Dame Joan Henrietta Collins (born 23 May 1933 in Paddington, London) is a British actress, most famous for her role as Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter on Dynasty (1981) 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 the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever", as slum angel Edith Keeler.
Her roles include:
- The Bravados (1958) as Josefa Velarde
- The Road to Hong Kong (1962) as Diane
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1966) as Baroness Bibi De Chasseur/Rosy Shlagenheimer (1 episode)
- Batman (1966) (1967) as The Siren (2 episodes)
- Star Trek: The Original Series (1967) as Edith Keeler (1 episode)
- Mission: Impossible (1969) as Nicole Verdette (1 episode)
- The Persuaders! (1972) as Sidonie (1 episode)
- Tales from the Crypt (1972) as Joanne Clayton
- The Man Who Came to Dinner (1972) as Lorraine Sheldon
- Space: 1999 (1975) as Kara (1 episode)
- The Devil Within Her (1975) as Lucy Carlesi
- Empire of the Ants (1977) as Marilyn Fryser
- Starsky & Hutch (1977) as Janice (1 episode)
- Tales of the Unexpected (1979, 1980) as Lady Natalia Turton/Clare Duckworth/Julia Roach/Suzy Starr (3 episodes)
- Fantasy Island (1980) as Lucy Atwell (1 episode)
- Dynasty (1981-89) as Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter (195 episodes)
- The Love Boat (1983) as Janine Adams (3 episodes)
- Roseanne (1993) as Ronnie (1 episode)
- Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995) as Lady Edwina Hogbottom
- The Nanny (1996) as Joan Sheffield (1 episode)
- Will & Grace (2000) as Helena Barnes (1 episode)
- The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) as Pearl Slaghoople
- Hotel Babylon (2006) as Lady Imogen Patton (1 episode)
- Marple: They Do It With Mirrors (2009) as Ruth van Rydock
- Rules of Engagement (2010) as Bunny Dunbar (1 episode)
- Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2014) as herself
- Benidorm (2014-17) as Crystal Hennessy-Vass (4 episodes)
- The Royals as Alexandra, Grand Duchess of Oxford (7 episodes)
- American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018) as Evie Gallant/Bubbles McGee (4 episodes)
The following tropes have been featured in the work of Joan Collins:
- The '80s: Thanks to Dynasty (1981), Collins is indelibly associated with this decade.
- Biography: Collins 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 Collins'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!!
- Eye-Obscuring Hat: The way she wore hats over one eye in Dynasty helped re-popularize that look.
- 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 from Dynasty?" I smile and say, "No, I'm Edith Keeler, depression-era social worker from Star Trek."
- Ms. Fanservice: Especially prevalent in Collins's 1950s and early 1960s 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.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Alexis in Dynasty. Collins has delighted in dressing to the nines and beyond for public events.
- Pretty in Mink: Wore loads of fur wraps in her younger roles, in addition to the loads of furs in Dynasty.
- Really Gets Around: Frequently played characters known for this.
- 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 episode.
"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 Spock."
"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.