Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story tells the untold true story of the best-selling novelist who became known as the ‘queen of the bonkbuster’. Jackie wrote saucy romantic fiction about the rich and powerful, including her world famous novels such as Chances, Lucky, Lady Boss, Hollywood Wives and The Stud.
But as this documentary, shown on CNN on June 27 and coming to BBC2 later this year, will reveal... behind the fame and celebrity, Jackie's turbulent life could rival the spicy plots she dreamed up for her novels. She also hid her private struggles behind a carefully crafted façade.
Narrated by a cast of Jackie’s closest friends and family, including her older sister — Hollywood icon and Dynasty star Joan Collins — the biopic draws on family photographs, home movies and excerpts from Jackie Collins’ personal diaries to reveal the truth behind her childhood and two marriages.
The film, directed by Laura Fairrie (Hugh Grant: Taking on the Tabloids), also follows Jackie, whose motto was ‘girls can do anything,’ through the last days before her death from breast cancer in 2015, aged 77.
‘Fairrie follows Jackie Collins through her final days, including a determined return to London for a farewell to her beloved siblings, actress Joan and Bill, her sister-in-law, Hazel, and her close circle of business confidants,’ CNN reveals.
‘During that London visit, most did not realise Collins was in her final days of breast cancer, and had secretly lived with the devastating disease for six years. Along the way, Fairrie interweaves interviews with Collins’ cherished daughters Tiffany, Tracy, and Rory, and dearest friends, to yield a sometimes surprisingly vulnerable portrait of a relatable and complex woman, behind the fan-craved chronicles of Hollywood scandals and sex.’
Here’s what else we know about CNN and BBC2 documentary Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story…
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story release dates
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story had its premiere at the Tribeca film festival on June 10. It was shown in the US on CNN on Sunday 27 June, before coming to selected cinemas in UK on July 1. For a list of the British cinemas showing the film that day please click here.
Finally the documentary will arrive on BBC2 for British fans of Jackie later this year, probably as part of its autumn season. We will update on the BBC2 release date as soon as we find out more.
Is there a trailer for Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story?
Oh yes there is! The two-minute trailer for Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story describes her as a writer, feminist and icon, plus features her famous sister Joan Collins talking about their relationship. Take a look right here...
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story — how Jackie became mega famous
Jackie Collins was born in London in 1937 as the younger sister of movie star Joan Collins. Like Joan, she also started out as an actress, appearing in a few British B movies in the 1950s, and in the 1960s TV series Danger Man and The Saint.
Although she began writing at the age of 15, it wasn’t until 1968 that she penned her first novel The World is Full of Married Men, which became an instant bestseller - although it was banned in Australia and labelled ‘disgusting’ by Barbara Cartland!
'Most of my critics have never read me,' Jackie once told What's On TV in 2008.
In all, Jackie wrote 32 novels, including Lovers and Gamblers, Chances, Lucky, Lady Boss, Hollywood Wives, Hollywood Husbands, Rock Star and American Star, all of which appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, and she sold more than half a billion books in over 40 countries. Many fans loved to guess who the real Hollywood stars and singers were that she based some of her outlandish book characters on. She wrote every book long hand!
Jackie became such an icon that she and Joan were even parodied by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in their 1990s sketch 'Lucky Bitches'.
The documentary Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story will show us around Jackie's famous Hollywood home, which had a personality to match her own, with plenty of bronze statues and paintings of big cats, plus a whole host of writing desks should Jackie suddenly get inspiration and need to write! Her second husband, club owner Oscar Lerman had worked with architect Ardie Tavangarian to bring her glamorous house to life.
Jackie had three daughters, all born in the 1960s — Tracy, by her first husband Wallace Austin, then Tiffany and Rory with Oscar Lerman who then adopted Tracy after her father passed away. Sadly Oscar, who was 18 years his wife's senior, died from prostate cancer in 1992 after Jackie nursed him through his illness. In 1994, Jackie then became engaged to Los Angeles business executive Frank Calcagnini, but in 1998 he died from a brain tumour. Jackie once revealed that to get through her tragedies she was "celebrating their lives, as opposed to dwelling on their deaths.".
In a shock to the world, Jackie Collins died on September 19 2015 from breast cancer, two weeks before her 78th birthday. Not many knew how ill she'd been. Jackie was diagnosed more than six years earlier but kept her illness almost entirely to herself, only telling sister Joan two weeks before her death. Her books still remain wildly popular and the documentary film Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story will only increase interest in her amazing life and career. Definitely start reading Jackie Collins if you haven't already!
A personal memory of Jackie Collins, by Nicholas (Nick) Cannon...
I was so lucky to meet Jackie Collins once, interviewing her for What's On TV at London's Dorchester Hotel back in November 2008 in a very swanky suite with its own doorbell. All very Jackie Collins indeed! I know it was November, as Barack Obama was about to become elected US President and we chatted about it. Having read many (almost all) of her books, I was in awe and hanging on her every word. I loved that she didn't mind telling little snippets of harmless gossip. How great Al Pacino's barbecues were was one! She revealed she spent nine months researching and writing a book, then a couple of months promoting it because 'each one was precious'. After a well deserved break she then started the process all over again. Her work ethic was incredible and her writing prolific. She then took me and a few other journalists out for lunch, where she picked our brains about stars we'd interviewed, no doubt looking for ideas for future novels... My anecdotes weren't very juicy sadly. My signed copy of Married Lovers with its accompanying message from Jackie is now a treasured gift on my bookshelf. Take a look below...
Screen adaptations of Jackie Collins novels
Eight of Jackie’s most famous novels have been adapted for the screen, either as films or TV miniseries. Four were turned into movies, including her first book The World Is Full of Married Men.
The 1978 film The Stud and its 1979 follow-up The Bitch were also adapted by Jackie herself and starred her sister Joan Collins as London disco owner Fontaine Khaled. They featured some decidedly raunchy scenes, especially at a health spa in London!
Then in 2010 came the movie version of Paris Connections, with Charles Dance and Sting’s wife Trudie Styler.
On the small screen Hollywood Wives, Jackie’s New York Times number one bestseller, was made into a 1985 miniseries starring Candice Bergen and Anthony Hopkins.
Jackie also adapted the two books in the Lucky series, Lucky and Chances, for a six-hour 1990 miniseries called Lucky Chances, which featured Nicollette Sheridan and a young Sandra Bullock.
In 1992 a series version of ı featured Kim Delaney as Lucky Santangelo, while a TV movie of Hollywood Wives – The New Generation in 2003 starred Jack Scalia, Melissa Gilbert, Farrah Fawcett and Robin Givens.
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