She’s perfected the art of juggling drama, intrigue, murder, and lust in over 80 best-selling novels, and now romance writer Danielle Steel can add another accolade to her long list of achievements.
The 66-year-old was recently rewarded France’s highest honor, the Legion d’honneur, which recognizes “service to France or work that is deemed to uphold its ideals.”
Though Steel resides in Paris part-time, she is American-born and joins a few other non-French cultural figures to be given the prestigious honor. Walt Disney, Julia Child, Bob Dylan, Bono and novelist Philip Roth have all been bestowed the Legion d’honneur.
Currently the bestselling author alive with over 600 million books sold, Steel has helped to adapt over 20 of her novels into TV movies, while her books can be found in over 60 countries and have been translated into more than 40 languages.
And Steel could very well have starred in one of her own novels due to her complex and troubled love life that included 5 marriages.
She married her second husband while he was incarcerated on robbery and rape charges. Her third husband was a former drug addict. And Steel also lost one of her sons to a heroin overdose in 1997.
Despite her reputation as the “Queen of Romance,” Steel has also written four works of non-fiction (including one about the death of her son Nicholas) as well as two series of children’s books.
Actors Lynda Carter & Patrick Duffy in Danielle Steel's "Daddy"