April 13 was a very special anniversary for fans of primetime soaps. It was on that day, 30 years ago, that the catfight to end all TV catfights unfolded in a lily pond.
Yes, Krystal (Linda Evans) vs. Alexis (Joan Collins), the two "Dynasty" divas who had battled each other before, threw down in the greatest TV catfight ever, in an episode called "The Threat." Plotting Alexis had just been disowned by her daughter Fallon, who, at the same time, had gotten closer to her stepmom, Krystal. Jealous Alexis began taunting Krystal about the baby she'd failed to adopt, and after calling Alexis a bee-yotch, Krystal lunged at her rival and sent both of them tumbling into the pond.
"The lily pond -- it's so funny, because it was so shallow," Evans tells Yahoo! TV. "They had us fight on our knees, so that it looked more dangerous. We had knee pads on, and we just navigated the whole thing. Of course, I love to do stunts, because Barbara Stanwyck and I did them [on 'The Big Valley'], and it was a bonding thing for us. But Joan absolutely hates those kinds of things -- fighting, physical fighting. She's more of a verbal, love to tell you how things are person, and I'm more of a physical person. It worked a little better for me than it did for Joan."
Watch the catfight:
The catfights -- which, as the show went on, would involve other characters -- became such a hallmark of the series that bars would hold catfight nights, playing a compilation of the throwdowns on a loop, Evans says.
The lily pond fight, which the star says took a whole day to film, remains one of the most famous TV moments of the '80s, with Krystal and Alexis rolling around, slapping, and punching each other in a gorgeous little lily pond, while both, of course, were fully attired in trademark "Dynasty" dresses, hair, makeup, and heels.
Evans, one of the famous faces who recalls her favorite moments of the 1980s in National Geographic Channel's "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us" miniseries, definitely counts wearing those "Dynasty" fashions among her favorite memories of the time.
"I would walk [around] Beverly Hills in the few moments that we would have off, and anything that I saw that I liked -- Valentino, Christian Dior, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren -- I would go, 'Can you send that to the studio, and that to the studio, [and] that to the studio?'" Evans says. "And the next day, I would walk in, and there they'd all be on a rack. Or Nolan Miller would come in and say, 'If you don't like any of those for the scene, what would you like? Tell me what kind of look you want. I'll sketch something for you.' Then he'd bring me fabric and furs and things. It was extraordinary.
"I remember as a kid having paper dolls that I loved. I would draw clothes for them and color them and cut them out and put them on. I thought, 'This is the best thing in the world.'"
Bloomingdale's sold a line of "Dynasty" fashions that included $10,000 fur coats and $1,000 dresses, modeled after the looks Krystal and Alexis wore on the ABC nighttime soap each week, and Evans also had a hand in creating a perfume -- Forever Krystal -- inspired by her character.
Watch a commercial for the Forever Krystal perfume:
"They said, 'We want you to be involved in creating a perfume for your character.' They flew out a man from New York called 'The Nose,'" she says. "The Nose, because he knew all these amazing scents, and he had thousands and thousands of different scents that we spent all day just smelling. I would choose everything I liked, then he came back months later, and he had put some of those together, and I would smell those. Then he would go back and then months later, he would come back. It was extraordinary to create with someone your own smell that you loved. It was phenomenal."
Take a look at the fashions of "Dynasty":
The show's fashion and pop culture influence aside, "Dynasty" was also one of the first TV dramas to center around not one, but two, not-20-something women as its stars, the actress points out.
"Aaron Spelling hired two women that were older. I was 40 when we did the show," says Evans, who was half of another tough, smart, female duo when she played Stanwyck's daughter on "The Big Valley."
"Joan was older than I was. At that time on television, women were in their 20s. Aaron had the foresight to see that we, as women, could be older and could dress, and look, and act, and be powerful, and that was great. That was one of the best things that he did. I thanked him until the day he died for that, for having the vision to say that women who were not necessarily young could be in that place and be role models for other women."
Evans looks back at her character and the show so fondly, in fact, that she doesn't rule out a return to the Carrington fold.
"It wouldn't be a reunion," the Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee says. "Probably, it would have to be a TV show like 'Dallas,' which has come back to viewers. It would depend on the show, and how they would present it. When you do something that's like 'Dynasty,' you want to be certain that they hold the essence of what you've done. If they were able to re-create something very powerful and very important, of course I'd be interested."
And does she think the years would have seen the Krystal-and-Alexis rivalry mellow?
"I think that it would be much more interesting if they're still butting heads," Evans laughs. "They wrote the show quite well, because they showed two different sides of women. I think that was very good for the show and very good for drama. It became part of what drew people to the show -- the fact that we were so different, and that each one of us had a way of living our lives that appealed to different audiences. So I think it would be much more interesting if we kept up our little rivalry."
One TV arena Evans, who won a celebrity version of Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" on British TV in 2009, does rule out: starring in another reality TV series.
"I'd have to say no to that. Only because reality TV … it's one thing to do a cooking show, which was primetime in London, because it was surrounding food, which I love. It's hard to ruin that, although they can create drama out of anything today," Evans says. "But the requirements for a good reality show are too intense. I'm not fond of that much drama, even though we had it on 'Dynasty.' Today, they take it over the top. That's not really of any interest to me."
"The '80s: The Decade That Changed Us" miniseries concludes Tuesday, 4/16 at 9 PM on the National Geographic Channel.