Jackie Collins: What Joan Collins Said About Rivalry Rumors With Her Sister

Author Jackie Collins sold more than 500 million copies of her books around the world. Jackie Collins died from cancer on September 19, 2015, aged 77.

Her elder sister, Joan Collins, is a Hollywood actress who starred opposite Bette Davis and Paul Newman in movies before becoming better known as Alexis Colby in the original Dynasty TV series.

The two sisters were seeking their fame and fortune at a similar time, with some suggesting there may have been competition between them.

The Truth Behind Jackie Collins' and Sister Joan Collins' Rivalry

In her new film Lady Boss, which follows the life of Jackie Collins, Laura Fairrie depicts how Jackie admitted to feeling "inferior" to her sister as a teenager.

Fairrie gained access to Jackie Collins' diaries for the film, and in it were some painful stories of Jackie's struggles before she had a nose job.

Fairrie told Vanity Fair: "It was amazing to hold these diaries and see that very personal story being told through the eyes of a very young woman trying to make it in the world.

"Imagine being Joan Collins's younger sister. You look at early photographs, and you see Jackie looking quite tomboyish and scrappy and taller than Joan, and clearly trying to find her own identity, while Joan is next to her just so breathtakingly gorgeous... And then, suddenly, you see Jackie with her little ski-slope nose."

While the two sisters were working, Jackie Collins told the same publication of how she was billed as the "little sister" of Joan Collins while she tried to follow in her footsteps in the movie business.

Speaking in 1988, Jackie Collins said: "Hollywood Wives gave me a high profile. Before that, in England, I was always Joan's little sister.

"I was lucky to have made it in America before Joan hit it in Dynasty. What I love about Joan is that she's one of the great survivors.

"She did things ahead of her time that have since become accepted. She always lived her life like a man. She was a free spirit.

"If she saw a guy she wanted to go to bed with, she went after him, and that was unacceptable behavior at the time."

However, The Guardian reported how, at this time, Joan Collins was releasing her first novel, which caused some tensions to flare between the sisters.

Despite these reports, both sisters claimed to be on good terms, with Joan Collins telling Vanity Fair: "I don't have a rivalry with my sister. People are always saying I have rivalries—particularly with Elizabeth Taylor and Linda Evans.

"I've never said a bad word about another actress, at least in print. And now they're saying I have this rivalry with Jackie. It's not true."

Jackie Collins added: "Let me put it this way. We're not in each other's pockets, but we're good friends. We're not the kind of sisters who call each other every day, but she knows I'm there for her."

In 1999, however, Joan Collins had a different story about their relationship, telling The South Bank Show's Melvyn Bragg: "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family.

"We drifted apart. I love my sister, but I'm not as close to her as I used to be. I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

Despite this being the case at one point, Joan Collins spoke of how she tried to convince her sister to have a mammogram before her cancer diagnosis became real.

Joan Collins appeared on Life Stories with Piers Morgan, where she said while it was right for her sister to keep her diagnosis out of the public eye, she felt Jackie Collins' reluctance to get checked out was a terrible mistake.

She said: "She told me [about her diagnosis] in the south of France. She called and she said, 'I just want to tell you something... I don't want you to get upset.'

"And she said: 'I've got stage four cancer' and I said: 'How is that possible?'

"I know you can do so much these days, so I didn't really worry about it too much, because I really thought... My motto was: 'Always look on the bright side.' I always thought she would beat it."

Jackie Collins died from cancer on September 19, 2015, aged 77.

Joan Collins and Jackie Collins
A new film has been released about Jackie Collins which discusses her relationship and potential rivalry with Joan Collins. Paul Archuleta/Getty Images