Life lessons from the inimitable Joan Collins

Life Lessons From The Inimitable Joan Collins Life Lessons From The Inimitable Joan Collins
Joan Collins
Share this article

By Prudence Wade, PA

Known for her searing wit, brutal honesty and dedication to glamour, Joan Collins is nothing short of a legend.

Now we’re set to get a look into the mind of a diva, as the 87-year-old’s diaries will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The entries are described as ‘unapologetic’ and ‘outrageous’ and will give an insight into the star’s glitzy life, including her encounters with royals and her “honest insights of other celebrities at parties or dinners”.

Collins became the queen of soap operas in the 1980s (PA)

Collins became a global superstar in the 1980s for playing Alexis Colby in Dynasty, and has since gone on to write numerous books and star in TV show American Horror Story.

These are just some of the lessons we can take from her life…

Always speak your mind

Collins has cultivated a somewhat outrageous reputation (Matt Crossick/PA)

Collins isn’t exactly known for beating around the bush – instead, she can be relied upon to say exactly what she’s thinking.


Whether it’s talking politics, technology or other celebrities, Collins is a true advocate for speaking your mind.

While Collins’ candour is often celebrated, it’s not always advisable to be quite as honest as she is. The actor is no stranger to courting controversy – particularly when bemoaning what she’s called ‘political correctness’.

You can never be overdressed

One thing Collins shares with her on-screen character Alexis is a love of OTT fashion. In the Eighties, her style was all glitz, glamour and shoulder pads – and not much has changed since.

Needless to say, Collins isn’t a fan of casual dressing, telling Vogue: “Nobody dresses up anymore. If you do, then people stare at you, or make cutting remarks… well, maybe not cutting, but they’ll say something like, ‘Oh, look at you! You’re all dressed up.’

“I find that very sad, because it will be the end of women buying elegant clothes in stores. Everybody’s going to end up in jeans and T-shirts, which I think is tragic.”


Collins continues to be a style icon well into her 80s, and was the face of Valentino’s 2019 Christmas campaign. While the camp theme of the 2019 Met Gala was pretty much made for Collins, who stormed the red carpet in a frothy, feathered white gown.

Never settle

Collins’ personal life is well documented, including her five marriages. Before settling down with producer Percy Gibson in 2002, she was married to film star Maxwell Reed, actor and singer-songwriter Anthony Newley, record producer Ron Kass and singer Peter Holm.

The actor wrote for The Daily Mail she doesn’t “have the makings of a top relationship counsellor”, but describes her marriage as “thriving, happy and still in love”. Her top tip for a blissful relationship is simple: separate bathrooms.

Dedicate yourself to charity

Collins was made a dame in 2015 (John Stillwell/PA)

Collins was made a dame for her services to charity in the 2015 New Year Honours. Some of the charities she supports include the NSPCC, The National Center for Learning Disabilities and The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.

She particularly dedicates her time to causes involving children and breast cancer, and in 1994 was given the lifetime achievement award by the Association of Breast Cancer Studies.

In 2016 Collins told PA: “I also feel very strongly that cancer is something that hits people. One in three people are going to get cancer so it’s very important to try and find a cure.”

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2022, developed by Square1 and powered by