Even in her seventies, Joan Collins can still attract a 100,000 fee for a brief appearance in one of M&S's TV ads for she remains one of the most famous and popular women in the UK. 'Men like her because she is beautiful, sexy, sassy, funny, naughty and intelligent,' says Lord. 'Women admire her because she is stylish, elegant, strong, positive and independent, a feisty old feminist who is nevertheless extremely feminine and even in old age she is able to attract handsome young men. And gays adore her so much that she has become an international gay icon.' Her acting career includes a score of unmemorable or memorably awful movies (THE STUD and THE BITCH based on the novels of her sister Jackie), her notorious role as Alexis Carrington in the series DYNASTY, a famous series of hilarious Cinzano TV ads with Leonard Rossiter, as well as many stage roles in London. But these do not begin to explain the extent of her fame. The men in her life - and her marriages - make headlines, and she is currently married to Percy Gibson (33 years her junior). Even as she approaches 75, she remains indefatigable, and as Lord says, 'irresistible'. This fascinating and revealing biography will show how she has become such a popular figure and remained a sex symbol to so many for such a long time. It is the definitive word on the ultimate icon.
Graham Lord is a British author whose most recent book, 'Lord's Ladies and Gentlemen: 100 Legends of the 20th Century', describes more than a hundred writers, actors, politicians, sportsmen and other celebrated people whom he met during forty years as a journalist in London's Fleet Street, and he is about to published a collection of short stories, essays and journalism that he wrote during those years, 'Lord of the Files'.
He has published seven acclaimed biographies, an autobiographical portrait of Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the 1940s, 1950s and 1990, and nine novels - four of which were described by the London Guardian as "metaphysical thrillers" and two of which were entered for Britain's premier Booker Prize for the best novel of the year.
His books have been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Russian and Chinese.
He was born in 1943 in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and schooled there although his childhood home was in Portuguese Mozambique. He took an honours degree in History at Cambridge, edited the university newspaper 'Varsity' and joined the 'Sunday Express' in London in 1965, where he spent 27 years, 23 of them as Literary Editor, writing a weekly column about books and interviewing almost every major English language author of the 1960s to 1990s, from P. G. Wodehouse and Graham Greene to Muriel Spark and Ruth Rendell. In 1987 he launched the £20,000 'Sunday Express' Book of the Year Award and after leaving the 'Sunday Express' in 1992 wrote regular literary, travel and opinion pieces for 'The Daily Telegraph', 'The Times' and the 'Daily Mail'. From 1994 to 1996 he edited the short story magazine 'Raconteur'.
His latest novel, 'Under a Hammock Moon', is a comic love/adventure story set on a small Caribbean island similar to the one where he lives with his artist wife, Juliet. They also have a house in the South of France and an apartment in London. He has two daughters and two grandchildren in their 20s. Juliet has a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.
All of his 19 books are listed on his website, www.graham-lord.com, together with brief descriptions and reviewers' comments on each book.