There have been many imitators, but only ever one Jackie Collins!
The iconic author has been called a “raunchy moralist” by the late director Louis Malle and “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine.
With over half a billion copies of her books sold in more than forty countries, and with thirty one New York Times bestsellers to her credit, she is one of the world’s top-selling novelists.
From glamorous Beverly Hills bedrooms to Hollywood movie studios; from glittering rock concerts in London to the yachts of Russian billionaires, Jackie Collins chronicles the scandalous lives of the rich, famous and infamous from the inside looking out.
“I write about real people in disguise,” she once said. “If anything, my characters are toned down – the truth is much more bizarre!”
Born in in London, England, her first novel, “The World is Full of Married Men” was published in 1968 and established Collins as an author who dared to step where no other female writer had gone before. She followed it year after year with one successful title after another, including “The Stud” and “The Bitch,” both adapted into films in the 1970s starring her actress sister, Joan Collins.
The 1980s saw Jackie finding her stride when she published “Chances,” the first installment in a sprawling family saga introducing the strong, sexy and powerful Lucky Santangelo. Soon after came the seminal 80s blockbuster, “Hollywood Wives” which was adapted into one of ABCs highest rated mini series.
The 90s and 2000s saw Jackie on a wild writing streak, satisfying her devoted readers with hit after hit, including “Lady Boss”, “Hollywood Kids”, “Poor Little Bitch Girl” and “The Power Trip” among many others.
Jackie was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by the Queen of England in 2013 for her services to literature and charity. When accepting the honor she said to the Queen ‘Not bad for a school drop-out’ – a revelation capturing her belief that both passion and determination can lead to big dreams coming true!
Jackie was a long time supporter of AIDS Project LA, HIV & AIDS research and equality for the LGBT community. She was widely known for writing characters who reflected a whole spectrum of society.
In addition to her long and lustrous career, Jackie valued her family above all else, including her three daughters and six grandchildren. She wrote every one of her manuscripts by hand, as well as being widely known for her photographic skills, constantly documenting family, friends and her celebrity circle.
Jackie died of breast cancer on September 19th 2015, six years after being given a stage 4 diagnosis, which she chose to keep private until the final weeks of her life.
She believed in the power of positive thinking and during that six years continued to write five more books and traveled the world on yearly book tours. Her last novel, “The Santangelos”, the thrilling final installment in the epic nine book series, was released in 2015, just weeks before her death.
Jackie Collins was a creative force, a mentor and trailblazer in fiction, and an inspiration to all who knew her, in addition to the millions of readers whose lives she enriched through her novels for over four decades.
In her last interview before her death, Jackie said “I want people to see me as an example of strength – and doing things my way…”
The Jackie Collins ‘way’ will most definitely live on through her absorbing characters and compulsive plot lines for years to come.