on ITV’s Life Stories.

Piers asked the 88-year-old actress: "What do you make of what’s going on with the British royal family now, with Meghan, Harry, the feud, with William, Charles?"

The star then shut down the question, saying: "My lips are sealed on that subject.

"I just don’t want to go on national TV and say what I think about Meghan and Harry, because look what happened to you."

Philanthropy work

Along with her stellar Hollywood career, Joan Collins is also a keen philanthropist and was one of the co-founders of charity National Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Children (NSPCC).

As well as supporting a number of charities, she also became a patron for the International Foundation For Children With Learning Disabilities in 1983.

She also opened the Joan Collins wing of The Children's Hospital Michigan Detroit in 1988.

Along with being appointed an Officer of The Order Of The British Empire (OBE) in 1997 for her services to drama, she was also made a Dame Commander of The Order Of The British Empire (DBE) in 2015 for her services to charity.

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