The man who wrote the The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty - has died aged 89. Along with writing 1971's The Exorcist, Blatty also penned works such as The Ninth Configuration (1978), Legion (1983), insane (2010), and The Exorcist for the 21st Century (2016). The image of the demonic Regan became iconic among horror fans and the novel was a huge bestseller, remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for 57 straight weeks and at the No 1 spot for 17 of them.
Stephen King tweeted, "RIP William Peter Blatty, who wrote the great horror novel of our time".
It sold 10 million copies and the 1973 film, starring Linda Blair, and directed by William Friedkin, topped $400m (£325m) worldwide.
Blatty not only wrote the original Exorcist film, but he also directed the third instalment of the franchise.
Blatty with his Oscar in 1974
Blatty, raised a devout Roman Catholic, died at a hospital near his home in Bethesda, Maryland, on Thursday, but it was announced on social media by Friedkin on Friday. It netted him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Born in NY in 1928 to Lebanese immigrant parents, Blatty was raised by his devoutly Catholic mother after his father left when he was three. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1981 Golden Globe Awards, though lost out to On Golden Pond. That book's success led to a series of comic novels, amd screenplays screenplays for a handful of Hollywood comedies, like A Shot In The Dark (1964), Promise Her Anything (1966), and The Great Train Robbery (1969).
May he rest in peace.
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