Dame Joan Henrietta Collins
(born 1933) is a British actress, most famous for her role as Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter on Dynasty
and notorious, body-baring roles in two movies based on novels written by her sister Jackie Collins
, The Stud
and The Bitch
. Also made a notable early appearance in Star Trek: The Original Series
in that show's greatest episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever
", as slum angel Edith Keeler.
The following tropes have popped up in the life and career of Joan Collins:
- Biography: Joan has written two autobiogaphies, Past Imperfect and Second Act, both of which should be taken with varying grains of salt. The former book was notoriously edited for U.S. publication to delete passages detailing her more scandalous doings, but at Joan's insistence was re-released in a new, unexpurgated edition after she hit it big with Dynasty.
- Career Resurrection: At one point in the late 1970s, Joan had to apply for California unemployment benefits. When she could get work again, it was generally in terrible movies based on novels by her sister Jackie or bottom-drawer giant-creature schlock. Then Joan's daughter Katy had a near-fatal accident. And then...along came Dynasty!!
- The Eighties: Thanks to Dynasty, Joan is indeliby associated with this decade.
- I Am Not Spock: From her speech at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary celebration:
Whenever someone says to me, "Aren't you Alexis, that Bitch
?" I smile and say, "No, I'm Edith Keeler, depression-era social worker from Star Trek
- Knight Fever: She received a damehood in the 2015 New Year's Honours List.
- Mama Bear: Joan is exceptionally dedicated to her children. In the early 1980s, she exhibited this trope when she fought metaphorically tooth and nail to bring her daughter Katy back from the brink of death after a near-crippling brain injury.
- Ms. Fanservice: Especially prevalent in Joan's 1950's and early 1960's movies (e.g., Land of the Pharaohs, Esther and the King, Seven Thieves, etc.), but she maintained her sex-symbol image well into her fifties, famously posing for a semi-nude Playboy pictorial in 1983 at the height of her Dynasty celebrity.
- Nice Hat: The way she wore hats over one eye in Dynasty helped re-popularize that look.
- Opera Gloves: Joan has always been a great glove fan and is often seen wearing gloves of all lengths (including, of course, over-the-elbow opera gloves) both in her various film and television roles and in real life. On one occasion, she gave the gloves she was wearing to a fan who was admiring them!
- Pimped-Out Dress: Alexis in Dynasty. Joan has delighted in dressing to the nines and beyond for public events.
- Playboy: Joan made a memorable cover appearance (with accompanying pictorial) in the December 1983 issue, being at that time probably the oldest woman ever to pose (semi-)nude for the magazine.
- Pretty in Mink: Wore loads of fur wraps as a younger star, in addition to the loads of furs in Dynasty.
- Rape as Backstory: Wrote in an autobiography that she lost her virginity by being raped at 18 by a man she would later marry. Unfortunately, Stockholm Syndrome doesn't just apply to kidnap victims.
- Really Gets Around: Joan had this reputation in The Fifties when she was a starlet in British cinema and Hollywood, to the extent that she got the nickname "The British Open". Subverted in the decades since, in that by all accounts she's remained faithful to her various husbands and lovers as long as those relationships were going propositions.
- Shoulders of Doom: Joan made these iconic in her role as Alexis on Dynasty, and was often photographed wearing them in real life also.
- So My Kids Can Watch: Her story at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary of how she got the part in "The City on the Edge of Forever":
In 1967, when my two children finally entered school, I decided I wanted to go back to acting, and soon afterwards, my agent Tom Corman called to say I'd been offered a great part in a Star Trek
"Star what?" I said?
"It's a huge new cult show." said Tom. "Obviously you haven't been reading the trades."
"No, I've been too busy reading Mother and Child Care
by Doctor Spock."
"Forget Doctor Spock", he said, "Start thinking Mister
"Ah, yes!" I said. "Mister Spock, the one the ears? The children love that show!"
"Right, then you'd better do it. You'll probably be queen of the universe, possess intergalactic powers, wear tight, revealing costumes
. Trust me, I'm your agent."
A week later I was cast as Edith Keeler, a saintly Earthling, who works as a social worker in a 1930s mission for down-and-out bums in New York's Bowery. Thanks, Tom.