Words to Live by, from Pop Culture Queen Joan Collins

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Dynasty, 1971(Film still) via Blue Dress on Flickr

On her 85th birthday, indulge in some arresting one-liners from the legendary actress and writer

Dame Joan Collins has been Hollywood royalty for over six decades. As one of the stars of 1980s soap opera Dynasty, the English actress graced American television screens for eight years and made an icon of her sharp-tongued character Alexis Colby, winning a Golden Globe for her efforts in 1982. Beyond television, Collins has written wildly successful novels (or perhaps that should read successfully wild), a skill her younger sister Jackie also shared, and starred in films, usually taking on particularly strong-willed, sassy characters whose one-liners would go on to be quoted in the years to come (and indeed resurfaced via Collins’ own Twitter account, where she often capitalises on #FlashbackFriday). Such clips need not remain throwbacks, however, as news has broken recently that the 85-year-old will be joining the cast of cult television show American Horror Story for its next season.

Favouring a no-holds-barred approach to her life and career, and generally erring on the side of racy in much of her work – take 1978’s The Stud, for example, a filmic rendition of Jackie’s romance novel of the same name, and its sequel, The Bitch – Collins has become as well-known and revered for the acerbic wit she has espoused as she is for her work. Glamour, beauty, sex, fashion, politics, love and Hollywood – Dame Joan doesn’t shy away from offering her opinion on any topic. In the words of Alexis in Dynasty circa 1985: “let’s get down to the nitty gritty”.

  1. “The problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer.”
  2. “Life is a predator: you have to eat it before it eats you.”
  3. “Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”
  4. “I’ve never yet met a man who could look after me. I don’t need a husband. What I need is a wife.”
  5. “Even when you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.”
  6. “I call facelifts the plain woman’s revenge.”
  7. “My life’s been a rollercoaster, it’s moved up and down more than Joan Rivers’ face.”
  8. “Glamour is a certain amount of illusion.”
  9. “Phrases such as ‘pack light!’ and ‘capsule wardrobe!’ strike fear into the heart of a dedicated shopper like me. Pack light? I need every one of those 30 bags!”
  10. “Isn’t three quarters of life a guilty pleasure?”