Jackie Collins, who for decades has maintained her spot as one of the most famous, and most loved, romance novelists, has passed away following a six-year battle with breast cancer. Somehow, Jackie managed to keep the sad news out of the public eye, trusting only her very closest family and friends with the news.
According to the Guardian, even Jackie’s sister, actress Joan Collins, only recently found out about her illness. Cheerful and positive until the end, Jackie Collins appeared in an interview just two weeks ago, speaking of her memoirs and yet not giving the first clue that she was battling an illness, let alone dying from one.
Farewell to my beautiful brave baby sister. I will love you and miss you forever. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/pPR3KRRjUU
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) September 20, 2015
Desperately sad today but I know Jackie would want me to be strong but it’s hard to lose somebody so wonderful, so incredible& loving — Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) September 21, 2015
Jackie Collins tweeted this upbeat message just days before she passed.
Great time in UK last week promoting #TheSantangelos, but it’s always good to be home.
— Jackie Collins (@jackiejcollins) September 17, 2015
A large part of Jackie Collins’ memoirs discusses the loss of her second husband, Oscar Lerman, who passed in 1992 of prostate cancer, as well as the loss six years later of her fiancé, Frank Calcagnini.
“I want to talk about losing my husband and nursing two men through terminal illness because I think it will help people. And I want to help people. In the past all I’ve said about Oscar and Frank’s deaths is that I wanted to celebrate their lives, not mourn their deaths.”
Jackie Collins said she wanted to help other people who who are caregivers to sick loved ones.
“Caregivers who look after someone have a lot on their plate, and I know there’s people out there who would appreciate hearing how I coped with it. It’s very stressful and you are worried about them all the time and have to make sure they take their meds.”
In an interview with People magazine only days before her death, Jackie Collins finally talked about her battle with breast cancer.
“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 traveled 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. Now I want to save other people’s lives.”
The memoirs are Jackie Collins’ final gift to the world. The fact that she chose to write from personal experience to help others is a testament to her beautiful spirit. It is not known if Jackie’s memoirs have been completed, or if her family plans to publish them.
What is your favorite Jackie Collins novel?
[Image credit: Larry Busacca / Getty Images]