Jackie Collins died of breast cancer on Saturday, according to a statement from her family. She was 77.
"It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one-of-a-kind mother," the statement said. "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."
Jackie Collins never hit no. 1 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books List (she made it as high as No. 23 in 2013 with The Power Trip) but she was a mainstay on the list with 22 of her books landing in the top 150 from American Star in February 1993 to as recently as June with The Santangelos. Collins authored 32 books, including one cookbook. Several of her best known books were published in the 1980s and include Lucky, Hollywood Wives and Hollywood Husbands and pre-date USA TODAY's list. All 32 of Collins' novels have appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. Nine of her novels were adapted into movies or
When The Santangelos was released in June, Collins said it was the concluding volume in her best-selling series about the Mob clan that began with 1981's Chances.
Collins told People magazine, which first reported her death Saturday, in her final interview Sept. 14 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer over six years ago, but had chosen to keep the news among family, confiding mainly in her three daughters, 54-year-old Tracy, 48-year-old Tiffany and 46-year-old Rory.
Collins was born in London, along with older sister, actress Joan Collins. Jackie Collins started writing books about the sex lives of her rich and famous characters in the 1960s. She became a celebrity in her own right with 1983's Hollywood Wives. It sold more than 15 million copies, led to sequels and became a hit TV miniseries.
When asked by USA TODAY in 2007 if it's hard to compete with so much sex in books, she said no. "Sex does not sell books. Characters and relationships do. If you're not interested in the characters, you're not interested in the sex."
As for staying "fresh" as an author, she told USA TODAY: "I'm a popular-culture junkie. I have six TiVos in my house."