Jacqueline Susann

Jacqueline Susann


8/20/1918, Phildelphia, Pennsylvania



Birth Name


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Jacqueline Susann was born to a loving mother and a philandering portrait-painter father. Often, he would pretend to take his daughter to the movies and drop her off while he rendezvoused with a mistress. Later, after picking his daughter up, he would grill her about the film so…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jackie was often referred to as the Joan Crawford of novelists.

    • Jackie was fascinated with the gay lifestyle, and as a result many of her characters were of that sexual persuasion.

    • Jackie spent 7 to 8 hours a day working on the plots of her books. She used a blackboard and color co-ordinated chalks to keep track of where her book was heading.

    • Many of the characters in Jackie's books were based on real life celebrities, such as the main character in her last book Delores which was loosely based on former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

    • Soap writer Robert Soderbergh has cited Jackie as being the basis for the character Felicia Gallant on the soap opera Another World.

    • After her death, Jackie was cremated and her ashes were placed in a special container styled like a hardcover book, with "Jacqueline Susann 1918-1974" stamped on the front-cover side.

    • Jackie refused to talk about her illness with the public.

    • Jackie always made it a point to appear regularly on TV talk shows, and even game shows, to promote her latest book. She continued to do this even into her last months of life.

    • When her books were coming out, Jackie would rise at dawn to take coffee and doughnuts to the truck drivers who were delivering her books. She and Irving would also drive around the country to meet sales clerks at the bookstores. Jackie would keep track of everyone's birthdays, their kids' names, and their pets, so she could talk to them more personally. Jackie's shrewdness ensured her book would be prominently displayed and enthusiastically recommended by booksellers.

    • Jackie's most famous book, Valley of the Dolls, was so rough in manuscript form her editor had to spend 6 weeks with her rewriting it.

    • Jackie spent 7 to 8 hours a day working on the plots of her books. She used a blackboard and color co-ordinated chalks to keep track of where her book was heading.

    • Jackie typed her manuscripts on a hot-pink IBM Selectric typewriter.

    • Jackie was portrayed by Bette Midler in the 2000 movie "Isn't She Great."

    • Jackie's only child, a son named Guy, was diagnosed as severely autistic and was institutionalized most of his life.

    • Jackie was so disappointed by the 1967 movie Valley of the Dolls, an adaption of her best-selling book of the same name, she referred to the movie as a "piece of s**t."

    • Jackie's first novel, "Valley of the Dolls", was the top selling novel of 1966. It has sold over ten million copies as of 2006.

    • Jackie's measurements were 34-27-35.

    • Jackie was Arlene Francis' understudy in the original Broadway production of Clare Boothe Luce 's "The Women".

    • Jackie was born at 7:25pm EST.

  • Quotes

    • Jackie: I don't think any novelist should be concerned with literature.

    • Jackie: I've been around show business for over twenty years, I've grown up with show business, I've seen people come starry-eyed and I've seen them hope to climb Mt. Everest, which as I call it is the top, and I've seen many of them go into the valley of the dolls.

    • Jackie: All I know about are aging stars, hopeful hookers and people popping pills and winding up in the gutter, and nobody writes books like that.

    • Jackie: 1967 was the last year everything was all right. It was the last year people dressed a certain way, where clothes really mattered, and the whole society was well turned-out. After that, it was never the same again.

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