BY Duane Wells
October 15 2009 1:05 PM ET
“I first appeared on the stage when I was 9 years old. In fact, I
missed my cue and was soundly told off by the director,” Collins
recalls with a laugh.
Despite that somewhat inauspicious
beginning to her career, Collins obviously went on to become a
Hollywood leading lady, and it is this period of her life along with the
years that ensued that Collins opens up about in her one-woman show.
goes through my life as a young actress in England playing juvenile
delinquent parts and runaway girls and girls who get pregnant by
mistake,” Collins says of her show.
“Then it goes into my life
in Hollywood when I did movies with Paul Newman, Richard Burton, Bette
Davis, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Gregory Peck and then my personal life
and marriages a bit. And then, of course, it goes into a lot — a lot — of Dynasty. [Laughs] And it is all illustrated with
photographs and home movies and clips from movies I did. It’s about an
hour and 15 minutes of sheer entertainment. [Laughs] I think anyone who likes this business is going to like this a lot.” Not
surprisingly, Collins doesn’t hold back when it comes to dissing on
Tinseltown A-listers, some of whom impressed her and many of whom
turned out to be major disappointments. Collins reveals that she had a
frosty relationship with Bette Davis.
“When I did The Virgin Queen
with her, I and five other girls between the ages of 18 and 21 played
her ladies-in-waiting and she didn’t like any of us, so she stomped
around the set being quite angry,” Collins says of her experience
working with Davis.
“I had a scene with her and I was trying to
lace up her shoe ... and she kept wriggling her foot so I couldn’t do the
shoe up and finally she kicked me clear across the set! That really
annoyed our director, who said to me, ‘You’re thirty years younger than
her! Do up the old bag’s shoes, for God’s sake.’” So I did and I gripped
her foot ... and she didn’t mess with me much after that. But she wasn’t
much of a fan of young ladies. She was irascible. That’s hardly news to