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Thread: Joan Collins: My husband's my reward

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    Elite Member TheMoog's Avatar
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    Default Joan Collins: My husband's my reward

    Joan Collins: My husband's my reward


    'I'm determined to live to be 100', says Joan

    Joan Collins, 74, on wigs, Percy, Botox, death, Blair, diets, Hillary Clinton, pensions, Brown and frogs she has kissed...


    Sex, or the suggestion of it, hangs in the mimosa-scented breeze as Joan Collins glides towards the top table in the Cote d'Azur's most fashionable bar.

    Air-kisses blow back and forth. Linen-clad waiters bend aside. One leaps to puff cushions, straighten the tablecloth, pat the flower bowl.
    Beyond the pale sands on to which the restaurant spills, the yachts moored in the bay off St Tropez are the size of department stores. But today, all eyes are on Dynasty's Queen of Mean.

    "Oh my God, I need a glass of wine," gasps Joan, "Haven't we ordered yet?"

    So here we are with a glass of Chateau Barbeyrolles, with me itching to ask the only questions her PR says she's banned: has she "had any work" – and, if she hasn't, how the hell does she manage to look like that at 74? And what's it really like being married to a man nearly half your age?

    She sports a floppy white canvas hat, black sun specs, wedged sandals, a white Chanel clutch. At her throat, a diamond-encrusted heart is pierced by an arrow bearing the initials "P" and "J".

    She wears three diamond bracelets on her right wrist, on the other a £5 watch – she's forgotten her Cartier.

    On her left hand is the wedding band which matches her fifth husband Percy's, and the 19th Century heart-shaped, diamond-filled engagement ring it took her dearly beloved a year to find.
    "I've just cleaned it with my toothbrush and toothpaste – the best way," says Joan.

    Her voice veers between Snow White and Helen Mirren, depending on subject matter. The accent crosses West Coast with West End.
    Percy, effortlessly masculine despite a yellow Hawaiian shirt, scratches his thigh through his shorts and combs his damp black hair with his fingers.

    He grins unselfconsciously and calls her "Darling". He's 42 and everyone warms to him. Joan clocks this.

    "He's my Alpha male," she purrs. "I love Alpha males."

    Joan shunts her way along the cushioned banquette until we are touching. She is bird-like, petite. Most of her appears to defy gravity.
    Her tiny, heart-shaped face is barely made-up: light beige foundation, black eye pencil, a whisk of mascara. The mouth, however, is drawn with Norma Desmond precision, a millimetre or two outside the lipline, and crayoned-in with a deep, metallic red.

    Her facial skin, chamois-pale, is at odds with that on her limbs (more mock-croc). Although she loves sunbathing, she has not exposed her face, neck and decolletage for 50 years.

    Instead, she hides them under hats and umbrellas. I squint rudely, I can't help myself.

    "Have you really never had any plastic surgery?" I ask.
    "No knives," she responds.
    "Had Botox, once, years ago. Hated it. Can't bear needles. And I loathed what it did to my face. I'm an actress, I have to have expression. I'd much sooner slap stuff on at night."
    Her slap du jour, a product called Age-Less 15 – the name suggests that if you use it, you will soon look your age "less 15 years" – is allegedly so good, she has agreed to become the "Face" of Cellex-C, the Toronto-based company that makes it. Joan will be at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge on Tuesday for the official worldwide launch, and signing her latest beauty and lifestyle book, entitled Joan's Way.
    I had met Joan before, 20 years ago. Boarding a BA flight to Nice (Joan remains the airline&£39;s Most Frequent First-Class Flier – imagine) I happened to find myself sitting next to her. Scroll down for more
    Joan and Percy. 'He's my reward,' she says


    She was miserable, having just split from fourth husband Peter Holm – "the Swede" – and was on her way to stay with Rod Stewart. Expressing concerns for my well-being – apparently I looked like hell – she told me she thought I was pregnant.

    "Don't think so," I said.

    Joan retorted: "I can always tell."

    She was right. That embryo is now a second-year university student.
    Joan has been my role model ever since. And just as she preached, I have never once since left the house without make-up.

    Percy is a handsome Manhattan Latin born in Lima. His father was Peruvian, his mother Glaswegian.

    Their banter is easy, familiar, proper husband-and-wife stuff. You can tell they're not pretending. Once, asked if the age gap bothered her, Joan shrugged: "If he dies, he dies."

    But does she really feel oblivious? "I honestly never give it a second thought," she says.

    "He's just Percy. His age is the last thing on my mind. We met while working together, became friends, fell in love quite unexpectedly. He's my reward: as everyone knows, I kissed a lot of frogs."

    Indeed, and where do you start? Warren Beatty, Dennis Hopper, Ryan O'Neal, Terence Stamp... does it bother Percy that his wife has slept with so many celebrities?

    "You might as well ask any man what he feels about the guys who came before him," Percy reasons. "That is the profession she's in, so those are the kind of people she's going to meet.

    I don't have a problem with that. What matters is the relationship that she and I have with each other now – and it couldn't be better. I never think about her age, it's the least interesting thing about her. "The most interesting thing about my wife is that she's a fantastic mother, her kids are great, and the three grandchildren more than make up for us not having babies of our own."

    I watch Joan picking delicately at an artichoke vinaigrette, enjoying her wine, savouring a ham and cheese omelette – she eats only half, always practising what she preaches.

    "The reason diets don't work is because they are too complicated," she maintains.

    "We don't want to stand there measuring out four milligrams of groats – the simplest diet in the world is Eat Less Food.

    "You need half the amount of food at 50 as you ate at 25. And probably half as much again at 75 – though I'll let you know when I get there. I'm going to live to be a hundred, I'm determined.

    "I tell all the women I meet, look after your skin and eat less. Don't diet, it doesn't work. If you diet too much, it's really bad for your skin.

    "And if your skin looks on the way out, eat a ton of olive oil, like I do. Never drink tap water. I have an aversion to drinking recycled urine and hormones.

    "If you really need to drop a few pounds to fit into something, eat boiled eggs and broccoli for three days.

    "And if you need to snack, more broccoli. Exercise a little and you'll always look much younger than your age.

    "Do think about HRT, when the time comes. Did it work for me? Er, hellooo...Oh, and never fall over and break your hip. There is nothing more ageing than a Zimmer frame."

    Joan is writing her 14th novel, a third volume of autobiography, and has just completed an exhausting North American tour of the play Legends with fellow Dynasty star Linda Evans.

    The show attracted rumours of cat fights between them.
    "So exaggerated," shrugs Percy. He'd had plans to bring the production to Britain, but the reviews were poor. On to the next thing.

    "Desperate Housewives is one of the best things ever to hit television," says Joan, who has made no secret of the fact that she'd love a part in the show.

    "I'd jump at a television series. And, if the lighting cameraman said to me, 'Joan, I've tried everything, I simply can't make you look good anymore," maybe that's the time I'd consider a little cosmetic help.

    "Mind you, I always, always do my own make-up – for movies, television, stage, everything. I was taught by Whitey Snyder, the top make-up artist at Fox who did Marilyn Monroe&£39;s face. My daily face takes me between three and ten minutes, no more.
    "When you've been doing it as long as I have, you get it down to a very fine art.

    "I've always had problems with my hair, though. It's very fine and I have to spend hours on it if I want it to look good. Much of the time I can't be bothered, so I plonk on a wig, which started because the studios put me in wigs in every movie I ever made."

    Talk of the old studio system prompts her to lament the dearth of true film stars these days.

    "When it comes to women, where are the Ava Gardners, the Liz Taylors, the Marilyn Monroes?

    "There isn't a female acting in Hollywood today who has an iota of their star quality. I'm sorry – there just isn't."

    Joan divides her time between homes in New York, Provence and Belgravia. She was awarded the OBE in 1997 and insists she has always felt proud to be British – until now.

    "I can't stand the way this Government is running the country," she snaps, her green eyes flashing with fury. "Don't get me started. What kind of Prime Minister will Gordon Brown make? The man is a disgrace.

    "It's utterly shameful what he's doing to people's pensions, and how old people are treated in our country.

    "These are the people who went to war and made this country what it is. And now they are being swatted aside."

    Joan is no fan, either, of Tony Blair. "He had the nerve to say to me at a dinner once, 'Who writes your Spectator column?' – as if an actress couldn't possibly write it herself! What an ass!"

    She despises Blair and George Bush for their lies over Iraq and the elusive weapons of mass destruction, but has no strong attachment to David Cameron.

    "I am a Conservative, but I honestly don't know what kind of leader David Cameron makes, other than he would be better than Brown," she says.

    "If I were 20 years younger, I'd probably have a go at it myself. I bet you I could do a better job."

    Joan flops back in her seat, cheeks flushed, before giving her parting shot on politics.

    She tells me she once asked Hillary Clinton whether she was going to run for the White House, only to be told: "Never in a million years."
    "I looked at her, and I thought, 'She's not telling the truth,' says Joan.

    "But why would she? Doesn't exactly run in the family, does it? Anyway, America's not ready for a woman president and Hillary's not Margaret Thatcher."

    "Have another drink, Darling," says Percy. She does, too. But her dander is up now. She's putting the world to rights and first on her hit list – even above politicians – are absent fathers.

    "I've made my mistakes: the wrong men . . . lots of them," she says in measured tones.

    "But there have been the right children – and grandchildren. They are all my life, I'd be nothing without them.

    "However, I raised all my kids without a father – well they all had fathers, but they didn't stick around.

    "Men who walk out and leave a woman with children are disgusting. It is the most despicable thing to do, and I see it everywhere, more and more.

    "Who do these men think they are? Such lowlife...I have often wondered down the years whether I shouldn't become a lesbian."
    Joan is now on high horse at racing gallop and Snow White descends an octave into mirror-mirror mode. It's a seamless transformation. She should be an actress, I tell her.

    She has the grace to laugh – it's more of a rasp, actually.
    You can tell she's agitated, the voice is cracking. She swallows – first air, then water. Percy reaches across with the bottle to pour her more. He leans back in his chair, folds his arms and grins proudly, about to enjoy the show.

    "That's my girl!" he practically cheers, "Look at her go!" He is delighted: "At last the kind of chat my wife is so good at."
    Joan adds, now a little calmer and more measured: "I've been through the lot, you know, and I think that I've earned the right to a little happiness. But do you know what? You make your own.
    "My parents instilled in me that life was not going to be easy and that you have to do things for yourself. And that's what I've done." She's not worried by death – it's all "part of life". But she hates the thought of serious illness.

    "I do know quite a lot of people right now who have cancer," she says. "I have noticed that several friends of mine have been diagnosed with cancer two or three years after they have been through a terrible shock, or had dreadful things happen to them. "My advice, for what it's worth, is GET OVER IT. Don't brood, darlings. Be resilient. Never think what might have been.

    "Play the cards you've been dealt, and just get on with it. Any day soon could turn out to be your last.

    "Goodness," she exclaims. "I digress all the time, now where was I?" She seems weary. We have been talking for almost four hours. It is now close to 5pm. Joan and Percy have to rush to buy her daughter Katy an iPod for her birthday.

    "Can you get them in France?" Joan looks doubtful. "I already bought her a television for goodness sake, but if that's what she wants..."

    She turns to me with great affection, eyes glistening. The look is at once dryly theatrical and the moist gaze of a long-lost friend.

    She takes my hands in her (much younger-looking) hands, kisses me with her cheeks. She smells like expensive chocolate.

    "So lovely to see you again," she mwahs, from a bang to a whimper. "And please – let's not leave it another 20 years. Percy might be dead by then..."

    Joan Collins: My husband's my reward | the Daily Mail

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    Elite Member aabbcc's Avatar
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    I think her sister is much better looking. I've never really been a Joan Collins fan.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    LOVE Joan, well, most of the time. People who say she had plastic surgery have not been watching her closely. She has MAJOR bags under her eyes and also major crows feet. She just is an absolute expert at applying make-up, theatrical make-up, and unfortunately, that's what she wears in normal life, too, to - at least in photographs and under studio lights - appear much younger than her years. She was on a British show recently Graham Norton, and she was wearing a blouse with these wide sleeves. Every time she raised her arms you could see her saggy, craquelι, sunburned skin plus you could really see the line between where she protects her skin (about to her collar bone), but as soon as they zoomed in, you could really tell her age from her skin on her face, too.
    Last edited by HWBL; June 25th, 2007 at 09:42 AM.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! Pippin's Avatar
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    I like Joan Collins and I think she looks pretty good for her age, but for some reason I don't like to see women in her age group wearing bright red lipstick and nail polish. I think it is aging.

    I think Joan Collins would look better if she wore more muted colours, like a dusky rose.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I swear she has made a pact with the devil.

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    My mother and aunt are in their sixties and even on their worst days they don't look a shade over forty.



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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    No doubt you were there, holding her hand. I keep saying this ad nauseum: her dad died at, I believe, 89 looking no older than somebody in his sixties. It's genetic and really: I have/had relatives who looked younger than her at her age and older.

    touchy, touchy. She said Joan had facelifts, not you. Don't take it so personal.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    i always liked her heart-shaped face.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetie View Post
    touchy, touchy. She said Joan had facelifts, not you. Don't take it so personal.
    Okay, and you fit in this how exactly? Ah, I see, you were
    assigned to telling people how they should feel and respond!
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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    She seems very feisty and unique, and IMO, she looks great. I am surprised she has worn wigs in every movie though, would have never guessed that.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMoog View Post
    Joan Collins: My husband's my reward


    All hail Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member sweetness's Avatar
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    Looks like a facelift (or something) to me, but there's no way a broad like her will ever admit to it.

    Her cheeks are really tight and she has no jowls. Her forehead looks very smooth too, though it is a little hard to tell with the bangs she wears. No lines around her lips either. Whatever the case, she is a very attractive lady.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    There seems to be a certain point where a woman goes from flashy and a presence to looking like a ridiculous drag queen.

    She's jumped over it.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Wink you only wish you could fit into that dress!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    All hail Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People!
    Jealous?!






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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    i absolutely love Joan Collins. love that 'i dont give a crap' attitude of hers.
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