While Joan Collins may be an instantly recognisable name, her younger sister, Jackie, was an international best selling author, selling over 500 million copies. Ahead of the release of Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, an insight into her life, Express.co.uk has explored their turbulent relationship.
Joan says I look awful. I walk into a party, and everyone just looks at Joan. I feel so inferior
Joan, 88, and her younger siblings Jackie and Bill grew up around the glittering lights of the entertainment industry as their dad, Joseph, was a talent agent, who represented artists such as The Beatles and Sir Tom Jones.
Aged just 17, Joan received her break in the industry, landing a feature role in the 1951 film, Lady Godiva Rides Again.
After being expelled from school aged 15, Jackie started acting in low budget films in the 1950s, before her parents Elsa and Joseph sent her to live with Joan in Los Angeles.
Joan was three years Jackie’s senior but had landed several roles, including the X-rated Decameron Nights, released in 1953.
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However, being in her older sister’s footsteps was not easy for Jackie, who, in her own words, said she felt “inferior”.
Filmmaker Laura Fairrie was given unique access to Jackie’s diaries by her three daughters, Tracy, Tiffany and Rory.
In an exert, the author talks venturing to London’s Harley Street for a nose operation, admitting that she “looked like a monster” when she was wrapped in bandages.
Jackie went on to write: “I love my new nose.”
Jackie admitted that she felt “inferior” to sister Joan
Joan is set to share her life story with Piers Morgan on Sunday
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However, just weeks before writing this, Jackie had claimed: “Joan says I look awful. I walk into a party, and everyone just looks at Joan. I feel so inferior.”
Tita Cahn, a friend of Jackie, says in the biopic: “I think she suffered from the baby sister syndrome, Joan was extremely beautiful, I mean a natural beauty with flawless skin.”
In her diary, aged just 15, Jackie penned: “Went to a party with Joan. It was fun. I get an awful inferiority complex when I’m with Joan. I feel all big, clumsy and dull.”
During Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, her eldest daughter, Tracy says: “Mum would have looked at her sister and thought, ‘Wow, look at the attention that she can get just from being beautiful’.”
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While many have speculated about the relationship between Joan and Jackie over the years, the former, who is set to appear in Piers Morgan’s Life Stories this Sunday, admits that their relationship was close but similar to marriage “everything doesn’t go perfectly wonderfully all the time”.
Speaking of Jackie’s acting career in the new documentary, Joan says: “She played opposite Roger Moore in The Saint.
“Then Daddy sent her off on the variety circuit and was billed as Joan Collin’s younger sister which I think infuriated her.”
Jackie’s daughter Rory adds: “It was always something that felt slightly diminishing in lots of ways but I think that she got past that.
“There was no point in fighting it anymore, people were going to associate the two of them.”
While Jackie may have envied her big sister, Rory admits that there was “deep love and admiration” between the pair.
She explained: “We’d say their relationship has seasons, they’d always come back around.
“At the end of the day, they were very loyal to one another and almost like a power couple.”
Jackie Collins OBE, died aged 77 in Beverly Hills, California, following a si-year-long battle with stage four breast cancer.
The best-selling author had kept her battle a secret and is said to have only informed Joan just two weeks before her tragic passing.
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story will air on the BBC later this year, while Piers Morgan’s Life Stories airs at 9pm on ITV, this Sunday.
Read More: Hollywood News