Jackie Collins, the prolific best-selling author behind The World Is Full Of Married Men, Hollywood Wives, and Lady Boss died on Saturday at the age of 77.
“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,” Collins’ family said in a statement. “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.”
Collins published her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men, in 1968. She would go on to write 31 more books, all of which appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. More than 500 million copies of Collins’ novels, which focused on the glamour and scandal of Hollywood, have been sold worldwide.
“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 said to PEOPLE magazine on Sept. 14 during what would become her last interview. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer more than six years ago, but kept the diagnosis private. (According to PEOPLE, Collins only told her three daughters about her breast cancer.) Her sister, actress Joan Collins, did not find out until two weeks ago.
“She was my best friend,” Joan, 82, told PEOPLE in a statement. “I admire how she handled this. She was a wonderful, brave and a beautiful person and I love her.”
Collins’ family will hold private services for the author. In lieu of flowers, the family has directed mourners to send a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization.
PEOPLE was first to report the news of Collins’ death.