William Peter Blatty, the author of the top selling novel The Exorcist, has recently passed away in January, at the age of 89. Blatty’s novel, based on a child possessed by the demon, became a huge bestseller among horror fans in 1971.
He won an Oscar in 1973 for the screenplay of his own book, and also won four Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. Blatty wrote the original Exorcist movie, considered as one of the best horror movies of all time. He is also the writer and director of its third instalment, known as ‘The Exorcist III’, which was released back in 1990.
Initially, Blatty was more a comedy writer than a horror one. His first novel, written in 1963, was a farce known as ‘John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!’. In the same year, he wrote the screenplay for the comedy movie ‘The Man from the Diners’ Club’. I, Billy Shakespeare and Twinkle Twinkle “Killer” Kane are two of his other novels. He also collaborated on numerous movies such as ‘What Did You Do in the War Daddy?’, ‘A Shot in the Dark’ (the second Pink Panther movie), and ‘The Ninth Configuration’.
When his mother died in 1967, it prompted Blatty to ponder on faith, which he portrayed as the foundation of The Exorcist. However, he was directly inspired with the infamous exorcism case by Jesuits of a thirteen-year-old boy in Washington DC. ‘The Exorcism’ took advantage of the massive triumph of the novel, Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin and its movie adaptation by Roman Polanski. Linda Blair took on the role of Regan in The Exorcism, and now the cult classic scenes of the spinning head and projectile vomiting of the possessed young girl are known worldwide.
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