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Jackie Collins, the best-selling British author who took readers into the glamorous and often steamy world of Hollywood, died of breast cancer on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77.
“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,” her family said in a statement posted to Collins’ Facebook page. People first reported the news of her death.
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Oprah Winfrey took to Twitter on Saturday to remember the novelist. “#RIPJackie Collins,” Winfrey tweeted. “I always loved our interviews.”
Philanthropist Barbara Davis, a close friend of Collins’, tells The Hollywood Reporter that she didn’t learn until recently that Collins was so stricken with cancer.
“None of us knew she was sick,” Davis says. “I didn’t find out until yesterday. She kept it to herself, and she lived with it. She’d just done a book tour in London where she’d gone to tell her family the cancer had spread. But nobody knew it was this close. Jackie was the bravest woman in the world. I’ll love her forever.”
Survivors include her daughters Tracy, Tiffany and Rory and her older sister, Dynasty actress Joan Collins.
Jackie Collins was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in 2009, People reports.
She wrote 32 novels, and they sold more than 500 million copies. Eight have been adapted for TV or film.
Her novels were used as the basis for the films The Stud (1978) and The Bitch (1979), both of which starred her sister as a hedonistic nightclub owner, and The World Is Full of Married Men (1979), with Anthony Franciosa.
The World Is Full of Married Men, full of tales of extramarital sex, was her first novel, published in 1968.
In 1985, ABC and Aaron Spelling aired the three-part miniseries Hollywood Wives, based on her 1983 novel and featuring a cast including Candice Bergen, Angie Dickinson, Suzanne Somers and Anthony Hopkins. It was one of the most-watched miniseries of the decade.
Before launching her writing career, Collins had bit roles in several B-movies in the 1950s. One of her last appearances onscreen came in July with a cameo in the Syfy telefilm Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
Collins’ most recent novel, The Santangelos, was released in June. She was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2013.
The London-born Collins spoke to THR in July and attributed her success to the fact that she never forgot where she came from.
“I was recently awarded an OBE by the Queen of England, and when I met the queen, I shook her hand and she pinned the thing on me, and she said, ‘Oh, Ms. Collins, I understand you’ve written tons of books,’ and I go, ‘Yeah, not bad for a school dropout,’ ” Collins said. “That’s how I feel.”
Collins, who said she was hoping for a screen adaptation of Santangelos, added that “Hollywood is shit to women. Women over 35 now are playing grandmothers. That’s what it’s down to. It’s absolutely crazy.”
The Facebook post can be seen below, along with Winfrey’s tweet.
#RIPJackie Collins. I always loved our interviews.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) September 20, 2015
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