Dynasty diva plays Feinstein's
by David-Elijah Nahmod
Feinstein's at the Nikko will glitter when Dynasty star Joan Collins takes to the stage to talk about her fabulous life. The legendary actress, now in the third act of her dazzling career, shows no signs of slowing down. More than three decades after Alexis Carrington took Denver by storm, Collins retains her vigor and her beauty.
"I've wanted to do this in San Francisco for a long time," she said, speaking to the B.A.R. by phone. "I did it at Feinstein's in New York, and I know that I have quite a fan base in SF."
We wondered what Collins would be doing in a club that often features singers. "I'll be telling the story of my life in a hopefully humorous way," she said. "There will be a montage of my films and TV shows, and clips from Dynasty. Then a Q&A."
Though she enjoyed a successful run in Hollywood films, Dynasty 's Alexis has become Collins' signature role. "It's a great show, great entertainment," she recalls fondly. "It was definitely a product of its time. The hairstyles and the jewels were pure camp. And the bitch fights! College kids loved it!"
In 1982, Collins won a Golden Globe as Best Actress in a TV series for her work on Dynasty. "I was thrilled!" she said. "I didn't want to make a long, dreary speech, so I thanked Sophia Loren for turning the role down!"
In the early 1970s, Collins' star had fallen somewhat. Until Dynasty catapulted her back to the top, she began appearing in low-budget horror films like Tales that Witness Madness (1974), The Devil Within Her (1975) and the hugely successful Tales from the Crypt (1972). She said she has no regrets about accepting such roles. "I was a working mother, a jobbing actress," she said. "I had three kids to support. That was the work I had."
Her career started at age nine, playing a boy in an Ibsen play. Over the decades she's done film, theater, television, published novels, and wrote beauty books. Her youthful appearance and flawless skin continue to amaze people. She stays out of the sun, she says. And she's a strong believer in make-up.
"You have to blot down your foundation as much as possible so it's not too thick," she advises. "It takes me a half-hour for a full face with lashes. I shove it on, that's why it's called slap." She always looks immaculate, and is so good at applying her face that she reportedly did her own make-up for Dynasty.
It should all make for quite a fascinating night when Collins takes to the Feinstein's stage to talk about what she did and how she did it. She's truly one of a kind.
Joan Collins: One Night with Joan, Thurs., April 10, 8 p.m., Feinstein's at the Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., SF. (415) 394-1111