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Friday 2 December 2016

Final chapter in life of glamour ends as top novelist Jackie Collins dies

Jackie Collins sold 500 million books
Jackie Collins sold 500 million books
The author with her sister, actress Joan Collins
Jackie Collins holding her first book – The World Is Full Of Married Men – in 1968

Joan Collins has paid tribute to her "beautiful brave baby sister" Jackie who has died after a secret battle with cancer.

Jackie, who sold more than 500 million novels in more than 40 countries in her four decades-long career as a writer in raunchy female fiction, died of breast cancer. She was 77.

Despite being diagnosed six-and-a-half years ago the British author, who lived in Beverley Hills, told few people about her illness, saying she did not want to "burden" others with it.

Joan, who only found out in the last fortnight, posted a picture online of herself and Jackie, writing: "Farewell to my beautiful brave baby sister. I will love you and miss you forever. Rest in peace."

Novel

The pair, who had been rumoured at times to have a difficult relationship, were pictured together in London just a few days ago while Jackie was on a promotional tour for her new novel The Santangelos.

Joan tweeted: "Lovely evening @thewolseley before sis went back to LaLaLand."

Jackie's publicist Melody Korenbrot said the author, a mother-of-three and grandmother-of-six, died on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Paying tribute over the weekend, her family said she had broken new ground for female writers in fiction.

"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," they said in a statement.

"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 four 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."

Her novels, telling stories of glamour, sex and affairs in Hollywood, include The World Is Full of Married Men, The Love Killers and The World Is Full of Divorced Women.

Her title Hollywood Wives became a New York Times best seller and was made into a television series starring Farrah Fawcett and Anthony Hopkins.

Jackie, who was made an OBE in 2013, spoke to People magazine six days ago for what would be her last interview.

She said she had no regrets about keeping the news of her illness private.

"I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say," she said. "I've written five books since the diagnosis, I've lived my life, I've travelled 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 an interview with the Press Association earlier this month Jackie said she chose to celebrate life rather than mourn those close to her who had died.

Friend

"I refuse to mourn people, because everybody dies. Death and taxes, you can't avoid either," she said.

Her mother Elsa Collins, second husband Oscar Lerman and fiance Frank Calcagnini all died from cancer.

Oprah Winfrey, Bond star Roger Moore, television personality Sharon Osbourne and chatshow host Graham Norton are among those who paid tribute to the novelist.

Romantic novelist Jilly Cooper said her fellow writer Jackie Collins was "a very good writer" and a "terrific friend".

Cooper said: "Everybody is so dingy and politically correct now, and she didn't care, she just wrote about what she liked."

Asked if Collins had helped push writing about sex towards the mainstream and paved the way for modern writers such as EL James, Cooper said: "I think she had more fun than that girl who got beaten to bits in Shades Of Grey, don't you?"

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