JOAN COLLINS UNSCRIPTED 2019

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BETWEEN THE COVERS REVISITED : REMEMBERING SUE LLOYD..

Here is another chance to read this 'Between The Covers' post, featuring the enigmatic British star Sue Lloyd who died earlier..
Sue Lloyd started out as a ballet dancer, before becoming a supermodel gracing the cover of Vogue, to a film star, appearing in 'The Ipcress Files' with Michael Caine, to starring on tv in the crime series 'The Baron' with Gene Barry.. Sue's last major appearances were on tv's popular daytime soap 'Crossroads', but to fans of Joan she will be known for her portrayal of Vanessa in the cult 70's hits, 'The Stud' and 'The Bitch'.. Sue retired from acting many years ago and spent her time painting art works.. As Joan has known Sue since she was a teenager, Joan is sprinkled throughout the book. This edited exerpt from Sue's wonderful 1998 autobiography  combines various passages from the book....
SUE WITH JOAN IN THE STUD
'I blame Joan Collins! If it hadn't been for Joan and her surprise birthday party, I would never have met Edgar Bronfman. I first met Joan and Jackie back in 1959, they were very young, like chalk and cheese. Joan already a star with a few films under her belt, was fine-boned but curvaceous, with very dark, almost black hair, rather like a young Elizabeth Taylor. There was something cool and slightly aloof about her. She carried herself like a big star and some of our friends were rather bitchy about this, but Joan was to have the last laugh. Jackie was quite different. Larger and attractively feline with wild, tawny hair, she was warm and gutsy with a ready laugh. Where Joan was reserved, Jackie was the salt of the earth type. Despite the inevitable sisterly rivalry between them, they were usually together and clearly fond of each other. Joan, Jackie and I had remained friends over the years and shared frequent lunches and dinners. Joan's career was going through a quiet spell just then, but she had found great fulfilment in motherhood. It was funny. I'd never thought of either of these glamorous sisters as the maternal type, yet when their babies came along they transformed before my eyes into devoted mothers.
Anyway on the day of the party some of the other secret guests collected me at 7.30 in their car. 
"Come on Sue", they hustled as I climbed in. "We've got to rush". A paper cup of champagne was thrust into my hand and the car shot off in a westerly direction. "Where are we going?" I asked, brushing Champagne droplets off my skirt. "The airport," they said. "The airport? I thought the party was at Annabel's." "It is" said Henry White, who had organised the car. "Joan's flying in from New York and we are going to pick her up." We reached Heathrow in record time, only to find that the plane, which turned out to be Seagrams private jet, had been delayed. For two hours we hung over the railings drinking champagne from our paper cups until at last the plane touched down. Eagerly we watched every passenger emerge and start down the steps. Not one of them was Joan. I then noticed a tall man with brown blond hair and twinkly blue eyes  looking at me. It was Edgar Bronfman, millionaire owner of Seagrams Whisky, which had been started by his grandfather Sam Bronfman, a wily bootlegger. The introductions were made and the tangle sorted out. Joan, it seemed, had been unavoidably delayed and would miss her party, but the rest of us would go on to the celebrations as planned. We would have to hold the party without her. "And you can come with me in my car," said Edgar, taking my arm. For me it was love at first sight. We clicked instantly. Edgar was godfather to Joan's and husband Ron Kass's daughter Katy, who was born on his birthday in June and he was so close to their family, that he let them organize his own son Edgar Jr's 21st birthday party in California. Yet that didn't prevent him sacking Ron from his post at Saggitarius Films just two days later, almost before the party debris was cleared away. It was outrageous, he allowed Ron and Joan to make all the party arrangements and run the bash. By all accounts it was a great success, when the mail arrived the following Monday, containing a letter from Edgar, Joan and Ron naturally assumed it was a thank you note. 
After I appeared on 'The Two Ronnies', offers of new roles were beginning to flag. Then out of the blue Joan Collins rang me. She was very excited about a project they were putting together. Apparently Jackie, who'd long since given up acting in favour of writing a raunchy novel called 'The Stud' and Joan and Ron wanted to make it into a film. Joan was going to star in it, there would be a role for me if I was interested. "Sounds like it could be fun, Joan," I didn't get too excited at that point. Making movies can be a very disappointing business, so many promising projects fizzle out before they ever see the inside of a studio, let alone reach the big screen. Yet against all the odds 'The Stud' not only materialized, it went on to become a huge success. It was the best selling British film for many many years. It was denounced in some quarters, raved about in others and generally caused a sensation. The intellectuals even described it as the defining film of the seventies. Almost overnight, Joan became a bigger star that she'd ever been in her youth. Oliver Tobias, the stud of the title, went from previously almost unknown to major international hearthrob and I was suddenly flooded with film and TV offers. As for Jackie, she was now queen of raunchy novelists. 'The Stud' caused a furore, we were all taken completely by surprise. "I don't know", said Joan, when we met shortly after the film's release, "Not long ago, none of us could get ourselves arrested. Now it's incredible!"
SUE WITH OLIVER TOBIAS AND HIS GIRLS!
There was a lot of nudity in 'The Stud', which probably explained some of the fuss. Joan was uneasy about one particular scene, in which she had to sit on s swing above a swimming pool, wearing nothing but black lace panties, stockings and suspenders. The rest of us were supposed to be frolicking naked in the water beneath her. As the scene drew closer, I could see Joan getting more nervous about it. We were shooting at The Sanctuary, an exotic club in London's Covent Garden, so that lunchtime, before the scene began, I took Joan around the local bars for a couple of relaxing drinks to loosen her up. With there been a lot of hostelries in Covent Garden, the upshot was that passers-by might have been surprised to notice two heavily made-up women swaying alarmingly down the streets of Covent Garden in the middle of the afternoon. We might have looked like a couple of drunks at that point, but the scene went off without a hitch and added yet another sensational strand to the film.
ORIGINAL PREMIERE INVITE
Joan and I remained friends, she was getting married for the third time to Swedish businessman Peter Holm. She had hired a London club for the festivities, sadly the marriage was certainly third time lucky. It was to escalate into a complete disaster which ended in an unpleasant court battle. Joan looked lovely on the day itself, as she always does and I got a fit of giggles when we reached the speeches. Peter's father, an endearingly earnest, very Swedish type, was quite overcome with pride at the glamorous new bride his son had landed. He launched into his speech with enthusiasm. " My lovely Yoe-an. She is so beautiful," he began in a heavily Swedish accent. "I am so pleased she is going to be married to my peter. Yoe-an she say to me: "Make it short. Just make it short". Such a sense of humour, our Yoe-an".... He droned on and on and if you were looking for a word to describe his performance, short would have been the last to spring to mind! The guests were shuffling discreetly, yawns were stifled and out of the corner of my eye, I could see the lovely Yoe-an looking as if she'd like to strangle her new father-in-law. We exchanged looks, I tried to stifle a laugh and Joan hid her smiles behind a glass.
 When not acting, one of my hobbies is painting personalized  murals in the homes of friends. There was a painting of mine installed on one Los Angeles wall, Publicist Jeffrey Lane, an old friend, had moved to LA some time before. He bought Anne Baxter's previous home, as a moving in present I had offered to paint a mural for him, but he had refused, but I decided to create a pastiche Helleu of Joan and signed it "Hello!", as a joke. One day Joan herself was visiting Jeffrey, as they sat chatting, she suddenly glanced up, did a double take at the wall and said. "That's me!" And Jeffrey had to confess that it was.  Joan loved the picture so much, that she asked me to do a copy for her. She has it to this day! 
(c) 1998  SUE LLOYD..