Best-selling author Jackie Collins dead

Washington: Best-selling author Jackie Collins, whose 32 hugely popular but often controversial steamy novels chronicled the fast and extravagant life of the Hollywood glamorous set and of Mafia families, died on Saturday, reports said. She was 77.

The cause of death was breast cancer, her family said in a statement, reported the New York Times.

The British-American author, who moved to Los Angeles in 1980, was the younger sister of acclaimed actress Joan Collins.

Born on October 4, 1937 in London, Jacqueline Jill "Jackie" Collins debuted with "The World is Full of Married Men", about a middle-aged philandering advertising executive in London of the Swinging Sixties.

Pilloried mercilessly by Barbara Cartland as "nasty" and "disgusting", it was banned in Australia and South Africa but the furore led to increased attention and sales in Britain and the US.

She followed up with "The Stud" in 1969, about the ambitious nightclub owner Fontaine Khaled - which was subsequently made into a film starring her sister.

Khaled returned in "The Bitch" (1979).

But Collins' most famous character was the ravishing Lucky Santangelo, the daughter of Italian-American former gangster Gino Santangelo, who first appeared in "Chances" (1981) and would go to appear in eight of her works which are set in the world of Mafia and organised crime and its relation with business and the entertainment industry and span from the 1920s to the present day.

Her other famous novels included "Hollywood Wives" (1983) about the glamorous lives of women behind the scenes of the film industry, "Lovers & Gamblers" (1977), the story of rock/soul superstar Al King, "Rock Star" (1988).

She also wrote the screenplay for several of her novels adapted into films or TV series.

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