Author Jacqueline Susann, best known for her novel Valley of the Dolls, was born on this day in 1918. Valley of the Dolls, about three young women in show business and their battles with drug addiction, was first published in 1966. It topped The New York Times Bestseller list and is one of the best-selling novels in publishing history. It was adapted into a movie starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, and Sharon Tate the following year. The theme song was written by André and Dory Previn and sung by Dionne Warwick. It peaked at #2 on the Hot 100, kept out of the top spot by Paul Mauriat’s "L’Amour Est Bleu" and Otis Reddings’s "(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay," but did reach #1 on March 4, 1968 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.
Ms. Susann wrote two additional novels, The Love Machine (1969) and Once Is Not Enough (1973) that also reached #1 on The New York Times Bestseller list, making hher the first author to have three consecutive novels top that list. After her death from lung cancer in 1974, she was cremated and the urn was placed next to that of her pet poodle, Josephine. She was survived by her husband, Irving Mansfield, her son, Guy Mansfield, and her mother, Rose Jans Susan.