Dame Joan Collins, DBE is an English actress, author and columnist. Born in Paddington, west London, and brought up in Maida Vale, Collins grew up during the Second World War. After making her stage debut in A Doll's House at the age of 9, she trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. She then signed an exclusive contract with the Rank Organisation and appeared in various British films.
At the age of 22, Collins 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, when she appeared in a number of horror flicks. Near the end of the decade, she starred in two films based on best-selling novels by her younger sister Jackie Collins: The Stud (1978) and its sequel The Bitch (1979).
She began appearing on stage, playing 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 Noël Coward's Private Lives. In 1981, she landed the role of Alexis Carrington Colby, the vengeful ex-wife of John Forsythe's character, in the 1980s television soap opera Dynasty, winning a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 1982; she is credited for the success around Dynasty, which was the most-watched television show in America during the 1984-85 broadcast season. Collins also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 for career achievement.
Since the late 1970s, Collins has written several books (including beauty and autobiographical books). In 1988 she published her first novel, Prime Time, and she has continued to publish various kinds of writing.