The 88-year-old veteran actor and dame was 26 when she had the procedure, several years before abortions were legalised in the UK in 1967.
In a new episode of Pier’s Morgan’s Life Stories, which will air on ITV on Sunday night (20 June), she said: “I had an abortion. It would have been the death of my career, and I was by then 26. Of course I hesitated but I realised that if I was going to have a child I was going to be able to bring the child up properly and I believed very strongly that I’m in charge of my body.”
She added: “I was a feminist before the word was heard and I shall do what I felt was right for me. It would have been wrong to have done that. It would have ruined my life… it would have ruined my life.”
Collins had the abortion while she was engaged to American actor Warren Beatty, who was the father.
She had first revealed her decision in her 1978 autobiography, in which she wrote of Beatty: “The last time I saw him was at a Hollywood screening. All charm, he told my husband Percy: ‘I still love this woman.’ ‘Thanks for telling me,’ said Percy, playfully challenging him to a fight.
“Not a chance, of course. Now Warren’s happily married to Annette Bening, we kiss and hug whenever we bump into each other.”
Collins went on to have three children later in life, Tara and Alexander with her second husband singer Anthony Newley and Katyana with her third, businessman Ron Kass.
She is currently married to her fifth husband, Hollywood producer Percy Gibson, who she wed in 2002. Her first marriage was with actor Maxwell Reed and her fourth was with Swedish pop singer Peter Holm.
Collins is best known for playing the role of vengeful schemer Alexis Carrington Colby in the Eighties soap opera Dynasty. Her film roles include The Road to Hong Kong, Revenge and Tales from the Crypt.