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Jackie Collins – the bestselling novelist who sold more than 500 million copies over the course of her career – has passed away at the age of 77.

Jackie Collins Photo

Collins had been battling breast cancer for several years. Her family confirmed the news of her death in a statement issued to People magazine.

"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 statement reads.

"She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over 4 decades.

"She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words." 

Collins was the younger sister of actress of Joan Collins, who starred in two films based on Jackie’s work. 

With an estimated net worth of nearly $100 million, Collins was one of the world’s wealthiest authors at the time of her death.

Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she kept up her prolific output, publishing five books in the final six years of her life. She was rumored to be working on a play when she died.

Collins is survived by three daughters, whom she regarded as her closest friends.