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Joan Collins, 18, rocked dramatic wedding dress with first husband Maxwell Reed, 33

The Dynasty actress is now blissfully happy with fifth husband Percy Gibson

Actor Maxwell Reed and his bride actress Joan Collins after their wedding at Caxton Hall Register Office, London.
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
26 June 2023
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Joan Collins has been married five times, but her wedding dress with her first husband Maxwell Reed was arguably the most dramatic of them all.

The multiple award-winning actress was just 18 when she married the Irish actor, then 33, at Caxton Hall Register Office in May 1952. Black and white throwback photos show Joan pulled out all the stops when it came to her bridal outfit, settling on a long-sleeved gown with a fitted bodice, A-line skirt and a raised collar leading into a V-neck.

English actress Joan Collins smiling in a high collared wedding dress© Getty
Joan's first wedding dress featured a dramatic collar

The latter was an unusual feature that has been popular with several royal brides since – Princess Martha Louise chose a Wenche Lyche gown inspired by a Martha lily in 2002, while Queen Letizia of Spain married King Felipe in 2004 wearing a similarly high collared gown by Manuel Pertegaz, which was reportedly worth £6 million. 

Alongside her dress, which was embossed with a floral print, Joan wore a heart locket around her neck, carried a bouquet of white flowers and accessorised with a vintage white headpiece.

Actress Joan Collins on the day of her wedding to husband actor Maxwell Reed.(Photo by Ron Case/Getty Images)© Ron Case
The actress married Maxwell Reed aged 18

Adding to her show-stopping outfit, the actress kept her beauty look just as striking with a bold brow and dark eyeliner highlighting her features. Meanwhile, Maxwell wore a pinstripe suit with his hair styled into a quiff.

The couple met when she was 17 and he proposed after just a few months of dating. However, they got divorced after four years of marriage in 1956 and Maxwell died from cancer in 1974. 

Joan has since opened up about their unhappy union and claimed he drugged and sexually assaulted her on their first date. She said in The Originals podcast that she then felt obligated to marry him. "It wasn't my fault but I didn't know, I went out with him. And maybe I shouldn't have gone out with him. He was much older than me, and he was a famous star.

"And anyway the bottom line is that he called me, and I went out with him again. And after I'd been going out with him for a few months, he asked me to marry him.

Joan Collins and Percy Gibson seen attending the V&A 2023 Summer Party at The V&A © Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer
Joan was married four times before meeting her husband Percy

"And I thought, 'Well I better because you know, he took my virginity.' I really hated him, but I was so filled with guilt, that he had done this thing to me," she explained.

The Star Trek: The Original Series star was later married to Anthony Newley from 1963 to 1971, during which time they welcomed son Sacha and daughter Tara, followed by Ron Kass from 1972 to 1983, who is father to her daughter Katyana.

Joan Collins in a pink dress with her husband Percy Gibson in a grey suit after renewing her wedding vows at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles in March 2009© Getty
The happy couple renewed their wedding vows at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles in March 2009

In 1985, she married her fourth husband Swedish pop singer Peter Holm, and after they split in 1987, she exchanged vows with Percy Gibson in 2002. "It is my fifth marriage, and my happiest, and last," she told HELLO!.

WATCH: See more unconventional celebrity wedding dresses

The 90-year-old wore several white gowns for her weddings, but she ditched tradition when she married her fifth husband, 58, in a stunning lilac gown.

For her ceremony at Claridge's Hotel in London, attended by the likes of Dame Shirley Bassey and Rupert Everett, Joan wore a colourful dress designed by Nolan Miller, who happened to be the costumier for Dynasty, and matching shoes by Manolo Blahnik. 

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