Joan Collins played conniving glamourpuss Alexis Carrington Colby on the TV soap opera Dynasty
(1981-89). Collins began in low-budget British movies in 1951, then caught the attention of Hollywood when she appeared in the Howard Hawks
epic Land of the Pharaohs
(1955). Often cast as a sultry, brunette bad girl, she was in several films in the late '50s and early '60s, including The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing
(1955) and Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!
(1958, starring Paul Newman
). In the '60s and '70s she worked mostly in low-budget horror movies and in television (she was the guest star in 1967's "City on the Edge of Forever," one of the most celebrated episodes of the original Star Trek
series). Collins has also written novels, books on beauty tips and an autobiography. Like a British version of Liz Taylor
, Collins managed to stay in the public eye into the 21st century. In 2002, at age 68, she married her 36 year-old boyfriend Percy Gibson.