Joan Collins, at 90, opened up about her blissful marriage to her fifth husband, Percy Gibson, 58, in a heartfelt conversation with The Mirror, sharing that he only gets "better and better" as the years roll on.
Joan and Percy crossed paths in 2000 during a play Joan was leading, and Percy was producing. It didn't take long for their friendship to blossom, and by 2002, they decided to intertwine their destinies in marriage.
Reflecting on their journey, Joan gleefully stated: "It is the fifth time lucky. I’ve been feeling that for years. He’s a wonderful, kind, truly good man. He’s my accomplice and my best friend. Plus, he’s extremely handsome – and he just gets better and better."
Their serendipitous union was solidified when a fortuitous change of plans kept Percy away from the vicinity of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Joan warmly recounts the little gestures Percy makes, like bringing her a cup of coffee in bed every morning and leaving sweet notes under the kettle.
Despite Joan unabashedly calling Percy "the best lover I ever had" in her new book Behind The Shoulder Pads, she emphasized that their relationship was initially platonic.
"Percy and I became really good friends first. So we had this connection. We really knew each other," she said, highlighting the importance of friendship and separate bathrooms in maintaining marital bliss.
Balancing independence and togetherness, the couple operates in separate office spaces, with Percy managing their exquisite properties in London, St. Tropez, and Los Angeles.
Joan, who celebrated her 90th birthday in May, attributes her graceful aging to never indulging in conversations about her age.
Joan's narrative doesn't shy away from the shadows of the film industry. She recently revealed her encounters with the industry’s predators and shared the words of caution she received from Marilyn Monroe in 1955.
This exchange occurred when Joan, then 21, was cast in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, a role initially intended for Marilyn.
Joan recalls a conversation at Gene Kelly's house: "Marilyn was sitting at the bar, no make-up, drinking a martini. She said, 'I hear you're playing the role I was supposed to play, but I was too old.'" Marilyn then warned her about the "wolves of Hollywood", advising vigilance against the predatory nature prevalent in Hollywood at the time.
Joan's resilience and her ability to circumvent these challenges were partly due to her father’s advice: "One of the best things to do to avoid a predatory man, laugh at him!"
Joan mused, contrasting the pervasive predatory behavior of her early years with the present, stating: "Not to the same extent. It was just taken as an act as divine right to sleep with his leading lady," referring to actors like George Peppard, Richard Burton, and Richard Todd. Joan expressed her relief that such toxic norms have abated significantly, making the industry a safer space for women today.