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Joan Collins, 90, reveals why fifth husband Percy, 31 years her junior, is her best yet

The Dynasty star married Percy in 2002

Percy Gibson and Dame Joan Collins attends the Shooting Star Ball in 2021.
Faye James
Senior Editor
13 November 2023
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Dame Joan Collins, an icon of the entertainment industry, recently opened up about her life and love in an interview with Louis Theroux for BBC2, reflecting on her journey from a Hollywood starlet to finding true happiness in her fifth marriage.

At 90, Joan has lived a life full of both professional triumphs and personal tribulations. She gained immense fame for her portrayal of the ambitious Alexis Colby in the U.S. soap "Dynasty," a role so powerful that it blurred the lines between her on-screen persona and her real life in the eyes of the public. 

Today, however, she finds herself in a contented phase of life, married to Percy Gibson, who is 31 years her junior. "I believe in marriage — which is why I’ve done it five times — and I finally have a wonderful marriage," she said. This sentiment reflects her faith in love and her journey to finding personal fulfillment.

Joan's career in Hollywood began in the 1950s, but her path was not without its challenges. Her first marriage to Northern Irish actor Maxwell Reed ended disastrously in 1956 following allegations of abuse. 

Joan with her husband Percy smiling at the Oscars in 2022© Getty Images
Joan with her husband Percy at the Oscars in 2022

Her subsequent marriage to performer Anthony Newley, with whom she had two children, ended in 1971 amidst his infidelity. Her third marriage to Ron Kass, a film producer and music executive, lasted 11 years. 

Despite their divorce in 1983, they remained close until his death in 1986. Joan's fourth marriage to Swedish former pop star Peter Holm was short-lived, lasting only 19 months.

joan and husband percy walking hand-in-hand © Richard Young/Shutterstock
The couple look smitten

Despite these personal setbacks, Joan's professional life soared in the 1980s with "Dynasty." However, the role of Alexis also presented challenges, as it led to typecasting and underestimation of her acting abilities. 

“I think I’m still identified very much so by many people with Alexis... they think I can just play these roles,” she lamented. Early reviews focused more on her appearance than her acting skills, which she found frustrating and demeaning.

Actress Joan Collins and husband Ronald S. Kass attend the 40th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 29, 1983© Getty
Joan says Ron's drug problem put a lot of strain on their marriage

Joan also addressed the sexist double standards she faced, particularly being labeled a 'maneater'. She compared her dating life to that of actresses today, stating, “If you compare how I was in the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies in between husbands with the way that some actresses are today, I was positively nun-like really.”

Her journey as a woman in Hollywood also highlighted the challenges of balancing career and family. 

Joan Collins with Anthony Newley© Bettmann
Joan Collins with Anthony Newley

When she attempted to re-enter the industry in the '70s, she was advised to downplay her appearance to be taken seriously, advice she found contradictory to her upbringing and personal values. "Why should I throw all that up so some ditsy director can think I can act? So I decided to be true to myself,” she stated.

The foundations of Joan's success, along with that of her late sister, writer Jackie Collins, were laid in their childhood. 

Joan Collins and Peter Holm at the Golden Globe Awards. © Getty
Joan's marriage to Peter ended after she found him with another woman

Joan credits their parents for instilling in them the drive to pursue their passions. Joan went into acting, while Jackie became a prolific writer, passing away in 2015 at the age of 77. 

Reflecting on their relationship, Joan shared: “Unfortunately, a lot of people in my life she hated. Luckily she adored Percy, and we all got along in the last, sadly, few years of her life.”

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