Updated 1359 GMT (2159 HKT) June 26, 2021
Before Jackie Collins became a blockbuster novelist, she soaked up inspiration everywhere she could find it — including in Hollywood.
The author, born in London in 1937, was a rebellious teen with an observant eye and an archivist’s taste for documentation. When her older sister, Joan Collins, invited her out to California in the 1950s, Jackie eagerly joined her famous sibling and jotted down detail after detail of the parties, studio visits and poolside encounters.
The result became a treasured collection of snapshots and memories that reveal some of the formative years of the late novelist’s life. A little more than a decade after her time in California, Collins would publish her very first book — one that included a Hollywood power player among its cast of amorous characters.
The trailblazing and scandalous romp, 1968’s “The World Is Full of Married Men,” became an instant bestseller. And for the next 40-plus years, Collins would churn out dozens of sultry, chart-climbing tomes, each written with a signature cheeky style and insistence on celebrating female power and desire inside and outside of the bedroom.
When Collins died of breast cancer in 2015, she was remembered as one of the world’s top-selling novelists with more than 500 million books sold in more than 40 countries. These photos, some curated from her personal albums, capture an era that helped develop a future storytelling star.
For more on Collins’ life, watch Asia Despatch Films’ “Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story” on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.