LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Jackie Collins, the famed Hollywood novelist who wrote a series of steamy books about life in show business, has died.
Collins, younger sister to “Dynasty” star Joan Collins, was 77.
Her family said she died Saturday from breast cancer.
The family released a statement that read: “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one of a kind mother, Jackie Collins, who died of breast cancer today. She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over 4 decades. She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words.”
Collins wrote 32 novels — all of them steamy, most of them with outrageous sex scenes that could make the reader blush. The books also had humor, and most often a sense of adventure. Unlike many books in the genre that have female characters being rescued by men, many of Collins’ protagonists were take-no-prisoners types — tough and sexy.
She often said real Hollywood people inspired many of her books and story lines. Part of the fun of reading most of her work was trying to dissect who the real people were. She would rarely tell — but interviewers who got on her good side could very often get her to spill and tell great yarns in the process.
Collins’ books sold more than 500 million copies worldwide. Many of them were adapted for the small screen in TV movies and miniseries.
Her first book, 1968’s “The World is Full of Married Men” was banned in several countries. Romance novelist Barbara Cartland reportedly called it trash and “nasty, filthy and disgusting.”
Some of Collins’ early vehicles employed sister Joan in the starring role — most notably “The Stud” and “The Bitch.”
Perhaps her most famous (or infamous) work came in 1983 with “Hollywood Wives.”
When Collins once said (and who knew if she was joking) that very often actresses in movies based on her books were actually playing themselves without knowing it, a media darling and talk show staple was born.
Services will be private, the family announced.
Collins kept her cancer private from the world — ironic for a woman whose life was such an open book. According to People Magazine, she had been battling stage 4 breast cancer for six-and-a-half years only telling her daughters, Tracy, 54, Tiffany, 48 and Rory, 46.
Collins sat down with People on September 14 in her Beverly Hills home for what would be her last interview. She told the magazine she had no regrets about the decision to keep her cancer private until the end. “Looking back, I’m not sorry about anything I did. I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I’ve written five books since the diagnosis, I’ve lived my life, I’ve traveled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no one has ever known until now when I feel as though I should come out with it.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asked fans and friends to make donations to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer organization.
For more about the storied life of the storyteller that is Jackie Collins, go to her official website.