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Novelist Jackie Collins Dies Of Breast Cancer At 77

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Jackie Collins has died. The best-selling author is perhaps best known for her romance novels featuring the glamorous Lucky Santangelo, a mafia princess turned Hollywood player. Last year, WEEKEND EDITION's Scott Simon spoke with Collins about her books, her career and the year she spent acting before she made it as a writer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

JACKIE COLLINS: I did it for, you know, couple of years when I was a teenager. I had to throw Alec Guinness over my shoulder in one movie and played the Italian girl in another, and I was in...

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait...

COLLINS: (Laughter).

SIMON: ...You threw Alec Guinness over your shoulder?

COLLINS: Well, we were doing this movie called "Barnacle Bill," and he was supposed to rock and roll with me. And, you know, he was a much older man.

SIMON: How did you - forgive me - you threw one of the great men...

COLLINS: (Laughter).

SIMON: ...Of the English theatre over your shoulder?

COLLINS: There was a whole bunch of us that were rock and roll teenagers in the scene. And I was the one that was elected to dance with him in my tight jeans...

SIMON: (Laughter).

COLLINS: ...And my striped T-shirt, and I have the stills to prove it (laughter).

SIMON: My.

COLLINS: And then I said, this is ridiculous. I have to start on my writing career. So I wrote a book called "The World Is Full Of Married Men" because I found that, in my teenage years, married men would be chasing me everywhere and going, oh, yeah, well, my wife is different, but, you know, she doesn't really understand me.

SIMON: (Laughter).

COLLINS: And I thought this so interesting. And I wanted to write and turn the double standard on its head. And then, eventually, I created Lucky Santangelo because she is such a brilliant character because she does all the things that women would like to do. She says all the things they would like to say and she gets away with it.

WERTHEIMER: Jackie Collins, the best-selling author, speaking with Scott Simon last year. She died yesterday at the age of 77. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.