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Friday 9 December 2016

'I nagged my sister to get mammograms', says Joan Collins

Joan Collins
Joan Collins

Joan Collins has said she used to "nag" her sister Jackie about getting mammograms but she refused.

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

Joan said she and her sister were "thick as thieves", but admitted they did have "estrangements" in the past.

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

In an online post called A Tribute To My Beloved Sister, Joan wrote: "I used to nag my sister about getting mammograms, as our darling mother Elsa had succumbed to the disease in 1962 when she was only in her early 50s.

"I was religious about doing mammograms regularly. Jackie, however, refused - she didn't even like going to doctors. Like my brother and I she was needle-phobic."

Joan also revealed the moment Jackie rang her to say she had stage-four breast cancer.

She only found out about her sister's illness in the fortnight before her death.

She said Jackie told her she did not want to upset her, adding that she said: "I know all the problems you've been having in the past few years - I didn't want to burden you with mine."

Joan said Jackie "hated" her fourth husband, Peter Holm, adding: "She begged me not to marry him, but unfortunately I went ahead - one of the worst decisions of my life. Jackie and I didn't see each other so much during that period.

"Unfortunately, a couple of years later another relationship I had came between us and, having moved back to Europe, we couldn't be as close as we wanted to be.

"Sisters will have their estrangements, but happily when that relationship ended and I moved back to LA and Jackie and I resumed our devotion to each other."

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