Best-selling British author Jackie Collins has died of breast cancer in Los Angeles aged 77, her family has said in a statement.
“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 read.
“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 already miss her beyond words.”
Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes joined the tributes saying: “Over years of interviewing appearing with her, even travelling together – she was just lovely. RIP”
TV personality Sharon Osbourne tweeted: “Shocked & devastated at the death of @JackiejCollins. Loved & respected her. Thoughts & prayers go out to her family.”
Presenter Graham Norton, who had interviewed Collins on his chatshow, tweeted: “I’m so very sad to hear about @jackiejcollins She was the definition of a class act. Everyone who met her was Lucky.”
Collins – who was born in London in 1937 and was the sister of actress Joan Collins – wrote over 30 best-selling novels and sold over 500 million copies in her four decades-long career.
Her debut novel, The World is Full of Married Men, was reportedly deemed “filthy and disgusting” by author Barbara Cartland and banned in Australia.
In an interview in 2008, Collins described the book as “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 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.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, but kept the details of her illness mostly to herself, according to People magazine.
In an interview earlier this month, Collins, who was made an OBE two years ago, spoke of the tragedies in her life when people close to her died from illness.
“I lost my mother to cancer, my husband of 25 years to cancer and then my fiance. I know a lot about looking after people when they are sick,” she told the Press Association
“Oscar (Lerman, her second husband) was a very strong man who was 20 years older than me. I knew he’d had a fantastic life. My kids looked after him so wonderfully and I just kept writing.”
Collins had three daughters and was a grandmother-of-six.