Collins was born in London, England on May 23rd, 1933, and was apparently so beautiful as a baby that her mother was forced to hang a sign on her stroller requesting that passersbys not kiss her.
She began her career at the age of 22, when she crossed the pond and landed in Hollywood, with dreams of finding fame.
In the 1960s and 70s she made many guest appearances on popular American television programs such as Batman, The Virginian, Mission Impossible, Police Woman, and Star Trek. In 1981, Collins was cast in the struggling TV drama Dynasty as the beautiful but menacing Alex Carrington, ex-wife of tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). In that role, Collins played the mother-in law of Sammy Jo Carrington, played by Heather Locklear. Many credit Collins's role as Alex Carrington as the driving force behind Dynasty's ratings rebound.
Collins continues to be a fixture on the big and small screens. She has appeared in more than 60 feature films, and dozens of television shows, from her time alongside Fran Drescher on The Nanny to guest roles on Roseanne, Will and Grace, The Love Boat, Guiding Light, and Footballer's Wives.
Joan, a mother and grandmother, splits her time between London, New York, Los Angeles, and St. Tropez.