Dynasty’s Joan Collins becomes dame

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Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Joan Collins is to be made a dame by the Prince of Wales in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The 81-year-old actress, a devoted monarchist, is being recognised for her services to charity.

After being recognised in the honours list, she said: “It is humbling to receive this level of recognition from my Queen and country, and I am thrilled and truly grateful.”

Former world champion athlete Steve Cram will receive a CBE, while the daughter of footballer Sir Stanley Matthews, Jean Gough, will become an MBE.

Collins has been a regular on stage and screen for more than half a century, but is probably best known for her portrayal of the bitchy Alexis in Dynasty.

The glamorous US soap opera, with its lavish costumes complete with startling shoulder pads and big bouffant hairstyles, ran for most of the 1980s and made Collins a star all over again.

She was born to a showbusiness family – her mother was a dancer and her father an agent – in London and enjoyed early success in the British film industry before heading to Hollywood.

Collins has worked steadily for decades with occasional gaps for marriage – she is currently on her fifth husband – and bringing up her family.

Notable roles include featuring in two X-rated bonkbusters, The Stud and The Bitch, based on racy books by her sister Jackie.

Film appearances include a remake of The Big Sleep starring Robert Mitchum and she has featured in TV shows including Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E and more recently ITV sitcom Benidorm.

She also starred alongside Rising Damp actor Leonard Rossiter in a string of successful adverts for Cinzano which invariably ended up with the drink being spilled down her top.

Collins has used her fame to support a variety of good causes including the NSPCC and the Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice.

Cram, t he 1984 Olympic silver medallist and ex-record holder at 1,500 metres, is being recognised for his recent work as chairman of the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

The 54-year-old told Press Association Sport: ”It’s really fantastic to have this recognition. A large part of my journey since then has been the EIS and we have put a lot of things in place to give support to our Olympic programmes.”

Mrs Gough, 75, is being honoured for services to children and sport through the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation in the UK and South Africa.

The foundation was launched in 2000, the year Sir Stanley died, to ensure his legacy continues by providing sporting opportunities for young people.

Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by The News Editor

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