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Linda Blair

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Also Known As: Linda Denise Blair Died:
Born: January 22, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

At the age of 13, actress Linda Blair found herself starring in one of the most influential films of all time and nominated for an Academy Award for her work in "The Exorcist" (1973), only to be typecast as a result of the role that made her a star. Not only did "The Exorcist" launch Blair's career, it also redefined the horror film genre and perpetuated a cultural fascination with demonic possession. It also made such an indelible impression on audiences that it became difficult for her to be accepted in roles other than those of the quintessential girl in danger. Early works in this vein bore critical fruit, such as "Born Innocent" (NBC, 1974) and "Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic" (NBC, 1975). Then came the disastrous sequel "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (1977), followed by the ill-advised attempt at a course correction with "Roller Boogie" (1979). With subsequent, and increasingly exploitative efforts such as "Chained Heat" (1983) and "Savage Streets" (1984), it seemed Blair's cinematic destiny was sealed. A much publicized arrest on drug charges - later dropped - combined with erotic thrillers such as "Bedroom Eyes II" (1989) did not help matters. Still, a chance to perform on Broadway in...

At the age of 13, actress Linda Blair found herself starring in one of the most influential films of all time and nominated for an Academy Award for her work in "The Exorcist" (1973), only to be typecast as a result of the role that made her a star. Not only did "The Exorcist" launch Blair's career, it also redefined the horror film genre and perpetuated a cultural fascination with demonic possession. It also made such an indelible impression on audiences that it became difficult for her to be accepted in roles other than those of the quintessential girl in danger. Early works in this vein bore critical fruit, such as "Born Innocent" (NBC, 1974) and "Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic" (NBC, 1975). Then came the disastrous sequel "Exorcist II: The Heretic" (1977), followed by the ill-advised attempt at a course correction with "Roller Boogie" (1979). With subsequent, and increasingly exploitative efforts such as "Chained Heat" (1983) and "Savage Streets" (1984), it seemed Blair's cinematic destiny was sealed. A much publicized arrest on drug charges - later dropped - combined with erotic thrillers such as "Bedroom Eyes II" (1989) did not help matters. Still, a chance to perform on Broadway in a revival of "Grease," and animal rescue work with her own non-profit organization helped to balance out some of the earlier, regrettable film choices. A mixed blessing to be sure, Blair's participation in "The Exorcist" provided her with a fame that, while limited, allowed her to pursue other more personal interests and work steadily throughout a lengthy career.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 He's Having a Baby (2001) Herself
3.
 Queen of the Whole Wide World (2001) Herself (Cameo Appearance)
4.
 Gang Boys (1998)
5.
 Scream (1996) Obnoxious Reporter
6.
 Prey of the Jaguar (1996) Lt Cody Johnson
7.
 Skins (1995)
8.
 Double Blast (1994) Professor Claudia Whyle
9.
 Phone (1992)
10.
 Chilling, The (1992)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Westport, Connecticut
:
Worked as child model (e.g., Sears Roebuck catalogue) and on TV commercials
1970:
Film acting debut in "The Way We Live Now"
1973:
At age 13, played breakthrough role of Regan in "The Exorcist"; earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
1974:
TV-movie debut, "Born Innocent" (NBC), a sensationally promoted film about juvenile delinquency
1975:
Portrayed title character in NBC movie "Sarah T.--Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic"
1976:
Cast as Kirk Douglas' daughter in "Victory at Entebbe" (ABC)
:
Arrested for conspiracy to possess cocaine in 1977; Blair claimed that she was framed; eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in 1978
1978:
Starred as put-upon victim of witchcraft in Wes Craven's NBC movie "Stranger in Our House"
1983:
Delivered her most persuasive adult performance to date as a tawdry, delightfully trashy sweater girl reminiscent of 1950s B heroines like Beverly Michaels and Mamie Van Doren in "Savage Streets"
1989:
First collaboration with director Chuck Vincent on "Bad Blood" (later worked with him on "Bedroom Eyes II" 1990)
1996:
Reunited with director Craven for a cameo appearance as an obnoxious reporter in "Scream"
1997:
Appeared as Rizzo in the Broadway revival of "Grease"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Blair received an award from Alcoholics Anonymous for "her special contribution to this tragic problem" after starring in "Sarah T.--Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic"

PEOPLE magazine in early 1994 reported that Blair raises money for charity by autographing cans of pea soup--used to simulate vomit in "The Exorcist"--for $5 and then donating the proceeds.

In 1997, she produced a calendar called "Animals and Their Celebrities" to highlight the cause of pet theft. Blair was working to pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act bill, which will discourage dealers from purchasing stolen pets and selling them for use in medical research. An advocate of ending animal overpopulation, she urges people to spay and neuter their pets.

She works closely with Variety, the children's charity, and campaigns for AIDS awareness, environmental protection and the rights of the elderly

"For me, I watch it ["The Exorcist"] from a different point of view than most people. It was a lot of work. The two things that stand out strongest in my mind are Ellen Burstyn--she gave the most awesome performance; she deserved the Academy Award that year and she didn't get it--and Billy Friedkin [the director]. Watching him create shots stimulated my interest because he was so diferent than anybody I've worked with. Very demanding. Very difficult, but he was a perfectionist. And that's why the movie is, to this day, what it is. There are no mistakes in the movie. He demanded the best of everybody and he got it." --Linda Blair to VIDEOSCOPE

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Rick Springfield. Singer, actor. Together from c. 1973 to 1975.
companion:
Wings Hauser. Actor. Met when they worked together on "Bedroom Eyes II" (1990); got together about six months after the shoot was over; no longer together (c. 1994).

Family close complete family listing

father:
James Frederick Blair. Job placement executive.
mother:
Elinore Blair. Real estate agent. Died 1994.

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