Sleeping in the Underground to Stardom: A 90-Year-Old Actress’s Inspiring Story

This celebrity experienced her formative years amidst the backdrop of war, although the specifics of the events leading to the conflict were hazy in her memory due to her tender age. Despite the impact on her education, she went on to become one of the most iconic stars.

Born on May 23, 1933, in London, England, this public figure is the eldest child of Elsa, a former nightclub hostess, and Joseph, a talent agent.

Elsa, originally from Britain, and her husband Joseph, a South African, expanded their family with two more children: Jackie in 1937 and Bill in 1946. The family endured the challenges of living through World War II.

During the war, they, like many London residents, sought refuge in Tube stations, sheltering from German bombs that threatened the entire city. The girl reminisced about those challenging times in May 2020.

The celebrity pictured on September 1, 1951 | Sources: Getty Images

The celebrity pictured on September 1, 1951 | Sources: Getty Images

She shared that she was quite young when the war started, and her father had to stay in London for his entertainment duties with those who remained. She elaborated, saying:

“But I was evacuated constantly… […] We were all over the place.”

The celebrity pictured on January 1, 1955 | Sources: Getty Images

The celebrity pictured at home on December 1, 1955 in London | Sources: Getty Images

The disruptions caused by the war had a negative impact on her education, as her family had to constantly move. Despite the challenges, this entertainment icon acknowledged that having her mother with her and her sibling made the situation more manageable.

Recalling those difficult times, she mentioned sleeping in the underground: “We went to the one at Marble Arch the most. It was very convivial – people would have accordions and they’d sing.”

The girl who experienced evacuation is none other than English actress Joan Collins, who achieved widespread fame for her role in the 1981 drama series “Dynasty,” where she starred alongside Linda Evans.

Joan Collins pictured on January 1, 1970 | Sources: Getty Images

In an October 2013 interview, Collins disclosed that her grandmother, who played a pivotal role in teaching her singing, tap dance, and splits, was a significant influence on her decision to pursue acting. Despite this encouragement, her father held a different view and discouraged her from entering the acting profession. He asserted that by the age of 23, she would no longer be relevant to the industry. However, Collins surpassed these expectations and went on to have a highly successful and enduring career in acting.

Joan Collins in the set of “Esther and the King,” 1960 | Sources: Getty Images

Despite the success of her career over the years, the same cannot be said for Collins’ love life. The actress was once engaged to actor Warren Beatty when she was 23, and she became pregnant with his child at the age of 26. However, Beatty advised her to terminate the pregnancy, citing concerns that it would negatively impact their careers. Although hesitant at first, Collins later admitted that he was right.

An undated photograph of Joan Collins and her children at home in California | Sources: Getty Images

Despite never marrying Beatty, Collins went on to marry four times. She is currently married to her fifth husband, actor Percy Gibson, whom she married in February 2002. “Percy is the most honorable man I’ve ever met,” Collins gushed a month after the couple exchanged wedding vows. Although she had no intention of marrying again, he changed her mind.

Percy Gibson and Joan Collins at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. | Sources: Getty Images

The couple first crossed paths in 2000 in New York City when Collins was involved in a play, and Gibson was working as a producer. They started a passionate relationship when she was in her 60s and he was in his 30s, with the age difference not being a concern for the couple. Currently, Collins is 90 years old, while her husband, Gibson, is 58, making him 32 years younger than his Golden Globe Award-winning wife.