20 Sep 2015

Novelist Jackie Collins dies aged 77

3:20 pm on 20 September 2015

The British novelist Jackie Collins has died in Los Angeles at the age of 77.

Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins Photo: AFP

In a statement, her family said she died of breast cancer earlier today.

"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 statement said.

The younger sister of actress Joan Collins wrote 32 best-selling novels, the most successful of which, Hollywood Wives, sold more than 15 million copies.

Eight of her books were made into films.

Collins's career spanned four decades and she sold more than 500 million books in 40 countries across the world.

The family statement said the writer lived "a wonderfully full life", adored by family, friends and readers.

"She was a true inspiration, a trailblazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words," it added.

Collins was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer six-and-a-half years ago, according to US celebrity magazine People.

She began writing as a teenager, making up racy stories for her schoolfriends, according to a biography on her website.

Her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men, was published in 1968 and became a bestseller.

The World Is Full Of Married Men, was reportedly deemed "filthy and disgusting" by author Barbara Cartland and banned in Australia.

Collins, in a 2008 interview, called the book "way before its time" with its tale of a woman who cheats on her husband and another who likes sex with married men.

The author, who promised readers unrivalled insiders' knowledge of Hollywood, said she wrote about "real people in disguise".

"If anything, my characters are toned down - the truth is much more bizarre," she wrote on her website.

Collins was born in London in 1937 and married twice. She had three daughters - Tracy, 54, Tiffany, 48, and Rory, 46.

Memorial services in both the United States and the United Kingdom will be held.