Joan Collins has been a commanding presence on-screen and onstage since the 1950s, when she was under contract with Twentieth Century Fox. Her many memorable film credits include Warning Shot, Subterfuge, and The Road to Hong Kong, and in 1982 she won a Golden Globe for her role as Alexis Colby on the television series Dynasty. A staunch monarchist, Collins was promoted from Officer to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2015. Her views on that—as well as her recollections of Hollywood and her five splashy and turbulent marriages—are discussed in great detail in My Unapologetic Diaries, her latest memoir, which will be released in paperback in the United States on June 23. On the occasion, she shares her key components to the good life. —Ashley Baker

Airline: British Airways. I’ve always been an ambassador for everything British.
Airport: A private one.
Alibi: I’m of the credo that one should “never explain and never complain.”
App: Instagram.
: A tiny clutch.
: Whenever I’m tired.
Bike: Bike? No way!
Birthday: My last one.
Boyfriend: My husband.
Breakfast, weekday: Coffee.
Breakfast, weekend: Coffee.
ChildREN: All of them.
Cocktail: A very cold, very dry vodka martini with no “groceries.”
Cocktail appetizer: Pigs in blankets.
Dinner, weekday: Any kind of salmon.

Dinner, weekend: Caviar on a baked potato with lashings of sour cream.
Disguise: I tried a burka once. I kept tripping over it, almost got run over several times, and no taxis would stop for me.


Escape: My beautiful villa in the South of France in the summer.
Flaw: Impatience, but it’s also my biggest asset!
Friends: Many, many good ones whom I cherish, right after family.
Good-bye: The “French exit” at parties.
Hotel: Claridge’s, in London.
Last Meal: See “Dinner, weekend.”
Movie: Gone with the Wind.
Neighbors: David and Gabriela Peacock.
Nonfiction book
: I Fear for This Boy, by Theo Fennell.

Pet: None. I travel too much.
Pieces of advice
: “Always protect your face from the sun,” and “The best workout is to push yourself away from your plate.”
: Never!
: Ronald Reagan.
: Craig’s in Los Angeles, La Grenouille in New York, Le Stresa in Paris. Now that Jeremy King has left the Wolseley, I have a void in London.
Singer: Frank Sinatra.
Theme song to your life: “Witchcraft.”
Time of day: Every single second.
Toast: “Live every day as if it were your last.”
Wake-up time: When I’m rested.
Work of art: My Warhol.
Writing implement: Blackwing Palomino pencil.

Joan’s Essentials

Clockwise from left: Claridge’s afternoon tea set for four, $2,200; I Fear for This Boy, by Theo Fennell; Collins’s drink of choice; Palomino Blackwing pencils; Roe caviar.