Second ACT

Joan Collins, Author
Joan Collins, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-312-16997-8
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-312-96666-9
Hardcover - 584 pages - 978-0-7540-2066-0
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Alexis Carrington's notoriety has so dominated Collins's image that the public has little recollection of her half-century's career on stage, in 54 films and in 45 TV venues besides Dynasty. In her second memoir (after Past Imperfect, 1984), Collins asserts that the Dynasty character was ""the personification of Kipling's observation that the female of the species is deadlier than the male."" Although the black-widow persona has earned Collins hostile treatment in the media, her provocative dress and penchant for ""ultra-glamorous, unconventional villainous"" roles suggest that the type-casting has been intentional as well as profitable. Collins is nevertheless a multifaceted actress, and having worked with performers as diverse as John Gielgud and Roseanne Arnold, her recollections of Hollywood and European film life sparkle with entertaining anecdotes. Rarely indiscreet, she discusses her close friendships with Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty and Laurance Harvey with affectionate candor. Descriptions of run-ins with film divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are amusing, and reflections on her intimate conversations with Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood are sad or poignant. Collins has had an astonishing romantic life and despite two husbands (out of four marriages) who wrecked havoc with her finances, she is upbeat about love. She's equally enthusiastic about her ability to write ""hot"" prose, and anyone interested in the business and art of publishing will be glued to her barbed account of her triumph in court over Random House regarding the quality of her fiction. Photos. Author tour. (Oct.)
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