In the 1990s, when I was working mostly of New York City news programs, I mentioned the diversity in her novels during one of our interviews. I don't know why Hollywood never took her sexy books to the big screen the way it did those of Harold Robbins, Jacqueline Susann and the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY author, E. L. James. But Hollywood should have. Jackie, from ROCK STAR to THE SANTANGELOS, wrote black and Latino characters into her stories. They were dignified, dimensional characters that black and Latino actors would have liked to play had the books been adapted into screenplays. Jackie told me she did that on purpose to assure diversity in casting. She knew that Hollywood was not color blind. You couldn't be subtle and expect Hollywood to hire a black actress to play a registered nurse or an entertainment lawyer if it wasn't spelled out in the book or screenplay. The embrace of racial diversity was important to her and it was in her work for years. That's one reason why I was glad to read and promote Jackie's work. I appreciated that she included us.
She was kind and a generous friend. I knew her when she'd lost her dear husband. She found love again years later. She was engaged. Her fiancé was diagnosed with cancer and she became a caregiver during his terminal illness. She once contacted me and pitched me for a network TV job. I've been actively job hunting for a few years now. I was extremely touched and honored when she had her book reps for THE SANTANGELOS contact me. Jackie would be doing a June question & answer book session in Manhattan's Bryant Park. She wanted me to be the moderator/interviewer.
On June 18th, day of the afternoon Bryant Park event last year, Jackie was a guest on GOOD DAY NEW YORK and mentioned that I'd be moderator. She also mentioned that I used to be on the show.
After Jackie's segment, show host Greg Kelly asked co-host Rosanna Scotto what I did on the show. Greg wasn't at Fox5 when I was working there. But Rosanna was. He posed that question about me to Rosanna live on the air. She thought for a moment. She didn't know and replied, "I think he went into music."
That's show biz. Novelist Jackie Collins knew more about my career than a New York City TV journalist who worked on the same floor for the same company when I was there.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity for one last time with Jackie Collins a few months before her death. I miss her. She was a great dame. Jackie Collins died of breast cancer at age 77 on Sept 18, 2015.