HOLLYWOOD -- Yvette Mimieux ended her seven-year retirement from acting earlier this year to play a role in Jackie Collins' mini-series 'Lady Boss.'
The two-part series will be broadcast by NBC-TV next month.
An inveterate traveler and art collector, the blonde Mimieux married real estate tycoon Howard Ruby in 1985 and shortly thereafter abandoned her career for prolonged trips to South America, Asia, Europe and the South Seas.
'I had had it with acting,' Mimieux said the other day, sipping tea in the lounge of a Beverly Hills hotel. 'I'd been acting since I was a teenager.I'd come to the point where I was writing my own movies of the week for TV. That was fun. But I was truly tired of acting.
'Howard and I devoted our time to traveling around the world. We're both scuba divers and we love the South Pacific.
'We led a crazy, ideal life. We're both great explorers. We scuba dived in the Red Sea, the Pacific and the Indian oceans. We lived in Bali and India. We rented an apartment in Venice. They were glorious years.
'I didn't miss acting at all. There's a whole beautiful world out there and it was like riding a magic carpet, getting to know exotic, faraway places.
'A couple of months ago we were on a tiny little island in Fiji staying in a grass shack, literally, when someone came running down to say there was a call for me on the island's only telephone. It was Jackie Collins.
'She wanted me to come to Hollywood to play a role in 'Lady Boss.' I told her I knew nothing about the project and there were no FAX machines for her to send the script.
'I begged off until she said, 'You'll be playing a sort of Ivana Trump.' Even so, I said I needed time to see the script. Instead, she told me all about the character.
'When she was through I told her I hadn't acted in seven years and that maybe I'd forgotten how to do it. But she prevailed and I agreed. When Harry and I returned to Beverly Hills, the script was waiting.
'I had quit watching TV for seven years and didn't realize how much the medium has changed in that time. 'Lady Boss' is a very sexy, steamy show.
'My character isn't so steamy, but she's really fun. She's a thinly disguised Ivana and her husband is a lot like Donald Trump. My character is a desperate woman whose husband is having an affair. A woman scorned and seeking revenge.
'Everybody loves Jackie, so all kinds of celebrities stopped by while we were shooting. It's funny, while we were doing a party scene in the Rainbow Room in New York, Donald Trump came by. Jackie talked him into doing a walk-on. He stopped by the table to say hello to my character.
'Donald obviously hadn't read the book version of 'Lady Boss,' so he didn't know the story was loosely about him or that I was playing his estranged wife Ivana.
'I'm sure he would never have agreed to appear if he had known what the film is about. But it does give Jackie a good excuse to say the picture doesn't involve the Trump's marital problems because, after all, he's in it.
'This is the best produced show of the dozens of projects I've done. It was also the best run set. Jackie made us feel like a family.'
Mimieux obviously is pleased to have played against the sweet, long- suffering leading ladies of her youth.
'I enjoyed the project so much I've decided to resume my career,' she said. 'I'm writing a movie of the week for myself even as we speak. '
Mimieux looks to be in her mid-30s, stylish in a red sheath, slender and youthful. It seems inconcievable she made her professional acting debut in 1960 in 'Platinum High School' as a teenager.
Her movie credits include 'Toys in the Attic,' 'Skyjacked,' 'Journey Into Fear,' 'The Time Machine' and 'Light in the Piazza' among many others. She has done more TV films and guest appearances than she can count.
'The woman I play in my new screenplay is a tiger,' she said, laughing. 'The story is political. It's different than the TV scripts I've done before, which I wrote for myself -- the best parts I've ever had, thank you very much.
'I'm all enthused about writing and acting again because I had so much fun doing 'Lady Boss.'I didn't feel any anxieties after being away for so long. I felt more at ease than I had before I decided to quit.'
Mimieux, the daughter of a French father and Mexican mother, has homes in Paris, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Sun Valley, Idaho. Currently she is looking for a log cabin in the Rocky Mountains.
'I like working here,' she said, 'but I'd never think of settling down anywhere.'NEWLN: