I stretch first thing, use free weights and do 100 crunches and sit-ups every day. If I'm in London or LA, I do an hour of similar exercises with my personal
trainers three times a week. But I don't believe in 'no pain, no gain'. Over a certain age you have to take it easy, but use every part of your body.
Get your five a day?
Sometimes. I started this morning with orange juice, gluten-free bread and marmalade, but that doesn't count. Every day I have an avocado, broccoli, carrots,
mango and salad for lunch.
Worry about your weight?
No, but there's no way I'd let myself go from a size eight to a ten (I'm 5ft 5in) so I'll cut down on chocolates, won't finish everything on my plate, and
avoid toast at breakfast, and puddings if my trousers get too tight.
I'm in the South of France right now and like the local rosé. I love food: last night I had two scoops of ice cream.
Any family ailments?
My father died of old age at 83 - a pretty good innings for someone born in 1906. Sadly my mother died in her 50s from breast cancer. It's made me careful
about checking myself.
While doing panto in Birmingham about four years ago, I got swine flu. I fainted and had to be held up on stage. I had to stay in bed for five days. Now
I avoid shaking hands because I believe it's the biggest way to spread diseases. In 1980, I was doing a play in Guildford and the steps backstage weren't visible so I fell and fractured
my left elbow - it still gives me a lot of pain. Six or seven years ago on stage in Canada, another actress inadvertently kicked me and broke a finger on my right hand. It still hurts
sometimes - another reason I dislike shaking hands.
Ever had plastic surgery?
Once I had Botox but left halfway through and said I'd never have it again. It was so painful, and I wasn't keen on having poison injected into my
forehead. I've seen too many disasters - people with too high cheekbones, wonky eyes and lips too filled out. One way I take care of my skin is with products from my beauty range, Joan
Collins Timeless Beauty.
Pop any pills?
Vitamin E for my skin, D for my bones strong and C, for the immune system. I also take MSM [methyl sulfonyl methane, a sulphur compound found in plants]
Had anything removed?
My tonsils as a child. I remember being allowed to eat as much ice cream as I wanted, which was thrilling.
A full English breakfast and coffee.
I'm terrified of snakes. My son had one once, but I didn't let it go near me.
Like to live forever?
Having your friends, children and grandchildren die before you is a terrible thought. I'd like to live to 100.
Joan Collins is supporting Champneys #inspireTHEnation campaign in association with the Pink Ribbon
THE DAILY MAIL .... MARCH 28TH 2014 ...
Joan's latest TV role... QVC's best-selling beauty queen: Products from actress's range sell out within an hour of appearing on the shopping channel
Her Timeless Beauty collection includes £23 foundation and £25.50 lipstick
QVC claims customers desperate to recreate look from 1980s series Dynasty
Appearance follows TV commercials for Snickers and Marks and Spencer By Laura Cox
PUBLISHED: 23:07 GMT, 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 23:08 GMT, 27 March 2014
Joan Collins has stepped into a new role – as creator of a cosmetics range that’s flying off the shelves.
Products from her Timeless Beauty line for shopping channel QVC have proved so popular that many sold out within an hour of her first appearance this
A £23 foundation, a crystal compact mirror at £33, a lipstick for £25.50 and a £32 ‘eyelift in a bottle’ all proved best-sellers for Miss Collins, as
viewers rushed to copy her glamorous Hollywood style.
And three subsequent shows on the satellite channel saw two other products sell out within the hour – a fragrance called I am Woman, priced at £21, and a
£17 Fade To Perfect concealer.
Miss Collins has picked up a number of beauty tricks and tips throughout her lengthy career – including from Marilyn Monroe’s make-up artist Allan Snyder
– and no doubt will have encompassed many into her 18-piece range.
Yesterday, QVC’s senior beauty buyer Sandra Vallow explained that customers were desperate to recreate the glamour of Miss Collins as Alexis Carrington
Colby in Dynasty during her 1980s heyday.
She said: ‘Who wouldn’t want to own an Alexis lipstick? The QVC beauty buying team were so excited to be launching the Joan Collins cosmetics collection
and it didn’t disappoint.
‘With six sell-out products it just shows that Joan’s glamour and beauty is inspiring for customers of all ages.’
Miss Collins was just 18 when she was voted the Most Beautiful Girl in England by the Photographers Association.
She made her name as a Hollywood star in her 20s, and went on to land the role of Alexis in 1981, when she was 48. Although the beauty range is a first for
Miss Collins, she has also put her name to several popular novels she has penned.
Most recently she took part in a Snickers advertisement, in which she poked fun at her reputation for being a diva. And she has appeared in a number of other
commercials, including one for high street retailer Marks and Spencer.
Her latest venture makes her one of a number of stars to have enjoyed success selling products on QVC, which has seen a turn-around in its fortunes from the
days when it was dismissed as a poor alternative to the high street.
The star was 22 when she headed to Hollywood and landed sultry roles in several popular films, including The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) and Rally ’Round
the Flag, Boys! (1958).
While she continued to make films in the US and the UK throughout the 1960s, her career languished in the 1970s, where she appeared in a number of horror
Near the end of the decade, she starred in two films based on best-selling novels by her younger sister Jackie.
Returning to her theatrical roots, she also played the title role in the 1980 British revival of The Last of Mrs. Cheyney and later had a lead role in the 1990
revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives.
She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 1982 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 for career achievement.
Julian Broad / Contour by Getty
04 February 2014| By Sophy Grimshaw
On famous friends and why she hates selfies..
What can audiences expect from your one-woman show?
“It encompasses stories from my life, about people I’ve met in Hollywood,
like Bette Davis and Paul Newman and many others, interspersed with fun movie and TV clips. There’s a Q&A section, too. My husband Percy is the director and he wrote it, based on my
You’re notably candid about hard times, such as divorces and financial problems, too.
“Yes, I think people welcome that because, for the majority of people, life isn’t easy. People who are in the public eye have just as many personal problems as people who aren’t; family problems,
health problems, money problems. Just because one is well known, that doesn’t go away.”
You’re famous for having the intangible quality of being ‘glamorous’. What does glamour mean to you?
“It most definitely has to do with make-up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone over the age of 20 who I thought was glamorous, who didn’t wear make-up. It doesn’t have to be tons, but definitely
lipstick. Lipstick is the most glamorous cosmetic. And I don’t like shiny faces, I like powder. But people can be glamorous without wearing sequins and feathers.”
So, who is the most glamorous person you’ve met?
“Grace Kelly. She was exceedingly well groomed. I met her a few times in the south of France and she would wear a twin set and pearls, with beautifully done hair and very elegant make-up. Marilyn
Monroe wasn’t looking particularly glamorous the day I met her. She was in a mohair sweater and her hair was rather mussy and she was very shy. We had a nice chat. I tell the story in my show.”
Are there better roles for older women than there used to be?
“Definitely. I don’t know how old Cate Blanchett is [she’s 44], but she gives a stellar performance in Blue Jasmine. Helen Mirren never stops working, neither does Judi Dench or Meryl
Streep. I think there is a move to embrace older people on screen. A lot of people are fed up with movies that are just car chases and shootings and blood and swearing.”
You have a big Twitter following. What makes a good tweet?
“Don’t post selfies. I might post a photo of me with somebody, I think that’s OK, but never just endless selfies. ”
You’ve been married to your fifth husband Percy for 12 years. Why is this the marriage that worked?
“It helps that we collaborate so closely on everything, including our work. He’s kind, funny and loved by all – my children and grandchildren adore him.”
For several years there’s been talk of Joan Collins making a guest appearance – in fact, her involvement was one of the carrots
dangled by ITV to coax the show’s creator Derren Litten into reviving Benidorm in 2012.
We’re now into series six, and it’s easy to look back over the past few years to spot roles that could have been set up for La Collins, had the filming dates suited.
In the final episode of Benidorm (ITV 13 February), Joan is playing Crystal Hennessy-Vass, "top dog" of the group
that owns the Solana Resort. The irony of her character name won’t be lost on Joan’s legions of fans. When she played Alexis Carrington in Dynasty in the 1980s, Krystle was the name
of her goody-two-shoes nemesis (played by Linda Evans).
She turns up at the resort with her chauffeur Elvis, one of many cameos that Derren Litten (right) has had over the years. Chain-smoking Crystal is none too pleased with the Solana’s
track record under manageress Joyce Temple-Savage, played by Sherrie Hewson for the past two series.
Sherrie already knew Joan well; they have a lot of friends in common and have appeared together three times on Loose Women. “Whenever I’ve met Joan, she’d say, ‘Oh my God, I’m
desperate to be in Benidorm!’ So I said I’d mention it...”
Joan’s arrival means that pushy Joyce Temple-Savage finally gets her come-uppance. “I didn’t know she was going to play my boss, which worked out beautifully. She’s the CEO of the
company. She lays down the law and poor Joyce gets it in the neck. I get heavily put down.”
Jake Canuso (who plays randy barman Mateo) reveals that Joan Collins’s arrival meant that “the street had to be closed off. We had ten policeman,
security guards.” Of all the Benidormregulars, she only features in scenes with him, Sherrie and Tim Healy, “so we felt very honoured.”
Jake loved working with her. “I get to insult her. Best moment of my life! To get to bitch toJoan Collins!” How did she take it? “She loved it. She was great. She’s such a good sport.”
He was a bit wary at first, however. “It’s Joan Collins! At my age you’ve been brought up with her in Dynasty and you think she’s going
to be a bitch, but she’s a good sport, very professional, very funny, witty, on it, old school. She tweeted about it and was very excited to be here.”
He says: “She’s a huge fan of the show. Jackie [Collins, her sister] got her into it – two or three years ago she got the DVDs over Christmas and they watched them all.”
Tim Healy (who plays transvestite barman Lesley) says: “I had a great scene with her,
yeah. The first person she sees when she comes in the hotel is me, or the back of my head and of course I turn round and I start talking to her about putting me bras on a boil-wash…
She was great fun and remarkable for her age.”
Joan was only on set for three days but, says Sherrie, “She’d love to come back. She had a wonderful time out here and loves the show.” Let's hope it's not the last we'll see of
The final episode of Benidorm airs Thursday 13 February, 9pm ITV
Joan features in a two page interview in the latest issue of top Irish weekly magazine 'Woman's Way' ...
9 DECEMBER, 2013 | BY ANDREAS WISEMAN
Joan Collins, Pauline Collins to lead comedy road-movie
EXCLUSIVE: Franco Nero, lyricist Tim
Rice, designer Eve Stewart also attached to Roger Goldby project.
Joan Collins, Pauline Collins and Franco Nero are attached to star in UK road movie The Time of Their Lives, from The Waiting Room writer-director Roger Goldby.
Former Dynasty star Collins is set to
play Helen, a former Hollywood siren determined to gatecrash her ex-husband’s funeral at a glamorous French hideaway. Helen escapes her London retirement home with the help of Priscilla
(Pauline Collins), a repressed English housewife stuck in a bad marriage.
Nero, whose prolific career includes the starring role in 1966 Western Django, will play a famous French recluse who becomes part
of an uneasy love triangle with the two women.
Sarah Sulick produces for Bright Pictures, the company she set up with Roger Goldby to make his debut feature The Waiting Room, which premiered at Edinburgh and sold to
Lionsgate in the UK, IFC Films in the US, and eOne in Canada.
The production is aiming to shoot in summer 2014 and will raise at least part of its budget through an EIS structure.
Les Miserables and The King’s Speech designer Eve Stewart is on board to
design the film, which is being cast by John and Ros Hubbard, while three-time Oscar winner Sir Tim Rice will executive produce and oversee the soundtrack.
Collins told ScreenDaily: “I was very excited
by the script, which was sent to me about one month ago. There are very few roles today for women aged over 45, let alone over 65.
“The fact that it’s a buddy movie along the lines of Thelma and Louise, with a hint of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, really interested me.”
Asked why she thought audiences were responding so well to films aimed at an older demographic, the actress replied: “People are sick to death of watching shoot ‘em ups, blood and gore and
explosions - those films for the 12-30 year-old market.
“It’s time producers realised that people also want to see stories about mature adults, not only teenagers.”
Collins most recently acted alongside Raffey Cassidy, Emily Watson and Anne-Marie Duff in family feature Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist, which shot in the UK
earlier this year. She was also among the voice cast in animation Saving Santa.
The Golden Globe-winning actress returned to the small screen this summer in UK series Benidorm, and Collins confirmed to ScreenDaily that she has been asked to return for the
next season in the popular ITV series.
Shirley Valentine star Pauline Collins most
recently appeared in Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet while the prolific Franco Nero made a memorable
cameo earlier this year in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Goldby, who most recently directed three episodes of BBC hit series Call the Midwife, said of his new film: “The Time of Their Lives is an uplifting, truthful
comedy, a film about the transformative power of female friendship.
“It’s driven by two feisty female characters who despite their flaws and sometimes uncompromising behaviour, we will love. One of my favourite films, Thelma & Louise, has been a touchstone throughout.”
The Lion King and Aladdin lyricist Rice commented: “One of the aspects of
this film that particularly appeals to me, as a former student at La Sorbonne in Paris, is the planned use of several wonderful French pop hits from the 60s, by artistes such as Johnny
Hallyday, Sylvie Vartan, Jacques Dutronc and Francoise Hardy.”
Sulick added: “The Time of Their Lives draws
on both the on-going popularity of buddy movies and the public’s growing appetite for poignant character-driven comedies led by an older cast. And Franco is a heartthrob who has the ability
to make women of all ages swoon.”
PUBLISHED: 23:57 GMT, 11 December 2013 | UPDATED: 00:01 GMT, 12
Favourite look: Joan wore this dress to an awards show she presented last week. It's a perfect example of her style
Never have I allowed myself to be defined by age. I'll wear a leather skirt - even a bikini if I want to. Clothes are my passion and I adore them. They reveal to
the world what you think of yourself and I believe you should look well-turned-out whatever you're doing.
Some people today consider style, elegance and being well-dressed and groomed a frivolous waste of time and irrelevant, but not me. I try to bring to life the
analogy that looking good is like getting married. It takes practice and, after five marriages, I like to think I have nailed it!
These days, it seems, anything goes. I love people-watching; yet so many people look and dress alike that everyone is almost identical.
I'm an individual and I don't want to look like anyone else, which means I'm hardly ever a fashion victim - although, of course, like all women, I've made
One of the major mistakes women of all ages make is to think a particular look will translate from the pages of a glossy magazine to their own body.
Much of fashion today is designed by men with no idea of what actually works for real women. They design for very tall and skinny teenagers, and if your bosom is
more than a 32B, then forget it.
Sadly, the average dress designer does not think about the older woman when sketching collections. So I've always dressed to accentuate my assets just as the
glamorous queens of Hollywood always did. Whatever you buy, think flattering, not fashion.
Investing in a three-way mirror is a must - you don't actually have to buy one but install mirrors inside the doors of your wardrobe and another nearby so you can
see yourself from all angles. Then look at yourself ruthlessly. You may be overweight but have really good skin, in which case you should draw attention to this by wearing clothes that enhance
this asset. Three quarter-length sleeves and drawstring necks will show off your beautiful canvas.
Conversely, if you're very thin, accentuating your waist can make even the most mundane outfit look stylish. If you have beautiful hands, rings, bracelets and
bright nail colours will draw the eye to this area. However, if you have a big bum don't wear tight jeans or Lycra!
Knowing what colour suits you is key, too. As I'm a brunette with fairly light-coloured skin, except in summer, I can wear black and white and also pastels such as
lavender, peach and pink. I tend to look harsh in bright reds, greens and blues so I try to avoid them. I also believe prints are quite hard to wear, regardless of what the style mavens in
fashion magazines say to the contrary.
AN 'LBD' WITH ADDED SPARKLE...
I've been snapped in an array of little black dresses recently. This dress (above) by Mark Zunino works so well by itself and needs few accessories; it's
almost two years old now. The shoulder detail is also very flattering and I threw on my failsafe silver sequinned Dries van Noten coat before heading out with my black satin Prada
I particularly like the combination of a chic evening coat - whether in sequins or beaded - worn over a black lace or chiffon dress. For long evening wear,
I favour the fishtail look and often go to Jovani in New York and Mark Zunino in LA.
I was so fortunate to work closely with the designer Nolan Miller whilst on Dynasty to create the wardrobe for Alexis Carrington Colby and we had great fun
sourcing outfits. I keep tear sheets of dresses I like from magazines and try to find similar styles. Most of my best dresses have not cost a fortune and contrary to popular opinion I am
not a couture customer - I wish!
...AND BIG, BOLD BRACELETS
Costume jewellery cuffs: Joan's favourites
These costume jewellery cuffs (above and right) are favourites of mine from Kenneth Jay Lane and Angela Tassoni, while the black diamond
drop earrings are from Senso boutique in St Tropez.
I'm a fiend for costume jewellery and have countless pairs of rhinestone or diamante earrings, which are so flattering when they catch the light. I love
the designers Alexis Bittar and Kenneth Jay Lane, and I always go to jewellers Butler & Wilson.
I also think pearls are most flattering for any complexion, but remember the mantra - go bold or go home! Neat little pearls are very grandmotherly! Two or
three ropes can be extremely versatile - and can be made into bracelets.
I also like adding fake flowers to jackets a la Chanel. A camellia in white or black can be extremely alluring. As for watches, keep them simple, yet
Two-to-three inch Jimmy Choos: The best
....AND STILETTOS AND JEWELLERY
I'm wearing a favourite pair of Jimmy Choos in this picture. I find a two to three-inch heel is best.
Shoe jewellery, such as clip-on bows and brooches, can be fun as well as a vintage touch to any outfit
I have a particular aversion to trainers or sneakers, which I think look ghastly with anything except active sportswear or a nurse's uniform.
Most ankle strap shoes are seriously unattractive and cut the line of the leg, unless you're 6ft tall. I like to wear chic stilettos if I am going
My favourites are from Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo.
For daytime wear in winter, I have a range of boots with block and stiletto heels - Russell & Bromley do great classic styles that can be worn with
trousers or skirts.
Being age-appropriate is something women need to remember. If you're beyond your teenage years, micro mini-skirts are out, as are skirts or trousers that end below
the belly button and are low-waisted.
Hemlines that fall to the knee are my favourite, while I've just found the most flattering high-top jeans from Donna Ida, which lengthen the leg and eradicate the
ubiquitous 'muffin top' look.
LEGS: GO NUDE, NOT NAKED
I wore nude tights from Wolford to the awards show. I always keep a stash of nude and sheer black hose to hand, but in summer my legs are tanned and
I don't wear anything.
Fishnets: They add a touch of old Hollywood glamour
I'm fortunate I've inherited my mother's and grandmother's legs. They were both fabulous dancers.
I think bare legs in winter are idiotic. Unless your naked pins are toned, tanned and veinless it's best to cover up. There is nothing more elegant in
winter than dark tights worn with matching knee-length boots and a belted trench coat.
Fishnets add a touch of old Hollywood glamour, too.
Dressing appropriately but never dowdily is important. This season's little slip dress is a serious no-no for anyone over a size 10. I don't believe that this
lingerie look does anything other than make women look like ironing boards and reveal every flaw.
My failsafe go-to dress is a black shift that can be vamped up with a sequinned top or beaded evening coat. Sequins are a secret weapon that reflect the light,
illuminating skin and adding drama to any outfit.
This dress, which I wore to an awards show I was presenting last week, is a perfect example of the look I love. Commentators raved about how daring it was but I
think the combination was elegant - and age-appropriate.
It's by Mark Zunino, whom I met when he worked as an assistant for Nolan Miller, the costume designer on Dynasty. Mark now has his own label full of red-carpet
gowns, and I often wear his dresses for parties.
Having a good dressmaker is a wise investment. I adore going fabric shopping. Joel & Son is an Aladdin's cave off London's Edgware Road and I love selecting
silks and chiffons to be made up into flattering tops which offset my decollete and can be mixed and matched with classic trouser or skirt suits.
My wardrobe has been honed to include many basics that don't change with the fashions but can be updated with accessories. I've always endorsed what Yves Saint
Laurent said: 'Fashion fades but style is eternal . . .'
Here is my step-by-step guide to how women of all ages can look stylish and elegant - without breaking the bank.
A great disguise: On a bad hair day, a good hat is just the thing
BLOWDRY AND BACKCOMB
My hair was already done for an earlier photo shoot and only needed a few tweaks. I've made no secret of the fact that I often wear wigs and have in fact launched
my own Dynasty range, named after various characters. I find this saves a ton of time - as well as my own hair.
There's nothing worse than hair which is over-treated and heat-damaged. I have fine hair, which loses shape and bounce very quickly. I like an old-fashioned set
and blow-dry, which can be back-combed later for a lasting look.
Sophie at Stephen Casali is my hairdresser of choice. As for supplements, I've found that Omega oils and vitamin E can help with hair thickness and growth.
On a bad hair day a hat is a great disguise; from a fedora to a baseball cap.
I love hats as well as veils, which can add pizzazz to any outfit.
MANICURES AT HARRODS
I'd actually had my nails done the day before this event while under the hairdryer at Stephen Casali's. I like to multi-task, even while grooming!
I believe in regular manicures and pedicures and always invest in one if I am going out for an event. (I go to Harrods Urban Retreat for mine).
Added elegance: Evening gloves accessorize long dresses and disguise any flaws
I favour Rouge Noir shades in winter and bright pinks or nudes in summer, but you can't beat a good red (by Opi or Essie) for added glamour.
A fabulous ring, not necessarily real, can draw attention to your hands while evening gloves can add elegance to a long dress and disguise any flaws.
MY TRADEMARK SHOULDERPADS
Flattering: The iconic shoulder-padded look
I believe firmly in portion control as well as exercise. One tip is to eat half of what is on your plate.
I favour eating vegetables with protein over carbohydrates. In general, bread is public enemy number one.
I have a personal trainer (or should that be personal tyrant) who comes twice a week. I focus on stretching and incorporate Pilates and yoga after a brisk
However, it's a fact that the body does change shape with age, as the metabolism slows down. I've always found that the iconic shoulder-padded look, so emulated
from Dynasty, flatters most figures. I wear structured jackets that nip in the waist.
Waist cinchers do help, although Spanx can be a tortuous way to ensure a smooth line and I never wear them.
I usually avoid carbs before a big event to lose a few pounds. If you can lose 10lbs you can usually lose ten years off your age, too! I don't deny myself anything
- I'm a notorious chocoholic - but moderation is key.
Passion For Life by Joan Collins is published by Constable, £25
DECEMBER 15TH 2013 ..
Joan Collins has a Passion For Life! Interview by Sophie Herdman.
The phone rings and a man picks up - unless she has just eaten a Snickers bar, this is clearly not Joan Collins.
In fact, it’s Percy Gibson. Husband number five. He passes her the phone.
“I’m getting a bit of a sore throat so forgive me for being a little croaky,” she says.
As ever, Collins is extremely busy and she’s been struggling to sleep due to the building work at her London flat.
“It’s hard to find a nook one can go into without bumping into someone,” she notes.
Among her projects, there’s a new autobiography Passion For Life, two films, a cameo in TV series Benidorm, a novel, a big secret project and she’s due to perform an updated version of her
one-woman show next year, which Gibson directs.
He is wonderful to work with, she says. And according to her new autobiography (or illustrated memoir, as she’d rather call it), he’s also a wonderful husband.
So what does Collins, with her wealth of experience, believe is the key to a happy marriage?
“Giving each other space and being best friends,” she states. “Oh - and trying to have separate bathrooms.”
Collins is not really one for giving advice, though, and she certainly does not tell her three children how to conduct their relationships.
“If someone asks what I think of their boyfriend, I will say, but I don’t arbitrarily go about giving advice. I hate people who do that,” she says.
When she wants advice, she turns to her husband, and occasionally her younger sister, writer Jackie Collins - but only “up to a point”.
Family is clearly very important to her. The first chapter of Passion For Life is dedicated to the topic (there’s another about her many friends - loyalty, she says, is key to a good friendship).
Collins’s mother was a dance teacher, her father an agent for the likes of Shirley Bassey and The Beatles.
“He wanted me to go to
secretarial school, find a good husband, have children and lead a nice, proper life.
“It wasn’t quite my cup of tea.” His comments just made her more determined to succeed.
“I took some small pleasure in showing him it didn’t happen the way he thought - that I was able to make a living as an actress, which very few actors can do all their life, and write books and
support three children,” she says.
“I feel I’ve achieved quite an amount in my time.”
Her father did give her one good piece of advice, though: No one will ever do anything for you, you have to do it yourself.
“He was right there,” she says. “I trusted my financial affairs to people who were supposed to be experts during the time of Dynasty, and they badly let me down. I found myself in very deep
trouble with the tax man.”
That’s not the only knock-back the actress has experienced during her life.
There were four failed marriages, of course, starting with Irish actor Maxwell Reed (whom she married aged 19; it lasted four years), followed by another actor, Anthony Newley, who was
unfaithful. Next came American businessman Ron Kass, who developed a drug addiction, and finally pop singer and playboy Peter Holm, whom she describes in her book as “a mixture of obdurate
dullard and calculating sociopath”. This was the shortest marriage, lasting barely two years.
Collins also suffered heartache when her daughter Katyana, then aged eight, developed a severe brain trauma and was left fighting for her life in a coma following a car accident. Thankfully, she
lived to tell the tale.
The actress was once also embroiled in a high-profile legal battle with publishers Random House.
Somehow, though, she seems to have remained positive.
“I was born with the optimist gene,” she says.
High points have been plentiful. She started working professionally in her teens and was quickly signed to Twentieth Century Fox, landing her big Hollywood break with a role in 1955’s Land Of The
Film and TV roles continued
throughout the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, including two films based on novels by her sister - The Stud and The Bitch.
From 1981 to 1989, she starred as scheming diva Alexis in Dynasty, which became one of America’s most successful series and earned Collins a Golden Globe.
She’s continued working in film and on stage, has also written a substantial number of books, both fiction and non-fiction, and right now, of course, she’s popping up in the Snickers adverts.
In 1997, Collins was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the arts and charity work.
Her first four marriages may not have lasted, but Collins doesn’t see them (well, two of them at least) as complete failures. Without them, she wouldn’t have had her three children - Tara and
Sacha, whom she had with Newley, and Katyana, by Kass.
She’s looking forward to spending Christmas with them.
“I’m a huge fan of Christmas! Every year, I have a massive tree. I started making my own decorations.”
Her three grandchildren will be there, too.
“I enjoy my grandchildren, but do I enjoy being a grandmother? What does that mean? Sitting around making woollen hats for them?” she says, laughing.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE AT CLARIDGES DESIGNED BY DOLCE AND GABBANA.
My Christmas started with an Italian themed Christmas tree, designed by Dolce & Gabana at Claridges Hotel. Claridges is by far the best hotel in London and one of my all time favorites. The
service and manners guests are treated with are second to none. Whether you're a regular Joe like me or a wealthy Arabian princess I've observed all guests are treated with equal grace and a
smile. The concierge, with his bank of chargers behind his desk, makes you feel like he is honored to charge your phone. It also helps that they're based in an area of central London where it's
easy to park.
On pulling up outside the door, I noted that the banks of paparazzi were already gathered and clicking away at VIP guests entering. First came the leggy, willowy lovely Laura Bailey in her red
coat and flowing ponytail. Then we had a bevvy of lovely ladies from Pixie Lott to Poppy Delevigne and the ultimate diva-Joan Collins! (It took all my will power not to jump up and down in mutual
diva envy when I spotted Joan and recalled my early Dynasty viewing days).
Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created a special Christmas tree for the Claridge's Hotel in order to bring the warmth and traditions of Italy to London.
The Claridge's Christmas tree has long been a festive landmark, drawing visitors from around the world to marvel at its magnificent design and for the 2013 Christmas tree the other guests that
attended and enjoyed the event were: our host- Stefano Gabbana (who reminisced with me about our many MTV filming adventures and staying at his home in Sardinia to film his MTV Cribs show), Eva
Herzigova (who was a stunning classic in her red polka dot dress and so tall!), Oliver Cheshire, rapper Eve (who attended with her dashing man Maximillian Cooper - founder of Gumball car
fabulousness and her stylist Richard Shoyemi), Mary Charteris, Olivia Grant, James Cook, Laura Bailey, Thom Evans, David Gandy, Tara Ferry, Isacc Ferry, Sam Webb, James Rousseau, Andrew Cooper,
Marissa Montgomery & Jamie Rueben, Amy Gilliam, Holly Gilliam and Ron Arad.
Stefano told me that
''the seven metre-high Christmas tree represents iconic traditional, Sicilian elements drawn from the designers heritage land of Sicily''. He added that ''more than 450 festive Italian
baubles that have been hand painted with images of the Sun, Citrus groves, Almond blossom and prickly pears to recreate the idea of a Sicilian Garden. At the base of the tree there are 30
hand crafted Sicilian Pupi made to resemble the Charlemagne and other Medieval Knights. The Pupi have been carved out of wood and dressed in velvet robes, Green, Red, Yellow and Blue the
colours that have always been associated with Italian festivities''.
The grand staircase led to the balcony area, where we were served the most festive food menu of delicacies I can ever recall experiencing. Fois gras mince pies, festive mincemeat macaroons, white
chocolate truffle snowmen and mini edible Christmas trees were all offered by waiters from festive Christmas gift boxes. Therest of the menu looked like this;
Canapé Service Quail Egg Faberge Severn & Wye Pate de Feuille Olive Pepper & Comte Cep, Pine & Truffle Macaroon Foie Gras Mince Pie Cornish Lobster & Caviar Terrine . Cold
Foie Gras & Cherry Goat Cheese & Pear Smoked Salmon Orange & Green Pepper . Hot Brioche Tart Venison & Juniper Skewer, Pheasant, Sage, Onion Goose, Chestnut en Croûte Gougeres
. Dessert Snowman - Milk Chocolate Truffles Spiced with Cinnamon Montblanc - Vanilla Meringue with Kahlua Cream & Chestnut Snowball - Brioche filled with Vanilla Cream & Coconut Snow
Nutmeg Praline Pinwheels Christmas Puddings, Dark Chocolate & Orange Speculoos Skis Snowflake Crisps
The champagne flowed all evening as I caught up with Eve and other journalists from the fashion and bourgeois worlds. Male supermodel David Gandy was such a gent and afforded his time to all
clearly trying to get just a few seconds with him. An opera singer and pianist did their thing at the top of the staircase and made the whole night feel more Italian than ever. At the end of the
night we were handed a fabulous goody bag with perfume on our exit. We left having treated each of our five senses to a jovial whirlwind. What could be more festive!
circle in which artist Tracey Emin rose to prominence in the early '90s, most of the art attempted shock th
rough frank Freudian imagery or high-concept sculptural productions pointing toward the inanity of existence. Looking back, it's hard to synthesize Croydon-born Emin's
work with the other British artists of her Saatchi-endorsed generation who went on to become brand names (or swear words) in the contemporary art world. Emin's visual vocabulary—even her habitual
use of feminist mediums and tropes—
seems to speak a far more private and vulnerable message. For much of her early career, she created, compiled, and assembled out of the detritus of a life falling apart. But through fabric,
dance, dirty bed, and the names of everyone she ever slept with, Emin fused the personal with the material, the fragile zone of impact between inner and outer, between honest confession and the
manipulation of a stylized aesthetic.
Over the years, though, Emin, now 50, has become less moored to the working-class London-bohème cool of her youth. The poetic seems to have overtaken the punk. Language was always a principle
element of her work, but in the past 15 years, the diaristic fragments have evolved into an enigmatic and universal invocation. Her scratchy handwritten appeals on paper have been inscribed in
neon, with expressions ranging from the raunchy (People Like You Need to Fuck People Like Me, 2002) to the sublime (You Touch My Soul, 2012, and I Listen to
the Ocean and All I Hear Is You, 2011). It is not that Emin has grown weary of chasing her demons in her art, but it does seem as if her demons have matured, the need to communicate has
come to supercede the need to scandalize, confess, or avenge.
In December, the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami unveils "Angel Without You," a retrospective focusing on Emin's neon works, ranging from pieces made in 1995 all the way to her recent
figurative work. Not only is an Emin show devoted to neon fitting for the fluorescent beach-front city, it's also one of the places the artist herself calls home. Another of her homes is in the
South of France, where she has a hilltop place by the Côte d'Azur. One of her seasonal neighbors and friends since meeting five or six years ago through their mutual friend, the hairdresser
Charles Worthington, is the legendary actress and fellow British wild child Joan Collins. The two spoke by phone in October, comparing notes on love, art, fashion, marriage, and men. As expected,
they're both wonderful at being honest.
JOAN COLLINS: Tracey, how are you?
TRACEY EMIN: I'm in France. I'm in my kitchen right now.
COLLINS: Oh, I'm in Los Angeles on my bed. I've been up for about four hours getting ready to leave for London. You're so lucky to be in the South of France right now because I hear it's been
EMIN: Well, where I am, it's really autumnal and windy with a gray sky, and from my house, the sea is really rough. You wouldn't like it. You're definitely in the right place in Los Angeles.
COLLINS: Now what are we doing? Doing a phone call sober? Is somebody taking this down, or what?
EMIN: Yeah, someone's recording us.
COLLINS: Okay. So we've got to try to be interesting.
EMIN: Thank god, we haven't got to give too much away. We've got a good balance in our lives.
COLLINS: Who starts? [laughs] I don't want to start. I'm a bit of a virgin, you know.
EMIN: I've never done it on the telephone before. I've done it many times but never on the phone. I'm not very good at talking on the telephone.
COLLINS: Why don't I start? You were one of the most successful young British artists to come up with your generation in the late '80s and early '90s. How do you feel you fit into that group? Did
you feel that you belonged?
EMIN: Most of the people who ended up being very successful make very different work than me, and they actually came from different educational backgrounds. They were far more interested in
minimalism and what was happening in America. I was much more interested in figurative painting. My influences were from Europe from between 1900 and 1945. My favorite artists were Egon Schiele
or Edvard Munch. I wasn't interested in contemporary art at all. Obviously I have to be a lot more interested now, but my passion for art is definitely in the early 20th century. I'm actually
coming from a different place than most of my contemporaries who are successful. At the beginning, I think where I fit in was with my wild character.
COLLINS: Oh, no, that's not you!
EMIN: All the people in the late '80s and early '90s were really hell-bent on doing something for themselves, and they wouldn't take no for an answer. There was a lot of determination, and I was
definitely part of that way of thinking.
COLLINS: You were young—in your twenties—when you were discovered, if that's the right word.
EMIN: I wasn't actually. I was at work. I'd been doing it since my twenties, but I was actually quite a late developer. I didn't have my first exhibition until I was 30, and that was with Jay
Jopling at White Cube. Being 30 was quite late because a lot of my contemporaries at that time were, like, 22 or 23 when they had their first show. A lot of people don't realize I'm 50—they just
presume I'm younger.
COLLINS: Well, I wouldn't argue with them, darling. You're actually 35.
EMIN: [laughs] Last summer, I came around your house, and you had this magazine with an article about people who know how to have a really good party over the age of 50. Do you remember?
EMIN: There was an article about my party. You were a bit pissed off because you said something like, I was your new, young friend, and then all across the papers it said that I'm actually 50—an
oldie and having fun.
COLLINS: But let me ask you. I'm fascinated by the unmade bed [My Bed, 1998]. The first time I saw it was at Nigella [Lawson] and Charles [Saatchi]'s house for dinner. I wanted to go to
the loo, and he said, "I'll take you," and as we passed this small alcove, he said, "What do you think of Nigella's room? Isn't she a slob?" I looked in and said, "Oh, yes, she is rather," and
then I said, "No, this is Tracey Emin's unmade bed!" He laughed and said, "You're absolutely right." So I was completely fascinated by the fact that it looked very much like a bed I would have
had when I was a teenager. How did you make it? Did you dress it or put the extra panties strewn around on it?
EMIN: No, I didn't. It was like that. If anything, I took stuff away.
COLLINS: You did? Like what stuff?
ll the people in the late '80s and early '90s were really hell-bent on doing something
for themselves . . . I was definitely part of that way of thinking. —Tracey
EMIN: It was a period of my life when I was not feeling particularly good. I think other people have been there. It's kind of like you said when you were a
teenager. A lot of it was a teenage angst kind of thing, except I was about 34. I just got to a point in my life where everything seemed to come to a grinding halt, and the bed was after
I'd had an epiphany where I just woke up and realized that my life had to change, and I changed it. So in some ways it was a good thing. COLLINS: Well, it was fantastic. It
certainly lives in people's minds as one of the great pieces of art of the 1990s.
EMIN: It was seminal. I mean, it was on everything. From cartoons to soap operas, it was mentioned—like on Coronation Street or whatever. It got people thinking.
COLLINS: Like Andy Warhol's can of Campbell's tomato soup in the '60s.
EMIN: Something like that.
COLLINS: It certainly put you on the map in every possible way—along with your personal life, which the papers have also been totally fascinated by.
EMIN: Yeah, but they've also been quite fascinated by yours.
COLLINS: I'm not denying it. That's why they're so fascinated with us being BFFs.
EMIN: Yeah, but I think there are just certain people who attract attention. It doesn't matter what they do. Even if they try not to, attention will still be thrown at them. I think I'm
one of those. I've got one of those personalities, and even if I try to stay out of the papers and keep really quiet, like when I'm in France for three months and have hardly even showed
my head, I still manage to hit headlines. I still manage to get on the front page in England without doing anything.
COLLINS: You're modeling clothes for M&S [Marks & Spencer's fall 2013 campaign]. How did you enjoy that?
EMIN: I really enjoyed it. Annie Leibovitz took the photos, which was quite interesting. I really enjoyed meeting all the other women.
COLLINS: Yeah, but everyone looked so miserable in the pictures—at least in all the pictures that I've seen.
EMIN: There's one of me with a great, big smile across my face.
COLLINS: Oh, really? I must have missed that one.
EMIN: There's one where I'm smirking, and one where I'm smiling, and there's one where I actually do look a bit miserable because, at that particular moment in time, I didn't feel
comfortable with something. But in the end it turned out to be quite an interesting photo.
COLLINS: It certainly had a lot of coverage.
EMIN: I think that's what they wanted—and it was pretty successful. But the important thing for me was being an artist, having that kind of profile. For me, being an artist with a high
profile is a good thing for art.
COLLINS: Absolutely. Can I tell the story of what you wrote?
EMIN: Yeah, go on.
COLLINS: You were having dinner at our house, and we were having a great time, and I was saying, "Oh, I can't get the right cover for my book," which is called Passion for Life [Collins's
recent memoir]. I'd been painting these words, passion for life, and you said, "Come on, show me." So I showed it to you, and you said, "Oh, I can do better than that." I said, "I thought
you could. Of course you can." So we brought out some easels—
EMIN: I didn't say, "I can do better than that!"
COLLINS: You actually said, "Can I have a go?" or "Can I try?" So we brought out the red paint and the brushes, and you did about six. We had eight or ten people at dinner. After we'd
chosen the one we were going to use on the cover, everybody made a mad grab for all the ones we didn't use and insisted that you sign them, and everybody said, "Right, we're going to have
this framed," because everything you do or paint or write obviously has some kind of intrinsic artistic value, which must be very flattering.
EMIN: Yes, but I think, on that particular evening, it was also sentimental value because it was a nice memento of the time that we had. Also, I asked you to swap because I really wanted
one of the ones that you did because they were so sweet. Your struggle for "passion for life"—I really loved it. What I enjoyed about helping you do that was that I like the words
"passion for life." They're the kind of words that I would use, so it was a really easy thing for me to do. It wasn't like I was having to do something tricky or compromised. I was very
happy to do it and very happy to give the others away.
COLLINS: I know you're incredibly, incredibly generous with charity work. You support many charities and you donate a lot of your time. Is there any one particular charity that you feel
more strongly about?
EMIN: Yeah, and you do lots for it as well—Terrence Higgins Trust, a charity that started in the '80s to help gay men with HIV. I've been working with the charity now for about 15 years,
really quite solidly. I really enjoy it and I kind of embrace it. I've seen you at some of the gala events before I knew you very well. I just don't think there's enough research, enough
help, enough support for people who have HIV. I know it's a world pandemic. It's a terrible problem globally, but I think there are a lot of people who are very lonely with it as well. I
think the support system has to be increased.
COLLINS: I agree with you there because I do support for children with terminal illnesses. I work with the Shooting Star Chase hospices, because what happens—and I know this for a fact
because it happened to me with my daughter—is that they spend so much money on children who are born prematurely to make sure that they live, but then they send them home to the parents,
and the child has all kinds of problems, whether it's hearing, eyesight, walking, whatever, but they get no help whatsoever from the state. So it's up to the family to do what they can,
and most of these families don't really have enough resources. So we try to do what we can to give support to these families and to these children, many of whom are terminal.
EMIN: Do you feel sometimes that you're asked to do too much, and people expect more of you than you can give?
COLLINS: I think yes. I do agree with that. I think I take on too much. I have a very devoted family, three children, and three grandchildren, and we do a lot for them. For example, just
before I called you, one of my grandchildren called and said, "Oh, can I speak to Percy [Gibson, Collins's husband], I've lost my phone." Well, you know, she's thousands of miles away in
the U.K. So that's the sort of thing that we have a lot of. I've been on the telephone all morning talking about various projects that I've got, but I have to say, Tracey, that I really
like it. If somebody said to me, "Why don't you retire?" Retire? What kind of word is that? I think I would shrivel up and die.
EMIN: So in the summer, when I stayed at your house and I was supposed to stay for one night, I ended up staying three.
COLLINS: I know! We have so much fun.
EMIN: By the third night, you said, "Oh, we're going to this fabulous place on Friday night, there's dancing and everything." I said, "Oh, no, we've been out two nights in a row! Do we
really have to go out tonight as well?" How do you do it? I cannot socialize like that. I haven't got the stamina to do it. And you said to me, "It's my life."
EMIN: And you love it! You embrace it. I don't know how you have the stamina to keep doing it.
I'VE GOT ONE of THOSE PERSONALITIES, EVEN IF I TRY TO STAY OUT OF THE PAPERS and KEEP REALLY QUIET, I STILL MANAGE TO HIT HEADLINES. —Tracey Emin
COLLINS: My mother use to call me Miss Perpetual Motion because I rarely keep still. There's a particular time in the South of France when there is a lot
going on socially, but there's also a particular time when Percy and I don't go out of the house for, like, a week or 10 days, and we love spending time just with our children and our
grandchildren. A couple of months after you left, the children and the grandchildren came, and we only did things with them. We didn't go to parties. We didn't go dancing. But I enjoy it.
I have a passion for life—you've got to eat life or life will eat you. EMIN: I know this, but you're also a very homey person, so there's a kind of contradiction. There is the
Joan Collins who is a glamorous icon ...
COLLINS: You should see me now!
EMIN: When I walk into a room with you, it's really fantastic to see what happens. I love to see the attention you get, the subtle attention, because it's this level of glamour that you
have. Not that many people have that anymore ... But I know you're really homey. You put your rubber gloves on. You do the gardening. You're hands-on with a lot of things, but you never
cease to amaze me, how, even in these moments, you still maintain this air of glamour.
COLLINS: You've seen me in the morning with no makeup on. I don't think I look very glamorous then.
EMIN: Yes, you do! It's your persona that carries you. And you've always had that. What do you think it is?
COLLINS: Honestly, I don't know. I think I'm quite a confident person. I used to not be confident. My father certainly didn't add to my confidence. When I was 17 or 18, I was voted the
most beautiful girl in England by the association of press photographers. When they called Daddy for a comment, he said, "I'm amazed. She's a nice looking girl but nothing special." So I
never had approbation from my parents, as my generation didn't. We were never told we were wonderful or beautiful or clever or fun or anything.
EMIN: I love talking to you, and when you mention someone from the past, I think, "Wow, you knew so and so!" All of these Hollywood legends ...
COLLINS: Yeah, I'm beginning to feel fascinated about it myself. I used to go over to Gene Kelly's house and play volleyball, and Paul Newman and Marlon Brando were always there. You kind
of took it for granted because I was 20, 21, 22, and they were a bit older-well, Gene certainly was. But it was just part of daily living. They were in the same profession, and you didn't
think that much about it. When I went to those glam Hollywood parties where everybody was done up to the nines, and you'd see Ava Gardner and Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth and Zsa Zsa
Gabor, all incredibly glamorous. It was very stunning for a very young girl, at that time, but then I got used to it. And then it was just people.
EMIN: Do you think things have changed a lot?
COLLINS: Yes. And I'm sure you'll agree with me. I think that glamour is something that people do not aspire to anymore. I don't think that any of the young actresses today, with very few
exceptions, aspire to being glamorous, because they feel that they will not be taken seriously as a thespian. Also, I do think that directors and producers feel that glamour has a lot do
with artifice, and they don't want artifice—they want total reality. So it seems to me that the stars today who have the glamour, like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, even
Miley Cyrus—the ones who make a huge effort with their appearance—are quite rare. I feel that your outward appearance represents what you feel as yourself. It's like I feel that if you
eat junk food, you'll look like junk. I don't know if I'm making sense.
EMIN: No, you're making perfect sense. But you put on a big hat and a pair of sunglasses and some red lipstick, and you look magnificent.
COLLINS: You've done a limited-edition beach towel and sandals. Is that because of your retrospective in Miami?
EMIN: Yes it is. The Fontainebleau has done a collaboration with me and made 1,000 towels that have one of my neons on it. It says, "Kiss me kiss me cover my body in love." You know the
Fontainebleau has that amazing aerial view with all the pools and sun beds. Think of that clichéd aerial view of Miami, like a really amazing hotel with a pool. Well, the Fontainebleau is
usually the hotel used for those shots. So they put my towel on all the sun beds.
COLLINS: Can I have one?
EMIN: Yeah. [laughs] But it's really exciting for me because it's like an interaction with the hotel and something real in Miami. And I've actually got a place in Miami, so I'm starting
to feel more okay with it all. I'm really excited actually about my show.
COLLINS: I didn't know you had a place in Miami. On South Beach?
EMIN: I haven't had it that long. Just Miami Beach, up farther a little bit.
COLLINS: I have to say, I love Miami. We took a house there with all the children two Christmases ago, at Golden Beach, and I adored it. I liked the people.
EMIN: I like the people. The people in Miami are so different from anywhere else I've been in America. They're so down to earth, really friendly, and quite self-effacing, with a good
sense of humor. I'm not saying other parts of America don't have a sense of humor, but Miami maybe has to have a really good sense of humor for lots of different reasons, and it works. It
works for me. I feel comfortable there, and that's why I've got a place there.
COLLINS: They have a big mix of generations. There's a lot of young people and a lot of very old people. People seem to get along.
EMIN: And it's really multicultural as well. In some places in America, I don't feel that so much, whereas in Miami it's very mixed up. It's much more like London in that way.
COLLINS: Percy speaks Spanish there most of the time, his being half Peruvian. He's fluent in three languages. Do you speak French?
EMIN: No, I don't. I don't speak a word of French!
COLLINS: I'm only asking because I'm so embarrassed that I've had a place in France for more than 20 years, but my French is about the equivalent of the first form, maybe the sixth form
EMIN: One of my friends said to me, "Don't you find it difficult?" I said, "No, I love it." I don't talk to anyone when I'm in France. I'm being an artist here. I'm quite isolated here.
I'm feeling quite locked in my head and that's really good for my work, in some respects. That's really healthy. You've seen where my house is. It's quite remote, so I don't get
contaminated by anything. I just work and think, and it's very productive for me to be here, whereas if I was somewhere where I felt very integrated and extremely social, it might be hard
for me. I know it'd be hard for me to make work or have any kind of pure thoughts.
COLLINS: There's something about the air and the sky and the atmosphere in the South of France that must be very conducive to work, to being creative, because I have written several of my
books there. I find it so much easier because you're cut off. If you don't want to speak to anybody, basically they don't know where you are. And it's so beautiful. The view is really
good for the soul. Now your love life. Can we talk about that a little bit?
EMIN: Yeah, go on. You can ask me whatever you like.
COLLINS: You've never been married—as opposed to me ...
COLLINS: Do you feel that you would ever like to be married? If you found the right guy?
EMIN: No. Realistically, no.
COLLINS: That's why I tried it four times before this time. Men are difficult. Women are difficult, too. You have to find the right personality.
EMIN: I've wanted to ask you a question. Are you monogamous?
'm totally monogamous when I'm in a relationship, and when I'm not in a
relationship, I don't sleep around. So when I'm not with someone, I'm really on my own. —Tracey Emin
COLLINS: Totally. But I have to say, during my marriage to Tony Newley [the late British musical star and composer], he was such a womanizer and quite open about it, that I became not
monogamous during the latter part of that marriage—only the last couple of years. But, you know, it was basically, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. He was doing it. It
was kind of revenge, really. I believe very fondly in monogamy. I'm serially monogamous. And during most of my marriages, I was totally monogamous until they started to go wrong.
EMIN: But that is why you've been married five times. And I bet when you haven't been married, you've been in
really long relationships. COLLINS: Yes, I have. Exactly. I was with Sydney Chaplin for a year. With Arthur Loew Jr., for nine or ten months. I was with Warren Beatty
for a year and a half. Then I got married to Tony. I really wanted that marriage to work. I had two children, less than two years between them. I was 29 when I got married, but I was 35
when the marriage started to break up, and I just was desperately unhappy. I couldn't believe that this was going to fail because I'd already done it once, aged 18. But that was because I
was a virgin when I met that guy and he date-raped me. So I really wanted it to work. You know, I don't take getting divorced easily. It was very, very, very, very hard. All of them.
All of them were hard.
EMIN: Yeah, but the reason why you've been married five times is that you really believe in it. You see, I've never been married because, first of all, I don't think I've ever seriously
been asked by anyone who I wanted to marry. Secondly, I've been on my own now for nearly four years, and in the last 20 years, I've spent more time alone than I have in relationships. And
also I'm monogamous.
COLLINS: You are?
EMIN: Yeah, I'm totally monogamous when I'm in a relationship, and when I'm not in a relationship, I don't sleep around. So when I'm not with someone, I'm really on my own.
COLLINS: You have this reputation as a wild child, as it were.
EMIN: Yeah, I slept with more people between the ages of 13 and 15 than I have since.
COLLINS: Jesus, 13!
EMIN: Yeah. That is a wild child. I think I've done my bits with sex. I got it done right early on. As soon as I found out about it, I went right out and got it. And I thought it was
fantastic. I thought it was easy. I thought it was fun. I thought it was a way of getting around the world. I saw everything about it as being positive then. And now I don't. Now I see
everything with love as being positive. So to answer your question, if I were really, truly in love with someone who was truly in love with me, then I would get married, but that would be
the only reason I'd get married.
COLLINS: I think that's exactly the way that I felt when I met Percy, because I had no intention of ever getting married again. None. But can I be a flower girl when you do commit to
someone? Matron of honor? When you find somebody that's absolutely right for you? I mean, my marriage at age 19 was a farce. How could I possibly get married at 19? I knew nothing of the
world. I knew nothing of men. I'd never even seen a man without his clothes on!
EMIN: But that's because you were a really nice girl and you thought you were doing the right thing. Whereas now, there's no way you'd get married to someone because you lost your
COLLINS: Isn't it ridiculous?
EMIN: It's totally ridiculous. You know, you're lucky that it didn't damage you. And you're lucky that you're not still trapped in that marriage.
COLLINS: I think it did damage me. I think it damaged me a lot in a way—having a sort of distrust of men after that.
EMIN: But a lot of the men you've been attracted to haven't exactly been the stay-at-home types, have they? To put it politely. Anthony Newley, for example.
COLLINS: Oh, he was a hermit. He hated going out. Hated it! All he wanted to do was work. I remember saying to him, "We're having a dinner party tonight and it's going to be so much fun.
We've got Peter Sellers and Mia Farrow ..." And he said, "Oh, I can't come. I've got to work." I said, "You haven't got to work. You've been working all day!"
EMIN: How did he have time to have affairs then?
COLLINS: He started when he was in shows. You know, in the intermission.
EMIN: That's nice.
COLLINS: I don't think they were going out to dinner, and hearts and flowers. I think they were more wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. Certainly, I remember when I was pregnant the second time, I
came into his dressing room one afternoon, in between shows, and there was this pretty, young blond sitting on his knee ... But, you know something? I don't bear grudges. People have to
do what they have to do.
EMIN: Knowing you how I do now, you don't bear any grudges. I was talking to you about the way you look, and I said that you always look good apart from when you're unhappy, and you said
to me, "I'm never unhappy!" [both laugh] Brilliant.
COLLINS: Yeah, I'm happy most of the time. I was born with the happy gene. I know some people who are just miserable all the time, who moan and complain and are jealous. There was a
producer's wife on Dynasty who was just so mean about everybody. Linda Evans or I borrowed a dress to wear to a premiere because we didn't have time to get fitted, and she was
really angry about that and accused people of stealing. Anyway, that's beside the point. So listen, I'm going to have to pack this up shortly. I could talk to you all day, sweetie. Are we
going to have lunch?
EMIN: Tell me what you've done today, because it's still early for you. COLLINS: It's 9:30 A.M. I've been up since seven. I've had a long talk with a business associate for
about 45 minutes, and then I talked with you now, and then I've got an interview because my book's coming out the week after next. I've got an interview in 10 minutes actually, and I'm
EMIN: All right then, when you're back in London, let's try to meet up. And not with lots of people.
Issue 200’s Entertainment Editor, Tracey Emin, interviews her friend Joan Collins exclusively for Stylist. (NB It’s our favourite email exchange ever)
From: Tracey Emin
Date: 26 September 2013 05:15:12 CEST
To: Joan Collins
Dear Joan You are in New York. I’m at my house in France. When ever I think of you... In my minds eye… I see you in the south of France. Where do you consider home? And how important is it to
Sent from my iPhone
From: Joan Collins
Date: 30 September 2013 17:24:32 CEST
To: Tracey Emin
Subject: Re: First Question
I’m lucky enough to have 4 places I call home: London, south of France, New York and Los Angeles. We try to divide our time somewhat equally and I feel very much at home in each of my
abodes, as I have family photos and memorabilia in each of them, and each time I arrive at each one I go off to the nursery and fill it with flowers and plants!
Sent from my iPhone
From: Tracey Emin
Date: 1 October 2013 00:45:53 CEST
To: Joan Collins
I have only ever been to your home in the SoF.
It is very homely and comfortable, you as a host are also very relaxed and make all your guests feel totally at ease.
I once came for lunch and ended up staying for three days. It was so damn relaxing!
You always have beautiful plants and flowers...
And yes you have a very lovely garden.
I know you have a gardener but I also know you do a lot of gardening yourself.
In fact you are a very self-sufficient person. You take care of a lot of things yourself. You are very hands on. From what I know of you, you have always been this way.
In your first answer you refer to yourself as lucky. But you said something brilliant to me. And I’ve run around quoting you. “Funny isn’t it how lucky people always work really hard.” You
have worked exceptionally hard all your life at times even having reversible turns of fortune. What do you think gave you your faith and determination? And do you think its inherent in The
British nature to resent success. Even if it is really worked for?
From: Joan Collins
Date: 4 October 2013 21:28:13 CEST
To: Tracey Emin
There will always be people who resent success, whatever country they come from. Sadly the American dream everyone expected in the 1950s has evaporated for too many.
My faith and determination came from my parents. My father said “don’t expect anybody to do anything for you. If you want to get on in life you got to do it yourself”. I try to make
each day count: I want to achieve something and enjoy something every day.
My parents, like most parents of my generation, were quite insistent on good manners, discipline and self-sufficiency.
I love gardening! I find it very relaxing and gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I see something I’ve tended flourishing.
Who wouldn't want to go on holiday with Tracey Emin and Joan Collins?
From: Tracey Emin
Date: October 7, 2013 12:33:18 AM PDT
To: Joan Collins
I left School unofficially at 13. At 15 I went back and sat five CSEs. Certificates of secondary education. I was told I had two work options. Rovects factory or Butlins washing up.
And that I’d never go to university. I proved them wrong. Going to art school was the biggest break in my life. Earning my first degree was by far the greatest achievement. You are pretty
smart and brainy. Do you ever wish you had gone to university; If so what would you liked to have studied? (Excluding theatre or drama)
Sent from my iPhone
From: Joan Collins
Date: 9 October 2013 16:15:53 BST
To: Tracey Emin
I did go to University. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where I studied drama. But if I had not done that I probably would have gone to University and studied fashion, my second
Sent from my iPad
From: Tracey Emin
Date: 10 October 2013 07:00:43 BST
To: Joan Collins
I would say love was your first love. Percy is your 5th husband. You both seem ridiculously happy. What’s your secret?
From: Tracey Emin
Date: 25 October 2013 10:33:15 BST
To: Joan Collins
Dear Joan I’m now up in Edinburgh. I’m here making a TV program on one of my favourite artists, Louise Bourgeois. She died in 2010 age 98. I deeply admire her and her work.
What women in your life have you admired?
From: Joan Collins
Date: 29 October 2013 17:28:39 GMT
To: Tracey Emin
Darling I’m so sorry we’re so tardy!! Here’s the answers:
The inspirational women I admire are my mother, Maggie Thatcher and Ava Gardner – I know that’s eclectic but so am I!!
As for Percy, our secret is we were friends first and loved each other for the right reasons!
How was The Old Toon? Xoxo
Sent from my iPhone
From: Tracey Emin
Date: 29 October 2013 17:40:21 GMT
To: Joan Collins
Edinburgh is as beautiful as ever but doing television always exhausts me, I feel in the long run it takes something out of my soul.
You have been so busy the last week. I went to your book signing and since then you have popped up all over the place.
Does it exhaust you being in the public eye. Or excite you?
If you could have changed one thing in your life what would it have been? And what was the happiest moment of your life?
Do you believe in life after?
love The Trace xxxx
From: Joan Collins
Date: 30 October 2013 14:17:20 GMT
To: Tracey Emin
After several weeks of non-stop promotion and appearances I need to “pull the plug”. I therefore cancel everything and stay close to home and in bed for 2-3 days.
Two things I would have rather not done: I would not have married Husband #1 Maxwell Reed and Husband #4 Peter Holm.
There have been several happiest moments of my life as you can imagine! The birth of all my three children and my wedding day to Percy stand out.
I would like to believe in life after because I’d like to meet my loved ones who have passed on, but alas who knows? Only one way to find out and I’m not rushing!
Love, The Joan*
* All emails printed as written
Tracey has been a regular fixture in Stylist since our launch. She has been on the cover, created bespoke artwork for features and written her own column.