Renowned and beloved English author Jackie Collins has died following a private battle with breast cancer. Collins, 77, was one of the most popular authors of her era — she wrote 32 New York Times bestsellers throughout her sprawling career. Her family confirmed her death on Saturday, in a statement to People.
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 4 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 sold a positively staggering number of books throughout her career, which dates back to the 1960s; in all, more than 500 million across 40 countries, according to the BBC. She was particularly successful, as The New York Times notes, for her examinations of the Hollywood scene, a social strata she came to intimately understand and represent despite originally hailing from London.
According to an interview with People conducted earlier this week, Collins had been ailing for a long while — she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer more than six years ago, meaning it had metastasized and spread to other parts of her body. But she didn't reveal her illness publicly up until the very end, living her final years fully and productively. She told the magazine that she'd authored five books since receiving the diagnosis, and that she didn't regret how she handled it.
I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I've written five books since the diagnosis, I've lived my life, I've travelled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no one has ever known until now when I feel as though I should come out with it.
Collins will reportedly be memorialized in private services, both in the United States and United Kingdom, and, according to CBS News, her family has asked for any well-wishers who want to show their condolences to do so by donating to cancer charities Susan G. Komen and Penny Brohn Cancer Care.