LOS ANGELES, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Prolific and best-selling author Jackie Collins died on Saturday. She was 77 years old.
"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 Collins family said in a statement, reported by both People and E! News.
The author of 32 novels had been battling breast cancer in secret. She passed away at her home in Beverly Hills.
In what would be her last interview, Collins told People earlier this month that she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer more than six years ago, but had decided to keep her illness to herself. She told only her daughters.
"Looking back, I'm not sorry about anything I did," she told the magazine. "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."
Of her 32 books, which sold over 500 million copies worldwide, both the Lucky Santangelo and Hollywood Wives series were her most popular. Her most recent effort, The Santangelos, came out in June.
Before becoming a successful novelist, Collins followed in the footsteps of her sister, the actress Joan Collins, landing roles in a handful of British B movies and appearances on a few television series.
But in an interview with NPR, she said she always knew writing was her calling.
"I was always an out-of-work writer," she said.
Her sister told People she was "completely devastated" by the news.
"She was my best friend," Joan said of Jackie. "I admire how she handled this. She was a wonderful, brave and a beautiful person and I love her."
Collins' family said her readers could honor her life and work by making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization.