Axel Madsen, 76, a prolific writer known for chronicling the lives of Hollywood stars, fashion designers and business titans, has died.

Mr. Madsen died April 23 of pancreatic cancer at his Los Angeles home, his wife, Midori, said.

A Hollywood film reporter in the 1960s and '70s, Mr. Madsen wrote more than a dozen biographies. He started with a short work on director Billy Wilder in 1968, then moved on to directors William Wyler and John Huston and fashion pioneers Yves St. Laurent and Coco Chanel.

His most popular works were salacious Hollywood fare such as Gloria and Joe: The Star-Crossed Love Affair of Gloria Swanson and Joe Kennedy in 1988 and The Sewing Circle: Female Stars Who Loved Other Women in 1995.