The actress is best known for playing Regan McNeil in the groundbreaking 1973 horror “The Exorcist”
Actress Linda Blair turns 64 today
Actress Linda Denise Blair was born on January 22, 1959, in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up in Westport, Connecticut. Blair would begin modeling and acting at age 6, appearing in commercials and PSAs. In her early teens, Blair was cast in a role that would largely define her professional career. She played the character Regan MacNeil in “The Exorcist,” a story in which a girl is violently taken over by a demon. Based on a William Peter Blatty novel, the film was directed by William Friedkin and co-starred Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, and Jason Miller; it opened in late 1973 and became known for its gruesome, body-chilling depictions of possession, sparking intense audience reaction and dialogue. Blair received a supporting actress Golden Globe for her role and an Academy Award nomination in the same category. “The Exorcist” as a film radically redefined the horror genre and became the top blockbuster of its day, only outranked at one point by “Jaws” and the first two “Star Wars” films and eventually going on to earn more than $440 million globally. Blair continued to star in genre action/thriller film productions throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, while also having guest spots on TV programs like “Murder She Wrote,” “MacGyver,” “Perry Mason” and “Married With Children”. She returned to horror with the 1990 spoof “Repossessed,” co-starring Leslie Nielsen, and had an uncredited cameo appearance as a reporter in 1996’s “Scream”. Blair is an equestrian and activist who started the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation in order to provide adoption services for animals and raise awareness about animal cruelty.
By Ken Warren, 2017/18
Watch Linda Blair speak about the Blu-ray release of 1973 “The Exorcist”
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