Dame says matinee star drugged her and wanted to pimp her out to old men
The actor that glamorous Hollywood star Dame Joan Collins claimed in a shock TV documentary had drugged and raped her on their first date was from Larne.
The 88-year-old former Dynasty actress said that Maxwell Reed — whom she went on to marry — also wanted to “offer” her to “rich old men” for £10,000 a time, while he said he would watch them having sex.
Dame Joan’s sensational allegations in a BBC documentary grabbed international headlines.
And she also claimed that footballing legend George Best was once considered for a leading role in a soft porn movie with her.
Little was said in the documentary, This is Joan Collins, about Reed’s background.
But his biography says that he was born in Larne on April 2, 1918, and left school at the age of 15.
He had a brief spell as a merchant seaman before joining the Royal Air Force and seeing service — and apparently crashing — during the Second World War, after which he turned to acting in England.
Dame Joan said that she was a 17-year-old virgin when she met the ruggedly handsome Reed, who was 31 at the time and variously described in film magazines as a ‘matinee idol’ a ‘wild man of the movies’ or as an ‘engaging rascal of the silver screen’.
She said she thought Reed — whose nickname was ‘the beautiful beast’ — was from London but found it “odd” that he spoke with an American accent.
Dame Joan, who earned millions of dollars playing Alexis Colby in the long-running Dynasty series, said on their first night together, Reed spiked her rum and Coke with the drug rohypnol at his house.
She added: “The next thing I knew I was flat out on his sofa and he was raping me.
“In those days, my mother would have said I was ‘taken advantage of’. Now we call it date rape.”
The actress went on to marry Reed in 1952, saying now that she did so through a sense of “shame”.
“Had I not been so innocent about sex and the way things should be, I wouldn’t have done that. But I had a strong sense of guilt so I did it.”
Ms Collins added: “The honeymoon was a fiasco. We looked outwardly happy but underneath I was miserable.”
She said Reed gravitated towards wealthy old men and she soon found out why. “Max told me, ‘He’ll pay you £10,000 for one night — and I can even watch’. I looked at my handsome, loathsome husband and began to cry. ‘Never in a million years.’ I went home to mummy,” recalled Collins.
After she and Reed were divorced — and he claimed alimony from her for ‘loss of earnings’ — Ms Collins revelled in the Los Angeles lifestyle, partying with the likes of Gene Kelly and Marilyn Monroe who she said told her to watch out for “wolves” in Hollywood, including film producer Daryl Zanuck, who she claimed pinned her against the wall in an attempted sex attack.
Dame Joan, who briefly retired from making movies to raise her two children, said she later returned to star in 1970s soft porn films like The Stud and The Bitch which were hugely successful at the British box office.
And she revealed that playboy footballer George Best and singer Tom Jones were considered as leading men before producers settled on English actor Oliver Tobias.
Maxwell Reed’s acting career never scaled the heights that had been predicted for him. A biography says that he was snapped up by a repertory company after arriving in England following the war, making several appearances at the New Theatre in London before he moved into films and he was signed up by the Rank Organisation.
He appeared in a large number of ‘B’ movies before he got co-star roles alongside Margaret Lockwood in Madness of the Heart and with Irish actress Siobhan McKenna in The Lost People.
Reed worked with renowned director Otto Preminger and he was in a Jack Lemon movie called The Notorious Landlady before being cast in American TV shows including Bonanza and Perry Mason.
Reed died from cancer on October 31, 1974, at the age of 55 and his last on-screen appearance was a few months earlier as a press photographer in the Charles Bronson movie Mr Majestyk.
Several years ago attempts to find out more about Reed’s youthful life in Larne came to nought.
The town’s most famous actress Olivia Nash, who plays Ma in the BBC TV series Give My Head Peace, said she’d heard his name but knew nothing else about him.
There were reports that Reed was the son of a boat builder and had been involved with amateur drama in Larne in his early days but am-dram veterans in the town said they could find no records of any appearances by him.
One internet website said of his passing: “Maxwell Reed’s departure was as unheralded as his entrance but he did at least have some opportunities which in retrospect were as much as he could have hoped for.”