Joan Collins reflects on encounters with Princess Diana
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With a glittering acting career spanning nine decades, Hollywood actress Joan Collins, 88, is no stranger to the good life. The London-born actress, who made her debut while still a child, rose to become one of 20th Century Fox’s biggest stars during the Sixties. Her career then took a different direction as she got involved in TV work and featured in a string of British thriller and horror films.
However, her legendary status was eventually cemented as she joined the cast of US series “Dynasty”.
Her portrayal of Alexis Carrington Colby lit up the prime-time drama, and helped it pull in huge ratings.
As well as making her name in the world of TV and film, Joan is also well-known for leading a life of glamour.
She has holidayed in glamorous locations around the world, and is known to frequent St Tropez on the French Riviera.
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The star’s memories of her time in the exclusive bolthole are to profiled in a new six-part documentary series on Channel 5.
Episode 1 of “Playgrounds of the Rich and Famous” catches up with Joan at the Iconic Club 55 on nearby Pampelonne Beach, as she explains why celebrities are still drawn to St Tropez.
Once Joan began to find her feet as a film actress, she welcomed her younger sister, the author, Jackie Collins, to Hollywood.
Despite the excitement of Jackie’s time her with older sister, she also found keeping up with her an ordeal at times.
An emotional diary entry Jackie penned featured in the 2021 documentary, “Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story”.
She wrote: “Went to a party with Joan. It was fun. I get an awful inferiority complex when I’m with Joan. I feel all big, clumsy and dull.”
The novelist, who died from breast cancer in 2015, scored big hits with her steamy fiction, including her most popular book, “Hollywood Wives”.
Her first novel, “The World Is Full of Married Men”, was even banned in Australia and South Africa after being released in 1968, due to its erotic content.
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Soon after arriving in Hollywood, while still only 15, Jackie had an affair with the actor, Marlon Brando, who was 30 at the time.
She said: “We had a very brief but fabulous affair — he was at the height of his fame and glamour, the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
“We went together on and off for a short while, but he was a real womaniser and had a girlfriend and I had another boyfriend, so it was just a bit of fun.”
Joan praised Jackie after her death for the way her beloved sister secretly dealt with her illness.
Speaking on “Piers Morgan’s Life Stories” earlier this year Joan said Jackie only informed her of her cancer diagnosis two weeks before she passed away.
She said: “I think in that respect she did the right thing because she did not want pity. It is a similar thing that daddy did with mummy when she had cancer.
“But I think she did the wrong thing because I had been telling her for years that you have to go and have a mammogram, and she didn’t, and she had something and she didn’t do anything about it.”
Episode 1 of Playgrounds of the Rich and Famous shows on Channel 5 from 8pm – 9pm on Saturday.
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