Joan Collins has had her ups and downs

With her dark glasses, expensive chiffon dress and designer shoes, the woman in the dole queue could not have looked more out of place among the down-and-outs, deadbeats and drunks shuffling towards the counter.

image found here

When she reached the front of the queue, the clerk behind the desk gave a gasp of astonishment. “Weren’t you Joan Collins?” she asked, her eyes widening.

“I still am,” said she. “Then what are you doing here?”asked the clerk.

“I’m not working at the moment,” said the actress. “I’m resting.”

image found here

As she pondered her next move, Joan remembered how some years previously she had persuaded her sister Jackie, the bestselling novelist, to let her have the film rights to her blockbuster The Stud, the story of a randy London disco manager and his conquests.

Released in April 1978 and savaged by the critics, it took more than £2 million at today’s prices in just ten days – a British box-office record – and went on to become the highest-selling British video ever. 

Still from The Stud found here

A month after the release of The Stud, Joan’s autobiography, Past Imperfect, hit the streets of Britain. It caused an instant sensation, blasting straight into the bestseller lists.

She knew that if the book was to make money it would have to be as spicy as possible, so she included explicit descriptions of even the most reprehensible, embarrassing and tasteless episodes of her life.

image found here

These included sadistic assaults by a homosexual boyfriend when she was at drama school, her abortion of Warren Beatty’s baby, and her startling promiscuity – with, among others, actors Ryan O’Neal and Terence Stamp, and Charlie Chaplin’s son Sydney. She also wrote openly about her marriage to Anthony Newley and his taste for under-age girls.

Anthony Newley found here

Such unashamed honesty was her autobiography’s greatest virtue, but there were some possible anomalies – such as the story of her alleged rape by her first husband, the heart-throb actor Max Reed.

Joan recounted how, on their first date, Reed had picked her up in his huge, flashy, blue American car and instead of taking her out to dinner had driven her straight to his flat in the West End, given her a doctored whisky and coke and a book of pornographic pictures and gone off for a bath.

Joan and Maxwell found here

Joan, who was just 18 at the time, alleged that Reed then forced her to have oral sex with him before driving her home at 3.30am.

She also had a brief affair with Rafael Trujillo, playboy son of the dictator of the Dominican Republic.

Rafael found here

Zsa Zsa Gabor told her that Rafael Trujillo Jr. had been lusting after Joan for ages, and he was renowned for showering his girlfriends with lavish presents.

He had given Zsa Zsa a Mercedes convertible and a full-length chinchilla coat, and he had given a Mercedes to Kim Novak.

Kim Novak found here

Zsa Zsa suggested an assignation with the man she called by his nickname, Ramfis, telling Joan: “It might be worth your while.”

“Joan’s reply,” she later wrote, “was: “I only want to meet him if he gives me a beautiful present.”

“Tactfully, I relayed the message to Ramfis, who said: “Okay, if she wants something, call up Van Cleef and Arpels and order a diamond necklace for her.”

Van Cleef & Arpels diamond zip necklace found here

Joan flew from California to meet Trujillo in Florida – more than 3,000 miles for a one-night stand.

Moored off Palm Beach, they ate a magnificent dinner on his 350ft yacht, eating off gold dishes with gold cutlery, and afterwards they danced.

Then, although Joan did not pretend to any particular affection or even lust for him, she went to bed with him. “Afterward,” wrote Zsa Zsa, “I asked Ramfis if he had had fun with Joan. “I picked her up in my yacht in Miami,” he said tersely. “She was so boring that I put her ashore in Palm Beach”

Palm Beach by Nik Wheeler found here

“I said nothing, having quickly come to the conclusion that the clever Miss Collins had probably taken the diamond necklace and then proceeded to make herself appear to be so boring that she didn’t have to do anything with Ramfis afterward.”

Extract from Joan’s autobiography Past Imperfect

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45 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “has had her ups and downs” Indeed she has…wink wink.

  2. She’s been a bit of a girl, has our Joan – and probably because of that she has never acquired the UK’s National Sweetheart status like, say, Joanna Lumley or even the late Diana Dors. Mind you, it hasn’t helped that she’s a crap actress………

    • Diana Dors had her fair share too, I’ll bet

  3. She certainly had some dreadful choices in husbands and lovers…. And she was a rotten actress

    • She looked good in a bikini back in the day

  4. Obviously wasn’t saving for a rainy day.

    • Not expecting a torrent I’d say

  5. I can’t stand her.

    • Me neither. Nor her sister

  6. And I thought she was just the star of Dynasty or whatever it was.

    • That was her comeback

  7. Joan will always be Edith Keeler, and of course everyone knows that Edith Keeler must die.

    • I had to google that

      • Me too. I guess I’m not really a Trekkie.

  8. Remember that fabulous episode of the Love Boat co-starring Joan that we watched in France, Nursey? I will always think of France when I think of her.

    • It was hilarious!!

  9. “… she included explicit descriptions of even the most reprehensible, embarrassing and tasteless episodes of her life …”

    Joan should try her hand at blogging.

  10. I never liked her one bit. The still from the Stud movie is quite inspiring though.

    • It looks damned uncomfortable to me

  11. Dynasty was awful, but my college roommate and I used to have a lot of fun watching it. I remember one character trying to kill another by repeatedly painting his office.

  12. She named one of her daughters “Katyana Kennedy Kass.”

    KKK isn’t the best choice of initials.

  13. Ew. Trujillo. That’s like dating Gaddafi.

  14. I never understood the attraction to Joan Collins. What man could put up with her? And I don’t even find her physically attractive. Now, Kim Novak…meeeeyow! That’s a woman!

  15. She lives/lived in the same block of flats as I did, but I never saw her, nor did she offer me a one night stand…I’d have given her a pearl necklace…

  16. Well, I could write a tell all book with many gory details, but I’m not famous and none of my partners were either so I suppose it probably wouldn’t sell. And what would be the point anyway? The beast with two backs is pretty much the same story no matter who the players are.

  17. I was rooting for Joan on Dynasty or at least I would have rooted for her if I had ever watched Dynasty.

  18. £2mill, eh? Remember when that was a lot of money? Not exactly chump change now!

  19. Now I’ve got the theme to ‘Dynasty’ stuck in my head…

  20. by a long shot, her worst transgression is that hair in the first pic, not that the likes of Warren would have had their eyes at such lofty heights with old Joanie

  21. one of my gents built me a Jeep. i paid for it, mind you. could flatten a few mercedes with it if i had a mind to…

    • So…was that you in the armoured car in Lithuania, Daisyfae?
      (see Arch’s quiz of the week)

  22. I still have my Fool Britannia record where Joan read the female voices. You know-the Queen, Christine Keeler, etc

  23. I must remember that line if I want to get rid of some annoying female. “She was so boring that I put her ashore in Palm Beach.”

    I like people who’re completely honest about their life, however embarrassing or immoral. That’s assuming it’s not all invented of course.

  24. I have bored so many men that I don’t know what to do with all the jewellery. Unfortunately, I can’t help it.

    • What a witty idea to bore men away and grab the jewlery.

  25. trying to figure out if that last bit is an up or a down.

  26. On her first trip to Hollywood she apparently slept with so many men she was given the nickname The British Open.

  27. For some reason, whenever I look at Liz Hurley, I see Joan Collins. Similar personalities perhaps? Similarly appalling taste in men? Similarly shithouse acting abilities?

    Live Nasty – Die Nasty

  28. she sounds desperate to me …

  29. Where the hell have I been? I have some catching up to do…

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