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Linda Denise Blair (born January 22, 1959) is an American actress most famous for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the 1973 film The Exorcist, and its sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic.

Early life

Blair was born in St. Louis, Missourimarker, the daughter of Elinore (née Leitch), a real estate agent, and James Frederick Blair, an executive recruiter. She moved with her parents to Westport, Connecticutmarker when she was two years old. As a young child, Blair began her career by model, then acting in commercials, including a long-running one for Gulden's Mustard. Blair had originally planned to become a veterinarian, but instead accepted a role in The Exorcist because the money would allow her to pursue horsemanship. She was chosen over the very similar-looking Pamelyn Ferdin since the director wanted an unknown, and Ferdin had already gained recognition after appearing in Star Trek, The Odd Couple and Night Gallery.

The Exorcist

Based on William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel, The Exorcist was directed by William Friedkin, who had recently won an Oscar for directing The French Connection. The cast included Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow and Kitty Winn. Blatty produced the film and wrote the screenplay.

The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Blair received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, as well as Golden Globe and People's Choice Award wins. Blair received a Golden Globe nomination for the now defunct "most promising female star" category.

Despite the film's several nominations, the Best Picture Oscar went to George Roy Hill's film The Sting. The Exorcist won for Blatty's screenplay and for Best Sound. Blair's chances for an Oscar were hurt when Mercedes McCambridge revealed to the press that she had provided the (initially) uncredited demonic voice, though Linda's voice was underlaid in the track, and another woman claimed to have body-doubled for Blair in several scenes, though the director dismissed the contributions of the double as insignificant. The Best Supporting Actress Oscar instead went to 10-year old Tatum O'Neal for her performance in Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon.

After The Exorcist

1970s

Following the success of The Exorcist, Blair appeared in several controversial television films, including Born Innocent and Sarah T...Portrait Of a Teenage Alcoholic, which were the highest rated in their respective years. She was also featured in Airport 1975.Soon afterward, she received a Saturn Award for Best Actress nomination for her performance in the Exorcist sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic which co-starred Richard Burton. The film was met with negative reviews.

2000s

She appeared in the British teen show L.A. 7 featuring the pop group S Club 7, while starring in several independent movies. She also hosted Fox Family's series Scariest Places On Earth.

One of Blair's latest appearances occurred in the Supernatural episode "The Usual Suspects", where a brief homage was paid to her Exorcist fame in the closing dialogue of the episode, when Dean Winchester says that she "looks familiar" and expresses a craving for pea soup.

Personal life

Linda has received treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction. She now devotes her time to animal rights and fund raising for their care.

Filmography

Features:

Short Subjects:
  • Phone (1993)
  • Marina (1997)
  • Diva Dog: Pit Bull on Wheels (2005)
  • The Powder Puff Principle (2006)


Television work



References

  1. Linda Blair Biography (1959–)


External links




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