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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Linda Evans, Joan Collins

Aired September 15, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight exclusive, Joan Collins and Linda Evans. Two legendary "Dynasty" divas back in their first-ever in-depth interview together. They'll share behind the scenes dish and tell us how they really feel about each other and their unforgettable characters. Joan Collins, Linda Evans exclusive for the hour. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. In prime time 20 years ago "Dynasty's" Crystal and Alexis were duking it out in some classic cat fights. The tabloids claim that their on screen rivalry crossed over into real life. But tonight the two alleged arch rivals are here to set the record straight and to talk about their new joint project. It's a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Joan Collins, actress and author who played TV's top villainess of all time, Alexis Morrow Carrington Colby Dexter Rowen. And Linda Evans, who was "Dynasty's" granddame of do gooders, Crystal Carrington. They're touring in a play "Legends," we'll talk about that. Lots of things to talk about, but first, the loss of Aaron Spelling. Your reaction.

JOAN COLLINS, ACTRESS: Oh, I was really upset. I had known for some time that he wasn't well. And I tried to reach him but he wasn't taking any calls from anybody. He was a complete original. He was, I think, had done more for popular television than anybody else. I mean, he had, you know, "Starsky & Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty" and then after "Dynasty" he had -- I can't remember what he had after "Dynasty." But I know some really good shows.

KING: What, Linda, was his -- he had to be called that, he owned television, magic, as a producer?

LINDA EVANS, ACTRESS: He knew people. He had a sense of people and I think because he understood people he could give them what they wanted to see. But I had a very wonderful thing happen with him. I had heard that he wasn't well and I wrote him a letter to thank him because he changed my life. I mean, had I not done "Dynasty," my life certainly wouldn't be what it was today. And he was so dear. He wrote me a letter back that was more touching than the one that I wrote to him. And then a personal friend of ours, Marge Everett put us together at a dinner party about eight months ago with John Forsythe and we were able to talk over old times and laugh. It was a magical, magical evening.

KING: How is Forsythe doing?

COLLINS: He's fantastic. We did a "Dynasty" reunion about two months ago, three months ago and he came on and he was great. First of all, he's extremely funny. He's not lost his sense of humor. And he's, well we never say how old anybody is, but he's well into his 80s. He's married again. He's very, very happy. Very funny. It was really -- it brought tears to my eyes to see him because we have always, you know sort of a bad, bad hatred for each other on the screen. So it was great, I said, do you remember me? We used to be married.

KING: How, Linda did, this for each of you, you first Linda, how did you get the part?

EVANS: Went in to -- I met Aaron Spelling and actually by the end of the meeting he said I had the part.

KING: At the meeting?

EVANS: At the meeting. The first time I went in to meet with him, yeah. I did not know, however, at the time that they had offered it to Angie Dickinson and she turned it down.

KING: Angie says that was the biggest mistake of her career.

EVANS: And she's a friend and I adore her but I said, thank you so much for being tired.

KING: She didn't want to do more episodes?

EVANS: No, after --

KING: How did you get it, Joan?

COLLINS: Well, when I won the Golden Globe whenever it was, a couple of years after, I said I want to thank Sophia Loren for turning down the part because she turned it down. I got it because of Aaron. He saw me. I was in one of his shows called "Fantasy Island" and I played Cleopatra. And a year or so later when they came to be casting "Dynasty" he was the one who really said I really want to use Joan. And he had a lot of negative response from ABC and other people but he was the one who said, that's the woman I want to play Alexis.

KING: George Prepard (ph) was supposed to be the John Forsythe part, right?

EVANS: We did shoot the pilot with George. Yes, we did.

COLLINS: You did?

EVANS: Yes we actually, you weren't there as yet.

COLLINS: No I wasn't.

EVANS: But we did shoot the pilot with George and after we finished they decided they didn't want to do it. The network and George, mutually. And then when they put John Forsythe in who had given me my first speaking part when I was 15.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) EVANS: I like older men, especially older men with some distinction. You have distinction.


EVANS: I was just thrilled beyond words to have him as my husband.

KING: I recollect a rocky start. Wasn't there a writer strike?

EVANS: Yes, right after that. Yes. It was about a year. It was about a year before we re-shot the pilot. Went back, married John in the same place I married George and then it began.

KING: And when did you join it?

COLLINS: I joined it in the second season. In fact, I was having a holiday in Marbia and my agent called me and said, you know there's this series called "Dynasty." And I said, what's "Dynasty"?

KING: Didn't know it?

COLLINS: Never heard of it, no. I was in Europe. And he said, I'll send you a few pages of the character. So he sent me a few pages of Alexis and I said this could be really good. I love some of these lines. Like, I see that your father had your teeth fixed, it's not your mouth. And I thought, this woman could be very interesting. She could be such a cow.

KING: Was "Dynasty" a hit right away?

EVANS: No, because we were opposite "Mash" and it was the most- watched show of all.

KING: You were an hour and they were a half hour, right?

EVANS: The fact that we even survived I thought was just wonderful and the public just kind of hung in there with us until after the second year. Then they moved us.

KING: By today's standards then you would have been canceled?

EVANS: I think so.

COLLINS: Really?

KING: What did they give you, four weeks?

COLLINS: Yeah, canceled before I came on. You had 13 ups before I came on.

KING: Your first episode, enter Alexis, was huge. Did you have a clue, any clue that the character would take off like that?

COLLINS: Not a clue. I remember saying to my family in London, well, I'm going of to do this gig called "Dynasty," and I'll probably be gone maybe five or six months because I think that's all it's going to last. I didn't have -- and also, they had a woman in the final episode that didn't know who they were going to cast. They were still trying to get Sophia. And so they had an extra dressed in a white suit with a big white hat walking in. You saw her. You didn't know who she was, you didn't know it was going to be me. So I had to wear the same white suit and the same hat. But everybody thought, oh, that white suit was so great. You know you're known for white and black.

KING: Did you like it right away?

EVANS: I loved it the minute I read it.

KING: Because?

EVANS: I just loved all of the characters. I thought they were fascinating. And I thought that America would love to see this family and see them interact. They just had so many interesting characters. Of course, we didn't have Alexis yet.

KING: Did you like Alexis' character? You had your squabbles, but did you like the idea of her?

EVANS: Well, I thought it was great for the show. I mean it was absolutely dynamic for the show that we have her. I mean, ex-wives fighting over a man.

KING: The sparks between the two of you, you can't create that, right? A script can't create that, you have to have it.

COLLINS: Well it was in the script?

KING: I know, but it was kind of a chemistry sparked.

COLLINS: Yeah, there was a definite chemistry between Linda and me. First of all, we're so opposite in physicality, I mean she's blond and blue eyed, I'm dark and green eyed. And we were like -- I was like the wicked witch of the west and she was like Glenda the good witch. The ying and the yang, we were just opposite, and it really worked, which is what is so good for this play that we're going to be doing.

KING: Yeah I want to get into that, "Legends" in a while. Did you two have -- there were always reported fights off the air? Truth.

EVANS: I knew Joan before "Dynasty," she had been to my house in Malibu when I was married to Stan. So I mean, we -- I personally was thrilled that we were two older women at that time to even be over 40 and to have a television series was like shocking. So to be older and to be given these parts was just miraculous. It was wonderful for us.


KING: We'll be right back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans. Don't go away.


EVANS: You've done nothing but make trouble for Blake to get what you want.

COLLINS: Blake and I have always fought because that's the passion between us but it's always been eye to eye, never behind the back. Don't worry about looking over your shoulder for me Crystal, because when I finally decide to destroy you, it's going to be face to face.




COLLINS: Here is a certified check for $1 million to get out of Blake's life permanently.

EVANS: Money, you're like motif in life, you married Cecil for it and you bought off Sammie Joe with it. And now you're trying to use to it get Blake. Well, I don't need your money, Alexis.


KING: We're back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans back together in "Legends," we'll talk about that in a little while. What do you think, Linda, this is for the both of you, what do you think was the appeal of "Dynasty"? Why did the public like it?

EVANS: I think that they adored -- everyone wants to know what it's like to be so rich that you could have anything in the world that you ever wanted. And because the dream is to get that and then you can give your kids everything and you'll live the great life. Well, to see that they had problems just like they did, to see that they were human and they had pain and suffering and emotions that were happening, I thought was fascinating to them. And, of course, to see the clothes and to see the sets and I think especially in the beginning they wrote some compelling story lines, you know about homosexuality and mental illness.

KING: Ahead of its time.

EVANS: Yeah.

COLLINS: Ahead of its time, very much so.


Get your hands off my son.

Dad, we were --

I said get your hands off him.


KING: What do you think --

COLLINS: I think, oh I totally agree with Linda. I think that people love to see rich people suffering. I think there was huge interest in the clothes because until "Dynasty," even "Dallas" and even "Charlie's Angels," the women were quite simply dressed. If you look at those early, late '70s, early '80s clothes, they were nice silk shirts, they were plaid pants, they were sort of simple jackets. But we decided, Nolan Miller and I and Linda that the style that had just come in, in Paris, was designer. It was the wide shoulders and the small waist and the little narrow skirts. And it was very flattering. And I don't care what people say, if people say, oh, it's so disgusting, the styles of "Dynasty." Women loved it. They tuned in. They went every day. You know, after work, they went to the, you know, when they had their coffee, they said what was she wearing last night, did you see how her hair was done.

KING: Did they buy copies?

COLLINS: Oh, yeah, Nolan was inundated with phone calls all the time. When I wore a couple of hats one time, I mean they just flew out of the department stores. And women weren't wearing hats then.

KING: Did they dress you differently?

EVANS: Yes, we each had our own style.

KING: Yours was?

EVANS: Beigey, very neutral, very --

KING: Beigey?

EVANS: Yes, very neutral.

KING: Beigey?

EVANS: Yes, very neutral, very classic.

COLLINS: And blue, you wore a lot of blue.

EVANS: Yes, blue and beige, classics, I would say.

KING: Did fans start to treat you as your character?

COLLINS: Oh, yes.

EVANS: Absolutely. That's when I was glad I wasn't Alexis.

KING: I mean they'd come up to you on the street and refer to you in character?

EVANS: Oh they'd say, in New York especially, Crystal, come here, I got to tell you something. That Blake's not treating you right. I mean, people were always -- in Chasens one time I was having dinner with Barbara Stanwick and someone came over and they said, dear, your help, you're not treating your help right. You have to be stronger with them, they are taking advantage. I mean this very well- dressed elegant woman was telling me how to treat the help because she thought I needed to have some information.

KING: It's a great compliment to you, by the way.

EVANS: Oh, it was sweet.

KING: What about you?

COLLINS: Well I think a lot of people were intimidated by my character. You know my character was so strong.

KING: She was a (expletive), wasn't she?

COLLINS: She wasn't a (expletive), I mean, she was a (expletive) like Donald Trump's a (expletive), you know. She was strong, aggressive, assertive, fabulous in business and liked a lot of sex, loved guys.

KING: Was that good typecasting?

COLLINS: Some parts of it were good typecasting. I wasn't really typecast, I just, I think I played that part really well because it was a fabulous part and I'm a pretty good actress. And I think that, you know, that's what happens.

KING: Did you like the character? In other words, did you have to like it?

COLLINS: You have to like the character you play. If you dot not like your character, the public is not going to like you. I think that's why they liked Alexis. And I loved Alexis, I thought she was --

KING: Nobody looks in the movie and says I'm evil. Even if you're playing Hitler, you have to find an inner thing to like him. Did you like your character?

EVANS: I adored her. I adored her. It was -- see, everyone would say, don't you want to play the bad girl? I said I like playing the good girl, I don't know, it's just something I end up --

KING: Do you want to be like her?

EVANS: There was a lot of me in that character of Crystal. There was a lot of me in her. Yeah. I'm stronger, by the way. I just want to say, on the record. I'm a lot --

KING: Crystal was the strongest one.

EVANS: No, I'm a lot stronger than Crystal.

COLLINS: Well I'm not nearly as strong or as aggressive or assertive as Alexis. It was great being able to play that because I really am not. But I like being able to do it in a role. You know, I think I probably have been much more successful in life had I been more aggressive, assertive and difficult.

KING: Was it fun to go at each other?

COLLINS: Oh, yes.

KING: The cat fight?

COLLINS: Yes, except for the physicality of it. I didn't like it.

EVANS: I loved it.

COLLINS: She's bigger and stronger than me.

EVANS: Barbara Stanwyck taught me to do stunts because when we did "The Big Valley," she loved stunts and it was always, you know, the runaway carriage, the burning building, the whatever, we would do it together. So when I had a chance to beat up Alexis, I was just thrilled because I was very prepared.

KING: She was something Barbara Stanwyck, I never met her, but she must have been -- The big cat fight in the fountain on the Carrington estate, what was it like shooting that?


EVANS: You miserable (expletive).


COLLINS: Cold. Very -- and we were on our knees weren't we? It looked like we were up to here but we were actually on our knees. And a lot of it was done by my stunt double because Gene Kelly told me when I first came to Hollywood he said, don't put a stunt girl out of work, honey, and don't do anything dangerous. And look at the actors who really hurt themselves in stunts. And you look, I mean for example, Ricardo Montalban was thrown off a horse and had serious problems for the rest of his life. And lots of actors have hurt themselves in stunts. I will not do anything dangerous, which is what is going to be so interesting when we do "Legends" when we do our fight.

KING: You have a fight in "Legends"?


EVANS: Oh yes.

KING: Want to talk about that. "Legends" was done by Mary Martin.

EVANS: And Carol Channing.

KING: Carol Channing. You're touring 20 cities too, right?

COLLINS: Uh-huh, longer. KING: We'll be right back with Joan Collins, Linda Evans, on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.


EVANS: That's not what's bugging me. It's you.



KING: We're back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans, back together again touring in "Legends" in many, many cities and Canada as well. What was it like, there was that kiss scene between you and Rock Hudson. And then when it's later discovered that he had AIDS, did this create some controversy or feeling? What happened?

EVANS: Huge controversy. Everyone was completely panicked, it was --

KING: Were you?

EVANS: Some of the people on the set -- no. Some of the people on the set wouldn't come near me because they had had children and they didn't want to potentially hurt their children. They didn't know whether it would be a problem or not. I understand people go through fear, but I knew Rock, I had worked with Rock. As a matter of fact, I had done a scene with Rock where he was quite passionate with me. And when he kissed me that way and we had to re-shoot it because it wasn't passionate enough when I found out he was sick, I understood why he shot it that way, it was to protect me.

COLLINS: I remember that day so well. You did go -- because everybody was coming up to her and saying, the mouthwash, the toothpaste. And you know people were very scared at that time. This was '82 and I remember being on the cover of a magazine "Us" magazine, and it was the thing at the top, a headline that said, "Mysterious Disease that's Killing Gay Men." It didn't even have a name then. AIDS did not have a name and people were so ignorant that my hairdresser said to me in the dressing room, don't sit there, he's been sitting there. Don't touch that comb, we're going to throw it away. I mean, it was just quite -- it was an atmosphere of total fear.

KING: He was, was he not, a terrific guy?

EVANS: A wonderful man, a really beautiful man.

KING: So you felt no anger at him?

EVANS: No. Well, I mean, he made a choice. He was desperate to keep his secret.

KING: Did you know he was gay?

EVANS: Yeah, yeah. But he didn't want the public to know. And he made a choice and I saw that he tried to protect me with that choice. He didn't know when he did the show that they would end up wanting us to do that scene. And because I refused to have an affair with him in the show, John Forsythe and I both said we're not going to cheat on each other, so that's not going to happen. So they had to find some way to make a dramatic moment. And that's how they came up with that.

KING: What was he like to work with?

EVANS: Oh, he was charming, he's fun, he's great.

KING: Was there at the time of its hit, were there the "National Enquirer's" and "The New York Posts" and the page 6s? Were there a lot of gossip items about you two?

COLLINS: Well there were a lot but not nearly to the extent that they do today. I mean my God, I would just hate to be Jennifer Aniston or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie today because you cannot get away from it. We're talking 20 years ago. It was much, much -- it was much less vivid and they were not on you all the time. But, we did have somebody on the set actually one of the producers who you had a direct line to the "National Enquirer" and "The Globe" and they used to -- they loved the fact that they would like that the public would love to think that Linda and I hated each other. And so they would feed these ridiculous items. And I got so sick of it I just didn't even read it anymore. But it was kind of upsetting to think that they did that. And I mean it still exists to this day. People say how can you be doing this play together when you hate each other? And I said, but we don't. We wouldn't be doing the play together if we hated each other.

KING: How many years was "Dynasty" on?

EVANS: Nine.

KING: At the end did the scripts get a little weird?

EVANS: Before the end. But, yeah.

KING: Why?

EVANS: Well, I left the show before the end. I left the last year. But if I had known it was the last year, I wouldn't have left. I would have gone to the very end.

KING: Were you there until the end?

EVANS: I thought it was going to go on forever.

COLLINS: Yeah, I was there until the end but I was very disappointed. Because what -- the network hated the show. It was like -- then they kept on moving the time slot. And you know if you do that people are always used to Wednesday night at 9:00 watching "Dynasty." And then they moved it. And then they brought in another show called "The Colby's" which I refused to go on because I thought that was being unfaithful to "Dynasty." And that diluted the whole kind of force of "Dynasty." And then the scripts got bad.

KING: Scripted, the gay turn straight turn gay again character of Steven, the long lost son Adam, followed by the long lost daughter Amanda. Phallon's inexplicable British accent when actress Pamela Sue Martin was replaced with Emma Samms, the island of Madavia, the wedding interrupted by gunfire and nobody knew who was dead or alive, even the actors were clueless, true?

COLLINS: Absolutely true.

KING: Had to be a riot.

COLLINS: Well I remember being with Ali McGraw at the end of the second season, of the third season after that and John Forsythe made a speech and he said -- he was introducing all of us. And he said and now, for a lovely lady who unfortunately won't be back with us next season, Ms. Ali McGraw. Ali said, I'm not coming back? I didn't know. You know, it was pretty sad.

KING: Lovely. We'll be back with more. Don't go away.


EVANS: Blake told me about your would be seduction. How could you possibly think he could ever be interested in you again?

COLLINS: Maybe all I really need is just a little more time.

EVANS: I'm not finished.

COLLINS: You -- you stupid (expletive) Look what you've done to this outfit.

EVANS: I've never seen you looking better.



KING: We're back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans. They're going to tour in Legends. And about that we have an e-mail question from Mavis in Morehead, Kentucky. My question is about the new play Joan and Linda are doing, Legends. How did they decide which one gets top billing?

COLLINS: You really want to know?

KING: Of course I want to know.

COLLINS: Well, in actual fact, it's alphabetical.

KING: You get top billing.

COLLINS: Of course.

KING: Does that bug you? EVANS: I don't care. These things have never bothered me.

KING: Tell me about the birth of the idea of doing this.

COLLINS: Well, my husband (INAUDIBLE) Gibson is a great friend with a producer called Ben Spriker (ph) and I wanted to do a play about two years ago and he called Ben and said, you know, can we get together and discuss a play. And so Ben gave me several plays. And one of them was Legends by James Kirkwood, who wrote Chorus Line, fabulous writer.

And I read it and I thought, oh my god, this is so funny, this is so great. But what great parts for two women. Who are we going to get to play the other woman? And so we thought about many names and then I thought, well, what about Linda?

And then somebody said, she would never do it, she would never do it. I said, well, ask her. I'm sure she would do it and she would be so perfect because I'm the kind of the, in this play, I'm supposed to be like the Joan Crawford, you know, and she's supposed to be like Olivia Havlynn. She's very sweet and she always plays nuns and I always play hookers and prostitutes and bad girls.

KING: Did you take the idea right away?

EVANS: Well firstly, I would never have even read it had Nolan Miller not sent it to me and personally asked me to read it.

COLLINS: Oh really, I didn't know that?

EVANS: Because I wasn't going to do plays. It wasn't even in my mind.

KING: Have you done theater?

EVANS: No and I wasn't going to. I never wanted to. But out of respect for him I sat down one day and started reading it and my god, halfway through it I said I'm going to do this. I can't believe it. I'm going to have to do this play. This was so much fun. I could hardly wait to get there and just dish with her.

KING: What's the idea?

COLLINS: Well, the idea is about two fading actresses who are both very, very famous in their time, who are both fallen upon hard times and a very kind of what makes Sammy Run type producer, a young guy has the brilliant idea of making Star Wars the movie, Star Wars the play about these two women and to entice them he says he has Paul Newman in the play. So we meet up at this apartment, which I pretend is mine, but it isn't. It's a very rich person's. And we have this incredible sort of battle of loving each other at first and then hating each other.

KING: Three characters play?

COLLINS: No, six character play. The producer, the maid and a fabulous character called Boom Boom, who comes in and does a male strip tease on the set. It's set in the '80s.

KING: Pure comedy?

COLLINS: Yes. No, no, there's some papers in it. When you talk about --

EVANS: Don't tell.

COLLINS: Don't tell?

EVANS: We've got some good moments.

COLLINS: I won't say what it is. But there is some -- both of us have got, you know, I have diabetes and I have children and six young grandchildren that I have to try and support. She has -- so that although we get very stoned in it. And I've never been stoned.

EVANS: Neither have I.

COLLINS: I've been drunk but I haven't been stoned.

EVANS: We're trying to figure out how we're going to do this.

COLLINS: Yes, I've been working with somebody on that. We eat hash brownies and we fall about the stage getting completely plastered. So that should be interesting.

EVANS: And we also just beat the tar out of one another.

KING: Oh, you have a fight?

EVANS: Oh, we have a fight, oh, yes. We hate each other, so what's wonderful is we get together just because we need each other to do this thing and then everything -- one of my lines to here is, "would you please be so kind as to tell my why you took my husband?" You know, I mean, we do not like each other.

COLLINS: I took your husband just because he was your husband.

KING: And you physically fight?

EVANS: Oh yes, physically.

COLLINS: We haven't worked it out. We're getting a fight director. Because, you know, it's one thing to do a fight in a movie where you do it once. It's another to do it eight time a weak for 30 weeks. You have to be careful, because I'm delicate.

EVANS: It's also very funny. This play is, I would love to go to work and laugh instead of just be serious all the time. This is going to be wonderful.

KING: Our guests are Joan Collins, Linda Evans. You'll see them in Legends. We'll be back with more right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: It's getting late. My new limousine and chauffeur are waiting for me. It's off to my wedding.

And I just know, Krystal, that despite our more than occasional differences, you wish me all the best. Don't you, dear?




KING: Just to clear the record, you didn't hit or slap Sylvia?

YANNI: Absolutely not.

KING: Didn't throw her down on the bed?


KING: Didn't jump on top of her?


KING: No grabbing or physically restraining her?

YANNI: No, absolutely not. I will defend my innocence very vigorously.

KING: Have you ever had anything like this with any prior girlfriend?

YANNI: Never, never.

KING: Because for a long time you were with Linda Evans, right?

YANNI: Yes, I was.

KING: Are you still friendly with her?

YANNI: Oh yes.

KING: Did she call you after this?

YANNI: Not personally but she called my family and she offered her support. But I just didn't want to bring her into this.


KING: And we're back with Linda Evans and Joan Collins. Legends looks like it's going to be terrific good fun.

We have an another e-mail from Jessica in Milwaukee to Linda, do you still talk to Yanni. Your support of Yanni when he was accused of physical violence with an ex-girlfriend. Still talk to him?

EVANS: Of course, of course. He's a beautiful man. He'll always be in my life.

KING: What happened with that? Why didn't it last? I thought you two were soul mates.

EVANS: It was pretty good. It was a great nine year run, great.

COLLINS: Pretty good run.

EVANS: But, things come to an and you go on.

KING: But you do keep in touch?


KING: Were you angered at the charge? I mean, to better that, were you shocked?

EVANS: Yes, I was shocked. I was shocked. It's not his nature. It's not who he is. It's not the man that I know, no.

KING: When Dynasty ended, did you ever fear for what's next? Am I type cast?

COLLINS: Well, Henry Wrinkler told me he paid the funds for, I don't know how many seasons, and he said that for at least two or three years you will be typecast after that. Well, it has been 14 years since Dynasty finished and I was still typecast, even though I played other things on the stage and I've done other roles, people remember me as a vicious manipulating Bitch that I played and it's kind of, I've accepted it now. So because of that, that's one of the reasons why I thought that Legends would be so good because she isn't a vicious manipulating bitch, she's just a manipulating bitch.

KING: Were you concerned?

EVANS: I sort of left Hollywood at the time, so I didn't do too much.

KING: Where did you go?

EVANS: I went to the Pacific Northwest.

KING: That's right. Where did you go, Seattle?

EVANS: No, to...

KING: Oregon?

EVANS: To Lakewood, a lovely lake. I bought a villa on a lovely lake.

KING: Where is that?

EVANS: In Washington state, yes. I told you I went to the REC (ph) school for enlightenment, and I went inward instead of going out and working. I went on that inward journey. COLLINS: But she had plenty of money.

KING: Did it help a lot?

EVANS: Oh, sure, it helped a lot. That's why I wanted to say to Aaron, my God, I have a wonderful life because of you. I don't have to work because of you.

KING: Was it tough to come into a show after a year?


KING: You are the stranger on the block.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, first of all, being English, I had just finished doing a play in England. So when I came in and I did my first scene, which was the courthouse scene where I had to sit and be interrogated by Brian Dennehy, in the witness box for like a day and a half, and the entire cast was sitting in the courtroom and all they had to do was watch me. And that was pretty scary, because I knew I was being judged, and because that's what you do when the new girl comes in. But I think they liked me.

EVANS: We didn't judge you.

COLLINS: Maybe you didn't, but -- everybody is judgmental. You know when you first go on a set, not necessarily in a bad way, but everybody -- you know, everybody has to make their opinion, you know, of the person. And is she a good girl, is she a bad girl, you know.

KING: Terrific guy, Brian Dennehy, by the way.

COLLINS: Yes, wonderful.

KING: Hell of an actor.

COLLINS: Uh-huh.

KING: Did you like working with him?

COLLINS: I certainly did, yes.

KING: An e-mail from Judy in Bainbridge, Ohio.

"Dear Joan, I've always admired your hairstyles. But I have to ask, are they all you or is it a lot of wigs?"

COLLINS: Well, it's not a lot of wigs. Sometimes it's me. A lot of times it's me. But sometimes it's hair pieces, because I see actresses who have always worn their own hair, and they have about a quarter the amount of hair left after being in movies for 10 or 15 years than they had in the beginning.

Working under lights, with the hair spray and the rollers is the worst thing you can do for your hair, so I always decided to wear wigs from the beginning. KING: You're an honest broad.


KING: A broad.

COLLINS: Yeah, I'm a broad.

KING: Joan Collins. That's a compliment. Joan Collins and Linda Evans, they're going to star in "Legends." Don't go away.


EVANS: You'd only alienate Daniel, but your children as well.

COLLINS: Oh, I don't think so. You see, Daniel and I have been having a love affair since I came become.

Oh, by the way, I loved that outfit when I first saw it. I'm amazed it lasted so many seasons.


JOHN ROBERTS, CBS ANCHOR: Good evening. I'm John Roberts. Food and Drug Administration investigators think that they have found the source of that packaged spinach that has made so many people sick. At the top of the hour on 360, we'll talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta to find out what you need to know about the e. coli outbreak and what you need to do about it.

Also, a last-ditch effort to secure Baghdad. They're actually about to start digging ditches around the city. We'll talk to our own Michael Ware, who's in Iraq.

It's all at the top of the hour on "360." More of "LARRY KING LIVE" coming up after the break.


KING: We're back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans, back together. They're going to co-star in "Legends," not with Linda getting second billing, because it's alphabetical, but she doesn't care because she's into all the...

EVANS: Yes, because who cares.

COLLINS: What difference does it make.

KING: Why did you leave halfway through the last season?

EVANS: Because I wanted to have a life and I thought the show was going to go on and on and on. I thought it would continue. And I thought, wow, I mean, it's nine years of no personal life. You give a lot of your time. You get up in the morning, you work weekends, you work on your hiatus.

KING: Anyone angry at you?

EVANS: No, everyone was actually quite nice.

KING: Aaron, too?

EVANS: Yep. Yep.

KING: Is this a correct quote, you said that whenever you fall in love, you quit working?

EVANS: Well, that's the way it's been, yes.

KING: Yes?


KING: You've been in love a lot.

EVANS: You mean I haven't worked a lot, is that what you're saying?

KING: No, have you been in love a lot?

EVANS: No, no. It's not like, oh, I think I love this guy, I'm going to quit working. I mean, if you get married, you're with somebody in a serious way, you -- I always prefer the relationship over working.

KING: You're not married now?


KING: You are?


KING: Tell me that story. I'm so happy for you.

COLLINS: I'm very happy for myself. Yes, we're coming up to five years. And we met when I was -- Percy was the company manager on "Love Letters," which was the play I was touring with Stacey Keach in America. And we met. We became extremely good friends. Because when you're on the road, you're a family. And we were on the road with a small company. And we became very good friends, and we saw each other...

KING: Nothing romantic for a while?

COLLINS: Not for a couple of months. And then we were in L.A. And I was working -- I was about to supposedly do an episode of a very famous sitcom, "Will & Grace." And they sent me the script, and the script was really bad. And I called my agent, and I said the script is terrible. I mean, he called up the people. And they were very angry at me, because I wasn't going to do it.

And they -- I really got so upset that I was in tears. And Percy arrived, because we were working on a book that I was writing, and I just cried on his shoulder. And that was that. And that was almost, my God, it was the beginning -- it was the beginning of 2000. So -- and then we decided after 9/1, we decided that life was too short, we really loved each other, and it didn't matter that he was younger than me, you know, that we were going to get married.

KING: Has the age difference been a factor at all?

COLLINS: No, it doesn't bother us at all.

KING: Doesn't bother you?

COLLINS: If it bothers other people, that's too bad. It doesn't bother him and it doesn't bother me.

KING: Is there a lot of years?

COLLINS: Thirty.

KING: The man older is usually a little different than the woman older. I don't know why.

COLLINS: I don't understand why that is.

KING: Society looks at it...

COLLINS: I know, it's sexist.


EVANS: Most women aren't Joan. She's definitely different than most women.

COLLINS: Well, Percy is very, probably more mature than me, you know, in lots of ways.

KING: Wouldn't Percy want children, though?

COLLINS: No. He was married before and he didn't want children. No, we discussed all of that.

KING: You would have had to.

COLLINS: Yes. And he loves my children and my baby grandchildren. So it's -- it works out really well, you know. And we -- when -- we see the grandchildren quite often. And after a few weeks or a few days, we'd say, that's it, let's go back to having our own life and doing what we want to do and getting up when we want to, and not having to get up in the middle of the night.

KING: Larry Gilhart (ph), the wonderful comedy writer, toll me do you know why grandchildren and grandparents get along so well? They have a common enemy. Anyway. You have children?

COLLINS: I like that.


KING: And never had children.

EVANS: Wanted them, but never had them.

KING: Is that one of the things you would say you have missed in your life?

EVANS: Yes, absolutely. Yes, I wanted them but John Derrick had them and didn't want them. And then I married a man who said he waited all of his life for me and he was not going to be a playboy, that he was when I met him, but he was. And so I couldn't commit to having a child with him because he really --.

KING: John Derrick was amazing. I mean he had two, three beautiful wives, right?

EVANS: Four, Patty Bears, (INAUDIBLE), the first one, Ursula and me and Bo.

KING: And everyone liked him. And everyone stayed friendly with him. Isn't that true?

EVANS: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

KING: What did John have, other than being an amazingly good looking guy, which he was?

EVANS: He was so unique as a man. He was so special as a human being that when you weren't with him, you didn't want him out of your life. You wanted to stay connected to him, even if it was in a different whey.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments of Joan Collins and Linda Evans right after this.


EVANS: You know that old saying Alexis, you break them, you buy them.

What a perfect picture, pearls before swine.



KING: We're back with Joan Collins and Linda Evans, touching a couple of other bases. They'll open in Legends in Toronto, first and then a whirlwind tour of the United States, ending up in New York. Tell me the successful lawsuit you had against your publisher.

COLLINS: Random house, yes. It was a time when all of the publishing houses were throwing huge advances to celebrities. And I got a huge advance because I had a fabulous agent called Swifty Lazar (ph), who I'm sure you knew. Yes. And they decided after giving like $4 million to Marlon Brando, who never wrote anything, and $2 million to this one, that they were going to try and claw some of the backs.

So they decided to make an example of me and they said that my book that I had written was unpublishable, even though it was not. And they decided to take me to court to get the money back. And it was, in fact, it was so bad I got an ulcer. I was in court for a week. It was on Court TV every day. I was like maligned and there was headlines in all the tabloids. But I won. And I did not have to give back my $2 million advance, which was very nice.

KING: It was a novel, right?


KING: Isn't it tough in this city to age and get job offers?

COLLINS: God, yes.

EVANS: Absolutely. Very difficult.

KING: How do you deal with it?

EVANS: Well, since I didn't care about a job offer where I went, it was OK. But it is difficult as an older actress to get a job.

COLLINS: But not just actress, darling. Anybody over the age of 50 in this town finds it hard to get a job and I'm talking about actors too and writers and producers. Maybe not so much directors because, you know, they're always the elder statesman.

It's the most agest place in the world, this city. And that's why I, you know, I basically live in London and New York, with a touch of the south of France thrown in because I love, you know, I love Los Angeles. I love to work. But they're going to give all the roles that I would be right for to Shirley McClain anyway.

KING: But you still, there's always the theater.

COLLINS: Oh, the theater but, you know, that's my first love. That's what I went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for. I didn't want to be a movie actress. I wanted to be a theater actress. And so as soon as I finished Dynasty, that's what I did, I went straight back to the British theater and I did Private Lives and I went and then I went on a tour of America and came to Broadway with it. And it was successful and I realized how much I liked it. But I like both.

KING: Who did you do that with?

COLLINS: I did it in England with Keith Baxter and various different actors in America. We changed a few times.

KING: When was that epic movie you did, one of those?

COLLINS: Land of the Pharaohs.

KING: Land of the Pharaohs.

COLLINS: It's on all the time. I Tivo it.

KING: Your hair was swept up.

COLLINS: Well I had my hair down to my tookus. And I wore a ruby in my naval because at the time you weren't allowed to show your naval because of the censor. So they put this ruby in my naval, but we were shooting in Italy and I kept on eating faster and the ruby kept on shooting up all the time, all over the floor.

KING: Hey, got good news for you. There's a website you can order tickets for Legends, the Legends play. It's called go to It will punch up the site when it's coming into your city and you can order tickets right there with the computer.

Thank you both very much.

COLLINS: Thank you.

KING: Joan Collins and Linda Evans. They will co-star in Legends and again, for tickets, I love to say this, coming to a city near you. "Anderson Cooper" is next.