Sunday, 20 September 2015

JACKIE COLLINS ~ A Tribute

I read this morning that the wonderful Jackie Collins has just died from breast cancer at the age of 77 ~ so sad.  


I always loved her books.  The first one I read was her debut, The World is Full of Married Men; I read it in the late 1970s when, I seem to remember, she was dismissed by many as being 'trashy', and had a reputation for writing about nothing but sex.  I read this book and thought, untrue on all counts!  Jackie didn't just write about sex, she wrote about relationships in which it played a big part, but the sex was never overly explicit for the sake of it, or cringe-making, it was realistic.  What made Jackie so good was her brilliant plots, her great dialogue, her three dimensional characters, and her open window into the real lives of the rich and famous.  


In 1983 I read the book that I still think is her best of all the ones I've read ~ Chances.  One of my top twenty books ever, I've read it so many times.  It's the story of Gino Santangelo (who I totally fell in love with!) and starts in 1921; he's a New York street kid who becomes a gangster and hugely successful businessman. Running alongside is the tale of Carrie, a teenager forced into prostitution.  This book, more than any gangster films or Boardwalk Empire, got me interested in the underworld of American organised crime, the rackets during prohibition, etc etc; I can't recommend it too highly.  Other favourites of mine are Lovers and Gamblers ~ rock star Al King (loosely based on Tom Jones?), beauty queen Dallas and a disaster in the Amazon jungle ~ and the first (1980s) Hollywood Wives, which unmasked the truth behind the Hollywood A List!  Oh, and how could I forget Rock Star, and The Stud, and Lucky ...

 Oliver Tobias and sister Joan Collins in the film of The Stud

Jackie Collins' fictional ladies were no ditzy chick lit heroines ~ never mind Bridget Jones, I'd rather read about Lucky Santangelo, Montana Grey and Elaine Conti from Hollywood Wives, Venus Maria (loosely based on Madonna?) from whichever one or two she was in (Hollywood Husbands, I think).  Women, who, ahem, kicked ass, I believe is the term.  

My sister Julia met Jackie in 1991.  Julia worked in television at the time and was at the launch for the video being made of Hollywood Wives.  Jackie C was well known for not liking to wear dresses; Julia was wearing a shirt, tie and trousers, and Jackie approached her to say how much she liked what she was wearing.  They chatted for half an hour or so, and Julia said she was delightful. (incidentally, as was Joan, when we both met her in 1999).

My sister Julia and Jackie, in 1991 

She was fab.  And so were her books.  RIP Jackie; it would be nice to think she is reunited with husband Oscar, who died some years back.

I think this was the publicity photo for The World is Full of Married Men!

Joan Collins pays tribute HERE

Her last British interview, from The Guardian, HERE

 ~Jackie and Joan~





 

33 comments:

  1. Such sad news. Thank you for sharing such a lovely tribute to an incredible lady.

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  2. A lovely piece. I didn't really enjoy her books but I definitely admired the woman behind them :)

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    1. Thank you, Vicky - yes, she was fab indeed :)

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  3. Excellent tribute, Terry. I was a big fan myself - and agree with you about Chances. My ex gf and me could both be spotted (by flies on the wall) any given Sunday afternoon, on the sofa reading Jackie Collins novels. One of the first superstar novelists too. RIP Jackie Collins. Mxx

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    1. You said it all, MB, and I'm delighted to discover you felt the same about Chances :)

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  4. Lovely post, Terry. Jackie Collins was one of my favourites.

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  5. Very nicely done, Terry. I was looking forward to reading her latest book, still am of course - but it feels a bit poignant now.

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    1. It's made me want to read them all over again.

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  6. Sincere tribute, lovely. Thanks for sharing, Terry x
    (Sunday's Sparrow)

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  7. I was shocked when I saw the headlines this morning and saddened - I remember reading all her books years ago and loving them - they came up more than once on the Beach Reads Tour this year which shows her popularity and I was reminded of them and immediately wanted to re-read - which I will all in good time. Great post Terry and a lovely reminder of a thoroughly entertaining author.

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    1. You're right, they did, I'd forgotten about that! And looking at them all again has made me want to re-read them too. I'll start with Chances :)

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  8. Lovely tribute, Terry. Have never read any of her books but you've inspired me to start with Chances!

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    1. Chances is amazing, you really should read it, it's her tour de force.

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  9. She was a brilliant example of 'Who gives a shit, I'm writing what I like' . As Joan is re: acting, marriage, clothes etc. Feisty pair, who raised two fingers to the snooty media. The world is a little less colourful.

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    1. Bravo, Carol. I've always been a huge fan (and of the Collins sisters, ha ha!)

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  10. I heard this yesterday too, I've joined the masses who have read several of her books.

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    1. I really want to go and read one NOW - I think I might, damn the to-read list!

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    2. I was thinking just the same thing yesterday evening, it's years since I've read (and thoroughly enjoyed) one of her books, but I want to revisit her now.

      A lovely tribute, Terry... such sad news!

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    3. Thank you, Kimmie - isn't it just?
      I'm going to go and dig out Chances now :)

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  11. Very sad indeed. She was amazing and I will miss those plots of hers!

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    1. Certainly she will be remembered fondly! x

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  12. I never read her books, but she always seemed nice, so it's good to know that she really was, by people who've met her. Much too young to die, so sad.

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    1. Well, she was 77, Geoff, but yes, still to young!

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  13. Strong women are always feared by certain people=- Jackie (and Joan) have been trail blazers. Love her books!!. Lovely post Terry - how lucky Julia was to have met her.x

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    1. Indeed, on all three counts, Judith! xx

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  14. http://www.enragedwoman.com/#!My-Tribute-to-Jackie-Collins/c1kod/55ff22370cf2a7bb74b2151d

    Thank you! I also wrote a tribute to the beautiful Jackie

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    1. Thank you - I shall look at it shortly :)

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  15. I will miss her wonderful books that took me back to great escapes through the decades. My absolute fav were the Lucky Santangelo series. RIP Jackie. A sad loss to the #writing world and for readers everywhere. :(

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    1. You said it all, Debby - thanks for reading :)

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