‘Important to give him freedom’ Pauline Collins on secret to marriage with John Alderton

Joan Collins shares her fashion advice for John Major and Boris Johnson

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Pauline Collins, 81, has been married to fellow actor John Alderton, 81, since 1969, with the couple sharing three children together. The actress previously revealed the secret to her marriage, with her crediting their relationship on the fact that they have “never suffocated each other”.

John and I have never suffocated each other.

Pauline Collins

Speaking in 1999 to The Sunday Mirror, Pauline revealed why she believed her marriage had survived, compared to many other Hollywood relationships, which have failed.

She said: “Hold onto your man with your arms wide open – it’s a great image and I’ve always lived by it.

“John and I have never suffocated each other. It’s so important to give your partner freedom.

“We do miss each other when we’re separated, but we also enjoy each other’s freedom – I’m pleased that he’s doing something new and exciting, even if I’m staying at home.”

The actress recalled filming Paradise Road in 1997, with John starting on a stage play “on exactly the same day”.

She said: “It meant we couldn’t visit each other, but it also meant we had something to tell each other.”

Adding to her secrets to a happy marriage, the star penned: “You need constant stimulus to keep a marriage alive. If you don’t have anything new to tell each other, or fresh points of view, you get stale.

“I’ve spent plenty of time with my husband, because we’ve worked together on five television series and four West End plays, but spaces are good in a marriage and we’ve had a lot of those.

“We’re like two trees side by side. We’ve grown at the same pace.”

The couple starred together in Upstairs, Downstairs, both leaving the show in 1973.

They later reprised their roles for the spin-off series, Thomas & Sarah in 1979.

Recalling how the couple met, Pauline said: “We met in Emergency Ward 10 in 1962 but only later found out we were in the same episode.

“We met working like many people do and we like each other’s work.

“It is our job. John’s mum and dad work together in a shop and it is no different from that.”

John was previously married to Jill Browne, but they later divorced.

In 1989, Pauline enjoyed her biggest ever success playing the lead role of the bored holidaying housewife from Liverpool in the film version of Willy Russell’s play, Shirley Valentine.

For this she received both a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, and a Bafta for bringing the role to the big screen.

The film was a big critical and commercial hit, with it sometimes being cited as the Queen’s favourite film.

The actress still acts now, unlike her husband, who retired in 2010.

Most recently, she starred in 2017’s The Time of Their Lives, alongside Dame Joan Collins.

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