If you yourself haven’t read a Jackie Collins novel, you’ve undoubtedly seen a middle-aged lady or two in your life devouring the steamy books. Much like the 50 Shades phenomenon that dates a few years back, Jackie Collins captivated readers with her hot and heavy romance novels, creating an escapist fantasy for the women (and men) reading them.
Now, a new documentary titled Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story is shining a light on the author’s complicated private life, including her relationship with her equally iconic sister, Joan Collins, and detailing her romantic affairs. But just who were Jackie Collins’ husbands? Keep reading for everything you need to know about the men in her life.
Who were Jackie Collins’ husbands?
One of the most well-known romance novelists, Jackie Collins was a talented and prolific author who wrote 32 novels over the course of her career. Her motto was that “girls can do anything” and she embodied that spirit with the alluring female protagonists of her books and their willingness to fight for what they wanted, both in their careers and in the bedroom.
But while the main characters of Jackie’s books were living glamorous lives, she herself went through some dark and difficult times. Her first marriage was to Wallace Austin, who struggled with drug addiction. The couple married in 1960 and had a child together, Tracey, who was born in 1961.
Sadly, the marriage became strained because of Wallace’s dependence on pills and Jackie divorced him in 1964. The separation was sadder still when one year later, Wallace died from a self-inflicted overdose.
Jackie then married Oscar Lerman. Oscar owned the London celebrity nightclub Tramp and was 18 years older than Jackie, but the two were married for 23 years. The couple had two children: Tiffany, born in 1967, and Rory, born in 1969. Oscar also formally adopted Tracey, Jackie’s daughter from her marriage to Wallace.
By all accounts, Oscar loved Jackie very much and encouraged her to finish her first book, The World is Full of Married Men. He was also amenable to moving the family to Los Angeles when Jackie wanted to pursue bigger things for her career. The couple remained married until Oscar’s death from prostate cancer in 1992.
Jackie’s last relationship was with a Los Angeles businessman named Frank Calcagnini. It seems no one in the family was a fan of Frank (who's described by her family as "a gigolo character from one of her novels" in Lady Boss), but before the two could get married, Frank died of a brain tumor in 1998.
How did Jackie Collins die?
After a long and successful career and life, Jackie Collins died of breast cancer on Sept. 19, 2015. Although she had gotten the diagnosis for stage four breast cancer more than six years prior to her death, Jackie kept it a secret because she didn’t want to burden anyone with the news. She told her sister Joan about it over dinner in London just two weeks before she died.
In her last interview, with People, Jackie said that she had no regrets about keeping the cancer a secret and embracing the last few years of her life on her own terms. “I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I’ve written five books since the diagnosis, I’ve lived my life,” she told the outlet.
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story is streaming on Netflix.