The beginning of 2017 isn't looking any brighter than a year ago as another beloved member of the horror community has passed away... multiple outlets are reporting that The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty died this week at the age of 89.
William Peter Blatty's death was confirmed on social media by the film's director William Friedkin this afternoon. He also wrote and directed the 1980 film adaptation of his book The Ninth Configuration, as well as 1990's The Exorcist III, which was based on his novel Legion. The film isn't as heralded as The Exorcist, but it's since gained a cult following for its atmospheric dread and for having one of the most shocking jump scares of all time.
Rest in peace William Peter Blatty, writer of both the peerless horror "The Exorcist" AND the funniest Clouseau film, "A Shot In The Dark".
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He is survived by his wife, Julie Alicia Witbrodt, who told The Washington Post her husband was suffering from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.
After his time with Edwards, Blatty released "The Exorcist", a story about two Jesuit priests tasked with exorcising a young girl possessed by a violent demon. Religious figures condemned "The Exorcist", but that didn't stop it from racking up more than $400 million at the worldwide box office (a then-whopping sum for an R-rated feature), as well as 10 Academy Award nominations. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1981 Golden Globe Awards, though lost out to On Golden Pond.