As the actor who played Dynasty’s Dex Dexter dies, DAME JOAN COLLINS relives their chemistry

I’ll always remember the day in 1983 when the producer Aaron Spelling referred to as me in my dressing room on the set of Dynasty, the Eighties American drama collection that introduced again shoulder pads, tiny waists and silhouettes extra flattering than an Italian waiter.

I had already accomplished two seasons as Alexis, ex-wife of the present’s main man Blake Carrington, an oil tycoon, and Aaron clearly felt it was time my character moved on.

‘We’ve obtained 5 actors we’re contemplating to play your subsequent husband and I would like you to satisfy them,’ he mentioned. 

‘Oh!’ I replied. ‘You mean I get to choose?’ ‘Of course you do,’ mentioned Aaron. ‘You’re going to be spending quite a lot of time with him. You’ll marry him ultimately however you’ll have some ups and downs alongside the means.’

Before I may cease myself I blurted out: ‘I just hope he’s higher than Blake…’

Of all my Dynasty husbands, he was far and away the finest wanting, the finest actor and the most charming, and I used to be extraordinarily comfortable to have married him. (Sorry, Percy!)

Blake and Alexis had been continually at one another’s throats. It’s additionally honest to say that the actor who played him, John Forsythe, and I had been something however finest mates.

And these who would possibly turn into my subsequent husband? ‘I’ll deliver them to see you tomorrow morning,’ mentioned Aaron.

The subsequent morning 5 youngish actors slunk onto the set accompanied by an assistant director and I used to be instructed to have a short dialog with every of them.

The first one appeared a little bit of a dolt, the second was too brief and the third, I don’t even keep in mind. The fourth candidate was Jon-Erik Hexum, who later grew to become my co-star on Making Of A Male Model. I fairly preferred him however not as a lot as I preferred the fifth, who I believed was mind-bogglingly good-looking.

‘Hi, I’m Mike Nader,’ he mentioned and gave me an enthralling lop-sided smile, which drew my consideration to a tiny scar above his higher lip. It solely served to make him much more enticing.

My recollections of that first meeting got here flooding again final Monday after I heard the unhappy information that Michael had died at the age of 76, shortly after being identified with most cancers.

The final time I noticed Michael, my husband Percy and I had been on a New York rooftop celebrating New Year’s Eve with mates. He appeared frail and had lost his hair, however he nonetheless had that spark and appeal that I remembered solely too nicely from our first meeting.

Sizing him up as my future co-star all these years in the past, I made a decision he was tall however not too tall. He had black hair, however not an excessive amount of of it, and he had a ‘machismo’ that I believed would mix nicely with Alexis’s feisty temperament.

Aaron referred to as me after lunch: ‘What did you think?’

‘Well, Nader is head and shoulders above the others,’ I instructed him.

‘Great,’ mentioned Aaron. ‘I was hoping you’d say so.’

Sizing him up as my future co-star all those years ago, I decided he was tall but not too tall. He had black hair, but not too much of it, and he had a ‘machismo’ that I thought would blend well with Alexis’s feisty temperament

Sizing him up as my future co-star all these years in the past, I made a decision he was tall however not too tall. He had black hair, however not an excessive amount of of it, and he had a ‘machismo’ that I believed would mix nicely with Alexis’s feisty temperament

Two weeks later I labored with Michael for the first time. Although he was visibly nervous, he managed to manage it sufficient to be fascinating in our first scene collectively.

From the second Dex noticed Alexis he was in love together with her. The door to Alexis’s office was flung open and he entered as I demanded: ‘What are you doing here? Who are you?’

‘I’m Farnsworth Dexter,’ he mentioned, ‘Call me Dex.’

‘I’d nonetheless wish to know why you’re right here,’ I replied.

He approached me provocatively and we played our scene, which I believed went rather well as we appeared equally matched.

Then at the finish he plonked a kiss on my lips — a transfer which took me abruptly because it was not in script — earlier than giving me a wink and sauntering off the set.

Aaron referred to as me that night time: ‘You think he’s ok for Alexis to marry?’

‘I think he’s nice!’ was my enthusiastic response. ‘I think he’s one in every of the best-looking males I’ve seen in a very long time and he’s an excellent actor. I believe that our feminine followers are going to utterly love him. I simply hope you’re giving us some juicy scenes collectively.’

‘Just you wait,’ mentioned Aaron.

Over the subsequent couple of weeks, Dex relentlessly pursued Alexis and — foolishly — she didn’t give in.

In both our third or fourth encounter, Dex is being his traditional pleasant self, giving Alexis an exquisite dinner to make up for the indisputable fact that he’s compelled her to just accept a nasty business deal. It appears to be like like he’s about to ‘get lucky’ when instantly Alexis saunters to the door, opens it and turns to say: ‘Oh no, Mr Dexter. Nobody takes me to the cleaners and to bed on the same day. Goodnight!’

I by no means understood why it took so lengthy for Alexis to fall head over heels for Dex. He was so charming and enticing it simply didn’t appear proper that she rejected him continually.

But such is the magic of cleaning soap operas. Once the producers recognise that they’ve provide you with a captivating plot line that can make viewers tune in, they may milk it for all it’s value.

This cat-and-mouse sport between Dex and Alexis continued for nearly the remainder of that season till she lastly relents and we now have an incredible kissing scene.

Michael and I obtained a bit carried away — and he kissed me so forcefully that he bit my lip and blood was smudged on each our chins.

‘It’s blood!’ I wailed.

‘It’s simply lipstick,’ he replied, laughing nervously.

‘Doesn’t style like every model I put on,’ I retorted, working to my trailer to repair the injury.

But I actually preferred Michael. He was amusing and we had a simple off-set relationship.

He additionally had a very good sense of humour. One April Fool’s Day, Michael and I had been rehearsing one more passionate love scene. Dex comes near Alexis sporting a beautiful silk dressing robe and suggests, easily and sexily: ‘Alexis, aren’t you going to open your shock current?’ Alexis slides the dressing robe off his shoulder, equally easily and sexily, gazing seductively into his eyes all the whereas — till he’s revealed to be sporting a lacy white Wonderbra over his bare chest.

Not surprisingly, maybe, this sight induced me to flub my subsequent line: ‘Look here, Dex, I’m a really busy man.’ The crew obtained greater than they hoped for.

He was married and I used to be married however that didn’t cease a few of the cast and crew teasing us that our relationship was greater than friendship. But whereas it was purely platonic, on set it sizzled! I beloved our scenes in the tub collectively the place I’d be coated in soapsuds to cover the naked requirements.

When the director yelled ‘Cut!’, Michael would attempt to scrape the suds off me. Not the form of behaviour that goes down nicely in the #MeToo period nevertheless it was all completed in good enjoyable.

‘Joan and I are kindred spirits,’ Michael as soon as mentioned. ‘There was chemistry between us when I auditioned, and when we talked, I discovered what it was — we were both driven to succeed.’

He added: ‘If the relationship between Joan and me [hadn’t been] straightforward, I’d have been written out the present a very long time in the past.’

I as soon as requested him how he obtained the facial scar, which jogged my memory of 1 that Gene Kelly had. He mentioned that it was the results of being hit by a drunk driver when he was six years outdated.

He additionally talked about his uncle, who was a well-known actor in the Fifties referred to as George Nader.

During his second season on Dynasty, he even admitted to having had a drug downside in his youth. I’d by no means have guessed — he was all the time on time, knew his traces and was a consummate skilled all through the time I labored with him.

Alexis and Dex had been lastly married in 1984 and for a few seasons we had been roughly comfortable. But we had been all the time sparring with one another as Alexis would by no means let any man get the higher of her — and he wouldn’t let any individual of no matter intercourse get the higher of him.

Then a stunning factor occurred: Dex had an affair with Alexis’s daughter Amanda, played by Catherine Oxenberg. Amanda had all the time had her sights set on vengefully taking Dex away from her mom and when she and Dex discovered themselves trapped in a hut by a blizzard in New Mexico, naturally they needed to have intercourse.

I used to be fairly upset about this as I believed it could destroy our on-set love affair however Aaron was adamant that this subplot would improve the viewers.

‘We’ve already obtained tons of viewers and so they love the two of them collectively!’ I pleaded. But my views carried no weight.

One day, Michael got here into my dressing room in an actual state. ‘They won’t give me a increase,’ he huffed. ‘Didn’t they simply provide you with one?’

‘Yes, they did, but it was quite small,’ I admitted.

‘Well, I can’t get by on 40 grand every week,’ he grumbled.

I laughed in his face: ‘You’ve obtained to be joking! No one earns $40,000 every week!’

‘You do,’ he deadpanned. I didn’t have an answer.

The on-and-off relationship between Alexis and Dex continued till the present ended. He had affairs with Leslie Carrington, Alexis’s niece, in addition to with Alexis’s cousin and uber enemy Sable Colby, played by Stephanie Beacham.

When Alexis finds out about these indiscretions, she tells Dexter they’re lastly and actually completed. This results in a confrontation between Alexis, Sable, Alexis’s son Adam and Dex in the final episode.

Dex, not liking Adam’s insinuations, will get right into a shoving match with him and so they by accident push Alexis off a balcony!

And that was presumably the finish of Alexis — in addition to the complete present. But when the producers realised they’d left the followers with out a becoming ending, they determined to movie the notorious ‘Dynasty Reunion’ two years later.

It stretched even a cleaning soap for believability. The viewers found Dex had one way or the other fallen off the balcony earlier than Alexis and she or he landed on high of him, killing him.

The purpose Dex couldn’t be a part of the Dynasty Reunion, nonetheless, was way more prosaic. He had joined the cast of U.S. daytime cleaning soap All My Children and so they wouldn’t let him go. And so ended the romance that stored viewers glued to their TV units each week for a number of years.

Sometime later Michael was arrested for promoting cocaine to an undercover New York policeman. Unfortunately, this induced All My Children to finish his contract. He went into rehab then appeared on Larry King Live to speak about his failed lawsuit to get himself reinstated. 

Fortunately, his career survived and he went on to do many good issues till the finish of his life.

Of all my Dynasty husbands, he was far and away the finest wanting, the finest actor and the most charming, and I used to be extraordinarily comfortable to have married him. (Sorry, Percy!)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *