Jackie Collins, who mastered the art of the Hollywood potboiler, spinning tales of sex and celebrity into an extraordinary literary career, is the subject of a new documentary coming to CNN at the end of the month.
The cable news channel announced today it will premiere LADY BOSS: The Jackie Collins Story at 9pm ET and PT on June 27. The Laura Fairrie-directed film, world premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival next week, takes its title from one of Collins’ novels, featuring perhaps her most famous character, Lucky Santangello. Among her 32 novels, five were built around Lucky; film adaptations were made of several of them, with Kim Delaney playing Lucky in one film and Nicollette Sheridan taking the role in two others.
In all, Collins, the younger sister of actress Joan Collins, sold more than half a billion books in over 40 countries.
“Her writing boldly extolls female power, sexual pleasure, and freedom, often with the glamourous backdrop of Hollywood’s high society,” CNN noted. “Her works such as Chances (1981), Hollywood Wives (1983), and The Santangelos (2015) have never been out of print and continue to delight generations of readers around the world, creating community among her fans, and generating debate among others over her self-styled brand of feminism.”
According to CNN, the documentary draws on family photographs, home movies, audio recordings of Collins’ books, and “even excerpts from Collins’ personal diaries.”
“Decades before ‘meToo,’ Collins talked of experiencing Hollywood’s ‘casting couch,’” CNN wrote. “Years later, Collins mined the not-all-that-glitters-is-gold world that she would come to dominate, fictionalizing many of the true tales of her Hollywood experiences for her novels.”
The film delves into Jackie’s two marriages, including to the “love of her life,” Oscar Lerman, who encouraged Collins to pursue writing. She died in 2015 at the age of 77.
“Fairrie follows 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 revealed. “During that London visit, most did not realize 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.”
LADY BOSS: The Jackie Collins Story is directed by Fairrie and produced by John Battsek and Lizzie Gillett. The documentary is a Passion Pictures production for AGC Studios, CNN Film, and BBC Arts, in association with Ventureland.
CNN calls the film “a definitive, cinematic portrait of the trailblazing author, mother, rebel, and icon.”