Author Jackie Collins Dead At 77

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Beloved romance novelist Jackie Collins has died after a long battle with breast cancer.

The bestselling British author passed away on Saturday, aged 77, more than six years after she was diagnosed with the disease.

A family statement released to People read:

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“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 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.”

Collins’ sister, actress Joan Collins, has revealed she is “completely devastated” following the news of the writer’s death.

She said, “She was my best friend. I admire how she handled this. She was a wonderful, brave and a beautiful person and I love her.”

Jackie was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2009 but chose to keep her illness to herself. Even sister Joan did not know how ill the author was until earlier this month.

In her final interview on September 14, she told People magazine, “[Joan] was very shocked. She had no idea. But she was great. We were emotional. (I didn’t tell her) because it would have really affected her. I just felt she didn’t need it in her life. She’s very positive and very social but I’m not sure how strong she is, so I didn’t want to burden her with it.”

Early tributes have come from actress Melissa Gilbert, who starred in the TV adaptation of Collins’ book Hollywood Wives: The New Generation, Sandra Bullock and Sharon Osbourne.

Gilbert tweeted, “An amazing woman. Talented. Funny. Kind. One of my very favorite producers ever. She will be deeply missed.”

Osbourne added, “Shocked & devastated at the death of @JackiejCollins. Loved & respected her. Thoughts & prayers go out to her family.”

While Bullock, who starred in Lucky Chances, a TV mini-series based on Collins’ novels Lucky and Chances, at the beginning of her career, issued a statement, which read: “That smart, talented, and gorgeous woman paved the road for so many of us so that we could experience a much smoother journey… with or without heels. Heaven… watch out!”

Collins’ first book, The World Is Full of Married Men, was published in 1968. She went on to write more than 30 novels throughout her career, including 1981’s Chances, which introduced fans to her most famous character, Lucky Santangelo.

She also penned Hollywood Wives, which was adapted into a drama series by TV mogul Aaron Spelling in 1985, starring Candice Bergen and Anthony Hopkins.

Her books also included Hollywood Husbands, Hollywood Divorces, Rock Star, Power Trip, American Star, and The Stud, which was adapted into a 1978 film starring her sister Joan.

Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2013 for her services to fiction and her charity work, and in May she landed fifth on the Sunday Times Rich List of British authors, behind J.K. Rowling, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Lord Archer and E.L. James.

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