The iconic Joan Collins opened up about everything from her career and courtships to Cleopatra and the casting couch during an appearance on CBS Sunday Morning.
Collins touched on some of the may men in her life, from her love affair with Warren Beatty and on-set romance with Harry Belafonte to her five husbands – whom she ranked during the interview.
The legendary actress, 85, also shared a few of the #MeToo moments she endured back in the final days of Hollywood’s golden era, and 25 years later when she bad a big splash on the small screen in Dynasty.
Collins said that she was even promised what would become one of the biggest female roles in film history by one studio head, so long as she was willing to meet his requirements.
‘There were some very, very big people who promised me this role if I would be “Nice” to them,’ explained Collins.
‘This was the casting couch. I was dancing with one of the men who was the head of the studio. And he said, “I can put you up in a nice little apartment and I will come and visit you and you’ll not only get all the best roles at fox, but we will see that you get Cleopatra.”‘
Bombshell: Joan Collins opened up about the sexual advances and demands made by powerful Hollywood executives during the golden era of films (Collins above as Cleopatra)
Kids: In that same interview she spoke about her husbands and great loves like Warren Beatty, Harry Belafonte and at least one of her five husbands (Collins and Beatty circa 1965)
Shut down: ‘I can put you up in an apartment and I will come and visit you and you’ll not only get all the best roles at Fox, but we will see that you get Cleopatra,’ said one exec (Collins above on CBS Sunday Morning)
Close-up on Cleopatra: Collins, 85, declined, saying: ‘I was never, ever, ever going to settle forgiving my body to some old man for a role, or even a young man or anybody’ (Collins above in a Cleopatra screen test)
The pay-for-play offer was quickly upended by the quick-witted and self-assured Collins, who responded by saying: ‘I said, “Great idea, and I am here with my agent, Jay Kanter, let’s go talk to him about it.”‘
When asked if she was concerned or even aware that her decision to cut down the proposition would likely have repercussions, Collins explained that she had long held firm on her values.
‘I was never, ever, ever going to settle for giving my body to some old man for a role, or even a young man or anybody. I would never do that, ever, ever,’ explained Collins.
She was more direct about the incident back in 2017 when she opened up about her encounters with the 20th Century Fox studio heads for the first time in a column for The Daily Mail.
‘The head of 20th Century Fox at the time, Buddy Adler, and the chairman of the board — a Greek gentleman old enough to be my grandfather — bombarded me with propositions and promises that the role was mine if I would be “nice” to them,’ wrote Collins.
‘It was a euphemism prevalent in Hollywood. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t — the very thought of these old men was utterly repugnant. So, I dodged and I dived, and hid from them around the lot and made excuses while undergoing endless screen tests for the role of Egypt’s Queen.’
She then recalled the story she told on CBS, only in her column identifying that man as Adler, who quickly shot back as she tried to get out of the situation.
‘Honey, you have quite a sense of humor,’ Collins recalled Adler saying when she went to grab her agent.
‘And a sense of humor is all you’ll ever get from me,’ replied Collins, who soon found herself out of work while Taylor swept in to play the Egyptian queen.
Not so funny: When Collins turned down the advances, Elizabeth Taylor got the role of Cleopatra (Collins screen test above)
Damn you, Alexis: ‘He frankly didn’t like this English woman and every person saying that she made the show,’ said Collins of John Forsyth (left with Linda Evans right)
So vain: ‘We used to stop on Sunset Boulevard at the news agents and Warren would look through modern screen and see if we had pictures in a magazine,’ said Collins
And much like Taylor, Collins also had many middling and a few great loves, including a few of her five husbands and Warren Beatty, who relished in his press according to his ex.
‘We used to stop on Sunset Boulevard at the news agents and Warren would look through modern screen and see if we had pictures in a magazine,’ revealed Collins of her seemingly so-vain lover.
When asked if she was in love with Beatty, she responded: ‘I think so. It’s like Prince Charles said, “Whatever love is.”‘
Sparks would later fly with Harry Belafonte on the set of Island in the Sun, but not with John Forsyth on Dynasty.
‘John didn’t like me,’ said Collins.
‘John is old school misogynistic, and a bit sexist.’
She then added: ‘He frankly didn’t like this English woman and every person saying that she made the show.’
The octogenarian is still doing just that too, almost 70 years after she arrived in Hollywood at the age of 17 following a stint in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.