One Night With the Grand Dame of Divas, Joan Collins

Photo: Joan Collins, the grand dame of divas, launched a one-woman show in New York City this week to dish about her career, her many men and what she thinks of todays most-coveted actresses.
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The convention in Hollywood these days is that it's considered uncouth to speak frankly, to pull a Kanye, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Joan Collins doesn't care about that -- on stage, anyway.

The grand dame of divas launched a one-woman show in New York City this week to dish about her career, her many men and what she thinks of today's most-coveted actresses. But following the Tuesday premiere of "One Night With Joan," she was markedly more reserved than her "Dynasty" alter-ego, Alexis Carrington-Colby. While that shoulder-pad clad scheming shrew might have torn into Kate Middleton, the common gal Prince William finally put a ring on, the British-born Collins cooed.

"I am so thrilled, I cannot tell you," she told ABCNews.com "I think it's the best thing that's happened Britain since Princess Diana got married. I think it's going to give everybody in England a really good boost. Everybody is very depressed there because of the recession and there's a tremendous amount of people out of work. I think she's a lovely girl, I think he is great. I think it's fabulous."

What of the fact that he proposed with the late Diana's sapphire stunner?

"I think it's so wonderful. It made me cry," Collins said. "And I loved Diana. I knew her, she was a great humanitarian, she was a great person, and the fact that he said with the ring that he wanted her to be part of this relationship, I thought it was just so touching and wonderful."

When Collins was asked to pick a favorite among Hollywood's current crop of fierce femmes -- Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, et. al. -- she wasn't nearly as loquacious.

"All the actresses are fabulous," she said. "Totally beautiful. Every single one of them."

Joan Collins as the diva-tastic Alexis Carrington-Colby in the 1980s TV series "Dynasty."

Joan Collins Dishes on Kate Middleton, Today's Hollywood

And when asked if she thinks the casting-couch culture that was pervasive in Hollywood during the height of her fame has changed, she clammed up even more.

"I don't know, you tell me," she countered. "Do you have to fight it? Pretty young girl like you?"

There's that Alexis. Collins may also have been loathe to elaborate on the women and ways of Hollywood after sending Tinseltown into a tizzy in October, when a Hello! magazine interview revealed how she really feels about the valley of the dolls: "There aren't that many good looking actresses around today. I mean, there's Angelina Jolie and there's ... Angelina Jolie. Jennifer Aniston is cute, but I wouldn't call her beautiful."

Lesson learned, it seems. During her show, Collins waxed poetic about one woman she (and her devoted fan following) deems beautiful without question: herself. At age 77, the brunette bombshell showed she's still got it, taking a break from her monologue to kick off her platform gold heels and stretch her shiny black legging-clad legs into a full split.

Was there an outfit change? Of course there was an outfit change. "One Night With Joan" is a revival of Collins' 2006 London tour. This isn't her first rodeo. She knows what the people want to see. Midway through the hour-long show, Collins ducked behind the curtain and re-emerged in a red-carpet-ready nude-colored gown, sequins and feathers aplenty.

On stage, accompanied by photos and video clips of her over the years, Collins ran through the story of her life, from her star-worshiping beginnings in Britain ("That cad Cary Grant never sent me an autographed picture") to her heyday in the Hollywood studio system ("They put me on a diet of slimming pills, which I later realized were speed") to her "Dynasty" reign ("Shoulder pads -- they were more flattering than an Italian waiter") to her multitude of marriages ("Elizabeth Taylor sent me a note after divorce No. 4 -- 'I'm still ahead by three!'").

Collins' engagement at New York City's Feinstein's nightclub runs through Nov. 27. Then it's back to work on her 17th book, "The World According to Joan," due out in September, 2011. (Because when you're truly fabulous, you always have more tales to tell.)

"I've only written one chapter, but there will be some juicy gossip," she said after the show. "There'll be some juicy gossip, I hope."

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