Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine- Joan Collins

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Happy Birthday Joan Collins !

By MargOH! Channing,

Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine– Joan Collins

Drink a lot wine, she did! That’s why I was called to the set of Dynasty to stand in or for a better phrase be her body double for a very special episode. It was for the 3rd in a series of brawls between Joan’s character Alexis Carrington-Colby and Linda Evan’s Krystle Carrington. Usually the actresses preferred to rough it out and do the stunts themselves. However on this occasion when Joan had a little too much champers and took a tumble on the stairs of The Beverly Hills Hotel they requested a replacement. Rumor has it she was having a tryst but it’s never been confirmed. I’m sure she was just boozed up at the bar and tripped spraining her ankle…

I arrived on the set and was told Joan asked to inspect the extra that would be filling in for the scene. I walked into her dressing room and she turned and said “OH, no not MargOH! Channing, never again”, she’s too over the top. I had forgotten that I played crypt keeper number 6 in an episode of Tales from the Crypt in 1972 with Joan and Peter Cushing. Then she added, “She’s too fat to play me for Crissakes”.

Aaron Spelling scurried in after us and gave me hug. He welcomed me while Joan pleaded with the director to get someone else. After going back and forth with jabs about my fat ass Joan caved with glee after the director told her that they hired me for the sole purpose of sticking it too Linda. She then smiled and giggled like a schoolgirl and hobbled over to me and gave me a hug. She proceeded to give me tips on how to pin Linda to the ground in a choke hold. I then apologized for walking in on her and Peter Cushing doing the nasty in the trailer years earlier. She gripped my arm firmly and told me to forget about that and handed me a very Alexis’ wig and told the makeup girl to slap it on me like mortar.

I then asked her what all the fuss was about, isn’t this scene choreographed. She replied “No, darling these scenes are for real. I dislike Linda and she hates me and this gives us the chance to let it all out. I’m quite heartbroken to miss pulling on that mane of horse hair”.

I spent four hours in makeup and wardrobe to get it just severe enough! Poor Linda looked terrified by my 5’11 165lb frame. She told me if I got too rough she’d knee me in the junk. Just as the director was to say action Joan came running in pushed me aside and said “Forget it I got this one”. She dove at Linda with blood red finger nails and gave it to her good, wow!

Joan just couldn’t bear to let me stand in for her. She once said “Dynasty was the opportunity to take charge of my career rather than waiting around like a library book waiting to be loaned out”. I understood and got paid so I never harbored any hard feelings. Especially when I received a case of champers from Joan thanking me for not playing her…What a dame!

Joan was signed by 20th century fox in 1954 as their answer to MGM’s Elizabeth Taylor but Joan got frustrated by her time under contract. She voiced concern they didn’t take any time to build up the actresses. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Joan’s career really took off for starring in soft-core film versions of her sister Jackie’s racy novels The Stud and The Bitch. They were huge successes in England and gained as much popularity as the James Bond films of the time.

It wasn’t until 1981 that Joan walked down a courtroom aisle in an episode of the second season of Dynasty that she became a legend. Her performance is generally credited as one factor in the fledgling show’s subsequent rise to #1 in the Neilson ratings. Her portrayal of Alexis Carrington-Colby garnered Joan six golden globe nominations, winning one in 1983. I for one was glued to my seat every week watching and I swear for eight years I never left the house without a large brimmed hat and sun glasses! Not to mention industrial size shoulder pads boys…

It’s hard to believe that Joan is turning 77 this year, she looks marvelous. I think it may be the fact that she has a hubby 32 years her junior keeping her in shape. Then there was her relationship with Warren Beatty where she was quoted saying “I don’t think I can last much longer. He never stops; it must be all those vitamins he takes.” When someone later inquired if they really had sex seven times a day, she answered, “Maybe he did, but I just lay there.”

Preach it to me Sister Joan and I’ll follow darling!

Happy Birthday and thank you Ms. Collins for the glorious glamour and the ultimate bitch factor in Alexis you supplied us all forever!

Put your hands together for this old broad!

By MargOH! Channing

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