Joan Collins took amphetamines to lose weight at the height of her career.
The Dynasty star admits she has battled to control her waistline throughout her time in the spotlight, and was often asked to slim down for acting roles. While Joan insists she mostly used a diet of vegetables and cottage cheese to get in shape, she once lost about four kilos in just two weeks by taking pills packed with amphetamine, also known as speed.
The 79-year-old also claims she was instructed to take the drug to help her weight loss.
“As an actress you are always on a diet when working. I was told to take speed to help get the weight off.
At times I was told I wouldn’t even get work because I was too fat,” Collins said.
“I was told I needed to lose eight pounds from my nine stone (57kg) immediately. But I cheated and my doctor put me on a series of little green slimming pills which did work.
She said she lost the weight required but also lost a lot of sleep because those “little green pills” contained speed.
Spoiler alert: you may feel like you’re falling in love from 3:51 - 3:56 of this closing sequence to Making Of A Male Model:
Andy Medhurst is a Lecturer in Media and Film Studies at the University of Sussex.
A specialist in representations of Britishness, as well as gender and sexuality, Andy is the author of “A National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identities” and the co-editor of “Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Critical Introduction”.
Andy’s film criticism has appeared in Sight and Sound and The Observer, and he supervises student research on pop culture, the internet, and music videos. He spoke with Mark Adnum in July 2005.
MARK ADNUM: Dirk Bogarde or John Inman?
ANDY MEDHURST: Absolutely Dirk. I deeply value the traditions of British camp comedy, but John Inman is a rather minor twig on that branch, far less interesting than Kenneth Williams or Frankie Howerd or Larry Grayson. So from your two options it has to be Dirk - not, by all accounts, a very happy homo, but nonetheless one of the finest screen actors that ever lived and one who several times played landmark gay or gay-relevant roles. There is a whole secret history of British queerness in his eyebrows alone.
Today Joan Collins turns 79, so up until midnight you have the perfect excuse to speak to all and sundry exactly this:
I personally have been addressed like this by Joan Collins. Here’s the story:
John Forsythe (who passed away in April 2010, aged 92 after a long battle with cancer and pneumonia) starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s films The Trouble With Harry (1955) and Topaz (1969) as well as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and its 1960s spin-off The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Also, he was a founding member of the Lee Strasberg acting school and had a long and distinguished presence on the Broadway stage.
Forsythe’s career in television was exceptionally successful, and it took off once he began his enduring association with Aaron Spelling as the voice of “Charlie” in Charlie’s Angels (including the later big screen adaptations).
The role of Blake Carrington, the debonair patriarch of Spelling’s mega-deluxe supersoap Dynasty that brought Forsythe his greatest fame. In Dynasty, Blake presided over Denver Carrington, his multinational oil empire, and the filthy rich but intractably dysfunctional Carrington clan, made up of Blake, his second wife Krystle (played by Linda Evans and her windscreen-wiper hairdo) and the adult children he shared with his first wife Alexis (Joan Collins). As the series went on a next-to-endless list of previously unmentioned sons and daughters, cousins and the entire clan of the Colbys, who Alexis married into and who ended up with their own spin-off series (The Colbys), joined the cast.
The show was devised to compete with smash hit Dallas (the series was originally - and briefly - called Oil) and in the underwhelming first season, Blake was continually battling various business rivals and men who wanted a go at Krystle’s ever-bobbing boobs. The show was not a huge success at first, so producers changed tack, introducing Alexis at the final moment of the thrilling courtroom cliffhanger episode that ended season one, and tipping the style of the show into fabulously entertaining decadence.