Jackie Collins, chronicler of lust and power, dies at 77

20 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Farewell to my beautiful brave baby sister. I will love you and miss you forever. Rest in peace..

Diagnosed with stage four breast cancer a little more than six years ago, Collins kept her diagnosis private, only telling her three daughters. I’m so sad to hear about the passing of Jackie Collins..my love and prayers go out to her family and friends and to her sister Joan..what an amazing woman….

Los Angeles – Jackie Collins, the best-selling author of dozens of steamy novels who depicted the boardrooms and bedrooms of Hollywood’s power crowd, died on Saturday of breast cancer at age 77, her family said. “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,” the family said in a statement.If I had a granny haircut,” says Jackie Collins, running a hand through her glossy dark mane of hair, “and little glasses and looked hideous, I’d probably be taken a lot more seriously.” She sighs. “But if you’re vaguely attractive and you write, people say, ‘Who does she think she is?’ They look at the picture on the back of the book and criticise that.

Collins, who wrote about characters driven by lust, power and greed, sold more than 500 millions copies of her books in 40 countries and has some 30 New York Times bestsellers, according to her own website. She was a wonderful, brave and a beautiful person and I love her.” Many of Collins’ novels were adapted for TV and film over the years, and the TV miniseries version of Collins’ Lucky Chances starred Sandra Bullock in one of her earliest roles. “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,” Bullock told PEOPLE in a statement. “Heaven … watch out!” Others stars shared their tributes to Collins on Twitter, including Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Griffin, and Melissa Gilbert, who starred in the TV movie adaptation of Hollywood Wives: The New Generation.

Rest in peace.” Speaking to People magazine, Dame Joan added she was “completely devastated” by news of her sister’s death in the US, and described Jackie as her “best friend”. She did not only write about Hollywood, she also enjoyed great success in the entertainment industry with several of her stories adapted for television. Some of her most successful novels included the 1983 “Hollywood Wives,” about women living glamorous lives behind the scenes of the industry, and the 1985 “Lucky” and 1990 “Lady Boss” from her series focused on the ravishing and ambitious character Lucky Santangelo, who was born into an organized crime family. Her debut novel, “The World is Full of Married Men,” was reportedly deemed “filthy and disgusting” by author Barbara Cartland and banned in Australia.

Collins told Reuters the book was “way before its time” with its tale of a woman who cheats on her husband and another who likes sex with married men. Collins, who is, of course, the younger sister of actress Joan, drives herself up to the front door in a Volkswagen Phaeton saloon and gets out, dressed, as always, in a trouser suit and lots of Cartier jewellery. The Power Trip is about a Russian billionaire and his supermodel girlfriend, who invite five powerful couples on a yacht trip that goes horribly wrong. One look and she was hooked.” Taking a seat in the outdoor patio of the Polo Lounge, she quickly scans the neighbouring tables. “It’s always fun to come here,” she says. “Last time Elton was here. RIP, dear friend.” The comedian Sandra Bernhard described how she and Collins “laughed their asses off” as they wore leopard print and indulged in girl talk as part of a story for German Vogue.

It’s like a local.” A chic blonde woman of indeterminate age passes the table. “You look fabulous,” she tells Collins, adopting the traditional Beverly Hills greeting. “Thank you,” says Collins, adding sotto voce: “I have no idea who that was.” After another two women follow suit, word for word, Collins turns inwards, trying to hide. “I don’t dare look up any more, all these women look the same. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. If I filled my days with doing all that stuff for myself, I’d never have time to write.” She loves living here, though, because “there are so many bizarre characters and so much material for my books. It is in evidence again when she describes her frugal attitude towards food: “My housekeeper comes to me with an expired tin of Heinz baked beans and she goes [Collins adopts a stilted Latino accent], ‘It say 2011. Her mother had to screw the cable guy to pay the rent.” The middle child of Joe Collins, a showbusiness manager, and his wife, Elsa, Jackie was brought up in a basement flat in Marylebone Road. “We weren’t an affluent family,” she says. “My father was a bit of a chauvinist.

Like other men, he was always putting women down.” She went to Francis Holland School but found it hard to fit in. “I wasn’t like the other girls, I had one friend a couple of years older than me who taught me everything I know. And the rest of them were just bloody idiots, stupid little girls.” At 15 she was expelled “for playing truant and for waving at the resident flasher and going, ‘Cold day today, isn’t it?’, which the school thought was disgusting.” Collins says she was mostly ignored by her parents. “When I was born they really wanted a boy. It was only when I was thrown out of school that they realised I existed, and then it was like, ‘Hollywood or reform school: get out of our lives.’ So I went to join my sister who was living in Hollywood.” She is, she insists, still very close to Joan. “We are the best of friends, I know a lot of people think we’ve had problems but we never have. Later she became engaged to a friend of her husband’s, Frank Calcagnini, but he also died of cancer. “I nursed them both through really traumatic illnesses,” she says. “Frank was so fit and tall and gorgeous and he got flu one Christmas and the doctor said, ‘Come in for a chest X-ray.’ So he went in and when he came out, he looked at me and said, “I’m f—–.

If they said just one sympathetic word I would burst into tears.” Perhaps surprisingly, Collins has a solidly conventional streak. “I have a very moralistic side,” she says. “I was married to Oscar for 26 years. A shameless name-dropper with a mischievous streak, she pours out her stories randomly. “I was having a party one night and I invited George Michael.” “As one does,” I find myself saying, because she is friendly enough to take this in good part. “As one does,” she says, laughing at herself, “and I called him up to give him directions. I said to him, ‘You know the park in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel?’ Well, you remember the scandal [when Michael was arrested for “engaging in a lewd act”]? So he said, ‘Yes, actually I do.’ ” She claps her hand to her mouth. “Oh my God, what have I said?” When she first arrived in Hollywood, Collins tried to establish herself as an actress, with limited success. “I didn’t really want to act.

My parents said, ‘No one’s ever been a writer in the family, you can’t do that.’ ” The reaction to the book’s publication was nuclear. “An MP took out a half page in The People newspaper and said, ‘This is the most shocking book I have ever read.’ I’m sure that helped sales. Then Barbara Cartland said, ‘Miss Collins is responsible for all the perverts in England.’ ” Did she realise at the time that she was going further than almost anyone? “Yes, I did. I turned and there was a masked man with an Uzi and he said, ‘Don’t move, b—-, or I’ll blow your f—— head off.’ There was so much hatred in his voice that I thought, ‘He’s going to kill us anyway.’ So I got the car into reverse and took off. I get so many tweets and letters from women who say, ‘I broke up with my boyfriend and normally would go and lie on the floor and cry but I read Lucky and I went out and I got it all together. You gave me courage, you gave me strength.’ ” Those who criticise her the most, she believes, have never read her books. “I never said I was a literary writer.

Out of every $100, you’re paying 15 per cent to an agent, 15 per cent to a PR and manager, you’re paying 50 per cent to the government so you end up with $20. I ask if that included Marlon Brando, whom she met as a teenager at a Hollywood party. “No, he was just a schoolgirl crush.” So is it true they spent a night together?

The only thing that vaguely bothers me is my neck but I’m not going to put myself under: it doesn’t bother me enough.” Salons, in her view, are a waste of time and money. She shows me her hands with glittering pale-pink nail polish. “This morning I noticed my nail polish was chipped and I thought I couldn’t meet you for lunch looking like that so I did my nails myself. It would have taken an hour in a salon.” She has the same attitude towards clothes. “I don’t have to worry about what I wear every day because I always wear the same.

I’ve got my dressy jackets and my daytime jackets.” Instead of filling her time with self-maintenance, Collins admits an extreme television addiction. “I have four TiVos in my bedroom. I will not feel guilty about it.” Now she is working on a book about Lucky’s early life as well as a Lucky Santangelo cookbook and a book of photographs.

And she is also thinking about an autobiography: “When I think back on my life, there will be some stories to tell.” As if that is not enough, she is still planning to write a novel a year. “I don’t want to stop writing until I run out of stories.

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