Linda Blair

Infobox actor


birthname = Linda Denise Blair
birthdate = birth date and age|1959|1|22
birthplace = St. Louis, Missouri USA
yearsactive = 1966 — present
goldenglobeawards = Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1974 "The Exorcist"
goldenraspberryawards = Worst Actress
1986 "Night Patrol ; "Savage Island" ; "Savage Streets"

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, "".

Early life

Blair was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Elinore (née Leitch), a real estate agent, and James Frederick Blair, an executive recruiter. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/13/Linda-Blair.html Linda Blair Biography (1959-) ] ] She moved with her parents to Westport, Connecticut when she was two years old. As a young child, Blair began her career by modeling, 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 notoriety after appearing in "", "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.

Blair gave a strong, credible performance as a young girl possessed by a demon, and was an integral part of the film's phenomenal success soon after opening in December 1973. Lines at theaters extended around blocks, with people standing in line for hours. 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 undeniably 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"

At age 15, Blair dated and co-habitated with pop singer Rick Springfield, despite a ten year difference in their ages and her status as a minor.fact|date=August 2008

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, her role in the failed "Exorcist" sequel, "", nearly killed her career, though she received a Saturn Award Best Actress nomination for her performance in the film.

According to an interview with John McLaughlin on "McLaughlin's One On One", Blair experienced an uncontrollable weight gain over the next few years after "Exorcist II".

Adding to her troubles, Blair was arrested in December 1977 for conspiring to purchase and distribute cocaine and for possessing amphetamines. It was revealed that Blair's cohorts happened to be dog breeders; phone taps indicated that the word "dog" was a code word for "cocaine". Though there was an actual dog discussed in the phone tap recordings, Linda's legal team preferred to enter a guilty plea rather than challenge the charge. She was fined for possession, sentenced to three years probation, instructed to appear in several anti-drug commercials, and ordered to enter a nine month drug rehabilitation program. Blair mentioned the legal woes on a October 1999 episode of "E! True Hollywood Story", claiming that the 1977 arrest ruined her Hollywood career.

1980s

Throughout the 1980s, Blair's career deteriorated with her appearance in several minor films, often with a horror or slapstick comedy theme. Meanwhile, Blair returned to her love of horsemanship, where she competed under various pseudonyms in a number of showjumping events, winning several equestrian awards. In 1981 Blair starred in the slasher film "Hell Night" and in 1983 Blair starred in the women in prison film, "Chained Heat".

During the early 1980s, Blair had a relationship with singer Rick James, but left him because of his drug addiction. "Cold Blooded" was a hit R&B song for James in 1983, and was written about his relationship with Blair.fact|date=August 2008 Released from the album of the same title, it spent 6 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.

1990s

In 1990, she spoofed her "Exorcist" character in the comedy film "Repossessed" co-starring Leslie Nielsen, in addition to appearing in fewer lower budget movies and on television, including a guest appearance on the 1992 season opener of the FOX series "Married... with Children".

In 1996, Blair had a brief uncredited cameo appearance in the box office smash "Scream", also appearing in a low budget film "Prey of the Jaguar" in addition to performing in the 1997 stage revival of "Grease".

2000s

In 2000, 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.

Wild Horse Hank and Savage Streets will be released on DVD this September 2008.

Charity work

Blair has long been active in charities involving prevention of cruelty to animals with her own Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, and is a committed vegan. She received the City of Los Angeles Proclamation for her work with abandoned and abused animals.

In popular culture

*The folk-rock band The Mountain Goats wrote a song entitled "Linda Blair Was Born Innocent" that is found on their 2004 album "We Shall All Be Healed."

Filmography

Features:
*"The Way We Live Now" (1970)
*"The Sporting Club" (1971)
*"The Exorcist" (1973)
*"Airport 1975" (1974)
*"" (1977)
*"Wild Horse Hank" (1979)
*"Roller Boogie" (1979)
*"Ruckus" (1981) [ [http://imdb.com/title/tt0084611/ Ruckus starring Dirk Benedict, Linda Blair (1981)] ]
*"Hell Night" (1981)
*"Chained Heat" (1983)
*"Night Patrol" (1984)
*"Savage Streets" (1984)
*"Red Heat" (1985)
*"Savage Island" (1985)
*"SFX Retaliator" (1987)
*"Nightforce" (1987)
*"Up Your Alley" (1988)
*"Moving Target" (1988)
*"Grotesque" (1988)
*"Silent Assassins" (1988)
*"Witchery" (1988)
*"The Chilling" (1989)
*"Aunt Millie's Will" (1989)
*"W.B., Blue and the Bean" (1989)
*"Dead Sleep" (1990)
*"Zapped Again!" (1990)
*"Repossessed" (1990)
*"Bedroom Eyes II" (1991)
*"Fatal Bond" (1992)
*"Bad Blood" (1993)
*"Skins" (1994)
*"Double Blast" (1994)
*"Sorceress" (1995)
*"Prey of the Jaguar" (1996)
*"Scream" (1996)
*"The Blair Bitch Project" (1999) [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0286513/ The Blair Bitch Project starring Linda Blair (1999) (V) ] ]
*"UnConventional" (Documentary, 2004)
*"Hitters Anonymous" (2005)
*"All Is Normal" (2006)

succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
years=1974
"'for "The Exorcist"
before=Shelley Winters
for "The Poseidon Adventure"
after=Karen Black
for "The Great Gatsby"

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

Television work

*"Hidden Faces" (1968-1969)
*"Born Innocent" (1974)
*"Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic" (1975)
*"Sweet Hostage" (1975)
*"Victory at Entebbe" (1976)
*"Summer of Fear" (1978)
*"MacGyver" (1990)
*"Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer?: The Bambi Bembenek Story" (1992)
*"Married With Children (The Magnificent Seven)" (1992)
*"Perry Mason : The Case of the Heartbroken Bride" (1992)
*"Walking After Midnight" (1999-2000)
*"L.A. 7" (2000)
*"Scariest Places On Earth" (2001-2006)
*"Monster Makers" (2003)
*"Supernatural" (2006)

References

External links

*imdb name|id=0000304|name=Linda Blair
*amg name|2:6531
* [http://www.lindablairworldheart.com/ Linda Blair World Heart Foundation]
* [http://www.lindablair.com/ Official Linda Blair Website]


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