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R.I.P.: The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty has passed away

01.13.2017by: Cody Hamman

William Peter Blatty

Many people work in the horror genre, but only a select few can even hope to make as much of an impact on the genre as author William Peter Blatty did with his 1971 novel The Exorcist. Collaborating with director William Friedkin on the 1973 cinematic adaptation, Blatty helped craft THE EXORCIST into one of the most popular and highly regarded horror films ever made.

Sadly, the author / filmmaker passed away yesterday, January 12th, at the age of 89. This information comes directly from Friedkin, who shared word of Blatty's passing on his Twitter account.

In addition to The Exorcist, Blatty's writing career included an autobiography, three nonfiction books, eleven other novels and novellas, and multiple screenplays. Films written by Blatty include the I Am Legend adaptation THE OMEGA MAN (Blatty was not credited on the film) and the Blake Edwards movies A SHOT IN THE DARK, GUNN, DARLING LILI, and WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE WAR, DADDY?

Blatty also tried his hand at directing, making his feature directorial debut with the 1980 horror film THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, which was based on his 1978 novel of the same name (which was a reworking of his 1966 novel Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane). THE NINTH CONFIGURATION has a following of its own, but even more popular is his second directing effort, 1990's THE EXORCIST III, an adaptation of his 1983 novel Legion. (Scream Factory released the long-awaited director's cut of THE EXORCIST III last year.)

William Peter Blatty is gone now, but the work he did while he was here has certainly left a mark. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his friends, fans, and family.

Extra Tidbit: R.I.P. William Peter Blatty

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