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Jacqueline Susann

Jacqueline Susann (August 20th, 1918 - September 21st, 1974) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child her philandering painter father used to send her to the movies while he would rendezvous with his mistress. After the movie, he would pick her up and get her to tell him what the movie was about so he could tell his wife about it when they returned home.

At school Jackie was a lazy student, but she scored a 140 on a fifth grade IQ test. Writing was always something she was praised for, and her mother encouraged her to become a writer, she had other plans. Jackie wanted to become an actress simply because of the glamour.

In high school Jackie entered into the wrong crowd, she smoked pot, popped pills, and become a big partier. After graduating high school her mother wanted her to become a teacher, but she moved to New York to become an actress.

Arriving in New York she got bit-parts in movies and commercials. A year after arriving in New York she got decent theatrical job playing a lingerie model, she was paid $25.00 a week.

After marrying her husband Irving Mansfield, a press-agent, she began to get better jobs. She was placed into news columns, and was soon playing a wacky supporting player in "The Morey Amsterdam Show." She then got a spot on a broadway show titled, "The Temporary Mrs. Smith." (later titled, "Lovely Me") It was canceled after 37 runs.

In the early 1950s, she wrote her romance/science fiction novel "Yargo".

In 1955, she acquired her pet poodle Josephine and a contract to be the fashion commentator for Schiffli Lace on an all-night show called "Night Time, New York" which ran from one to 7:00AM weeknights. She wrote, starred and produced in two live commercials every night.

She would be the "Schiffli Girl" until 1961. She tried writing a show business/drug expose which she was going to call "The Pink Dolls", but instead she wrote her first successful book, "Every Night, Josephine!" which was based on her experiences with her poodle, whom she sometimes dressed up in outfits to match her own.

Once she was famous, Irving devoted himself to supporting and helping her. After the 1960s, her last four years were spent glamorously and productively.

When she was diagnosed with cancer on January 11th, 1973, she was determined to finish her last novel, "Once Is Not Enough." Like her other books it too was a roaring success - a success she couldn't enjoy as she was too sick and drained by the chemotherapy.

When she finally went to the hospital for the last time, she stayed in a coma for seven weeks before finally taking her last breath on September 21st, 1974.

Her last words were to her beloved Irving saying, in true Jackie style, "Let's get the hell outta here, doll."


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