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Jackie Collins
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Jackie Collins (October 2009)
Jacqueline Jill Collins

4 October 1937
Died 19 September 2015(2015-09-19) (aged 77)
Cause of death Breast cancer
Nationality British
Citizenship British (lifelong)
American (1960-death)
Occupation Novelist
Spouse(s) Wallace Austin
(m. 1960-1964, divorced)
Oscar Lerman
(m. 1966-1992, his death)
Children Tracy Lerman (b. 1961)
Tiffany Lerman (b. 1967)
Rory Lerman (b. 1969)
Parent(s) Elsa Bessant
Joseph William Collins
Relatives Joan Collins (sister)

Jacqueline Jill "Jackie" Collins OBE (4 October 1937 – 19 September 2015) was an English romance novelist. She moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and spent most of her career there. She wrote 32 novels, all of which appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. Her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. Eight of her novels have been adapted for the screen, either as films or television miniseries. She was the younger sister of Dame Joan Collins.

Early life

Collins was born in 1937, in Hampstead, London, he father was a theatrical agent whose clients later included Shirley Bassey, the Beatles, and Tom Jones. A middle child, Collins had an elder sister, Joan Collins (actress and author), and a younger brother, Bill (who became a property agent).

Early career

She began appearing in acting roles in a series of British movies in the 1950s and worked as a stage singer. Her parents then sent her to Los Angeles to live with her older sister, Joan, a Hollywood actress. There, Collins tried acting in small film parts. After minor appearances in television series, Collins gave up on pursuing an acting career in 1980.

She made a switch from acting onscreen to writing novels, and her first book became a best-seller. Collins had begun many works of fiction but abandoned them, and only completed her first novel after being persuaded to do so by her second husband. "You’re a storyteller", he told her.

In The Sunday Times Rich List 2011, Collins was listed as the UK's fifth richest author, with an estimated personal fortune of £60 million. In 2013, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Birthday Honours for services to fiction and charity.

Throughout Collins' career, she fictionalized aspects of her personal life as a source for her novels. She said she loved Los Angeles and Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne explains that Collins "loved the picture business, the television business, the record business, and the people in them, the stars, celebrities, directors, and producers." And although she was a "great party-goer", he says, she went to them "more as an observer than participant", using them as part of her "research." "Write about what you know", Collins said at a writer's conference. "I love what I do. I fall in love with my characters. They become me, and I become them."


Collins died on 19 September 2015, of breast cancer, two weeks before her 78th birthday. She had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer more than six years before her death but kept her illness almost entirely to herself. She reportedly only informed her sister Joan Collins two weeks before she died and flew from Los Angeles to London to appear on the ITV only nine days before her death.

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