November 23rd, 2010
05:05 PM ET
Celebrities including Liam Neeson, Bravo's Andy Cohen, Vanity Fair honcho Graydon Carter and Harper's Bazaar editor-in-chief Glenda Bailey turned out at New York City's Feinstein's at Loews Regency last night to see Joan Collins talk about life, loves, legends - and even do a split! – in her one-woman show, "One Night With Joan."
The hour-long set, which features film clips and family photos, opens with the "Dynasty" diva – still stunning at 77 – revealing that she always wanted to be in show business and, as a child, wrote fan letters to Hollywood stars whom she would later work with, including dancer Gene Kelly.
While studying acting in her teens, the squeaky-voiced Collins was told she would never make it in the theater and was instead doomed to do films – her goal, of course! Shortly after Collins arrived in Hollywood to make movies, she met a breathy young blonde who warned her that the casting couch was alive and well. That bombshell was Marilyn Monroe.
Five-times married Collins also dishes about the men in her life. Her first husband – whom she wed at age 19 – tried to sell her to an Arab sheik for $50,000. Frank Sinatra attempted to woo her with a phone call offering to pick her up on his private jet, but hung up on her when she refused to call him "Francis." And smooching crotchety crooner Bing Crosby in 1962's "The Road to Hong Kong" was like kissing an ashtray, she said, because he smoked so much.
Then there are the women. Collins reveals that Joan Crawford – whom she was named after – gave her the silent treatment when they were introduced at a Hollywood party. Bette Davis, her co-star in 1955's "The Virgin Queen," envied the young Brit's beauty so much that she kicked her during a scene in which Collins ties her shoe. And "Dynasty" cast mate Linda Evans was so naïve that she believed Collins actually meant the harsh words she said during one of their fake fight scenes.
As for that on-stage split? Collins – who jokes that it earned her the nickname "the British Open" – demonstrates that neat little trick to prove that after all these years, she's still got it.
See for yourself by catching "One Night With Joan," running now through November 27 at Feinstein's at Loews Regency.
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