Linda Blair

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Linda Blair
Linda Blair 2012.jpg
Linda Blair in Los Angeles (2012)
Born Linda Denise Blair
(1959-01-22) January 22, 1959 (age 55)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Actress, producer
Years active 1968–present
Website
www.lindablair.com

Linda Denise Blair (born January 22, 1959)[1] is an American actress.[2] Blair is best known for her role as the possessed child, Regan, in the film The Exorcist (1973), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe. She reprised her role in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).

Youth and beginnings[edit]

Blair was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and was raised in Westport, Connecticut. She began her career as a six-year-old child model and started acting with a regular role on the short-lived Hidden Faces (1968–69) daytime soap opera.[citation needed] Her first theatrical film appearance was in The Way We Live Now (1970).[3] Blair was selected from a field of 600 applicants for her most notable role as Regan in The Exorcist (1973). The role earned her a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as an Academy Award nomination. She reprised her role in the sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), garnering a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress of 1978.[1] Between these two films, she appeared in Born Innocent (1974),[4] Airport 1975 (1974), Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975)[5] and Sweet Hostage (1975) opposite Martin Sheen.

Later career[edit]

Blair's career took a new turn in the 1980s, as she starred in a number of successful low-budget horror and exploitation films, including Hell Night (1981), Chained Heat (1983) and Savage Streets (1984).

Blair later worked in numerous films, mostly comedies, including the Exorcist send-up Repossessed in 1990,[2] and a cameo role in Scream (1996).[6] In 1997, she appeared in a Broadway revival of Grease. She was cast as a regular in the BBC television show, L.A. 7 (2000). She hosted Fox Family's Scariest Places on Earth (2000-6).

Other interests[edit]

Blair also became an animal rights activist and humanitarian, working with PETA, Feed The Children, Variety, the Children's Charity, and other organizations.[1] Blair also devotes time to a non-profit organization she organized, the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which works to rescue abused, neglected and mistreated animals. She commenced to follow a vegan diet, and was a co-author of the book Going Vegan!

Legal problems[edit]

Towards the end of the 1970s, Blair encountered trouble with law enforcement authorities as she was charged with drug possession and conspiracy to sell drugs. She pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to possess cocaine, in exchange for three years' probation and a $5,000 fine. Blair was also required to make at least 12 major public appearances to tell young people about the dangers of drug abuse.[7] Though she pursued roles in subsequent films, Blair found it hard to restart her screen career and landed low-grade films in the 1980s and later. As she herself said in an interview, her career "went down faster than the Titanic."[this quote needs a citation]

Honors[edit]

In 1997, she appeared in a documentary for Channel 4 in the UK entitled "Didn't You Used to be Satan?", which served as a biography of her life to that point and how the film The Exorcist had dominated her career and life.

She also appeared in critic Mark Kermode's 1998 BBC documentary "The Fear of God" (which Kermode directed and hosted), included as a special feature on the DVD of The Exorcist. Most of Kermode's linking scenes to camera were removed from the DVD version to shorten the running time. The version shown on BBC TV in 1998 was shown intact.

In 2008, she appeared at the 18th annual Malaga Fantasy and Horror Film Festival to accept a lifetime achievement award for her work in the horror genre.

She appeared in the 2009 documentary Confessions of a Teenage Vigilante, discussing her role as Brenda in Savage Streets (1984). The documentary was included as a bonus feature on the 2009 DVD release of the film.

In 2010 she appeared as herself on the cable series Pit Boss and Jury Duty. She appeared in the 2011 Rick Springfield documentary Affair of the Heart, and was a panelist in a 2011 episode of The Joy Behar Show.

Called upon with honors, Blair appeared at a pre-taped 84th Academy Awards ceremony honoring makeup artist Dick Smith. Smith had created the iconic makeup for Blair in The Exorcist.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1974 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress The Exorcist Nominated
1974 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture The Exorcist Won
1974 Golden Globe Awards New Star of the Year – Actress The Exorcist Nominated
1978 Saturn Awards Best Actress Exorcist II: The Heretic Nominated
1982 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Hell Night Nominated
1984 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Chained Heat Nominated
1985 Golden Raspberry Awards Scream Queen Herself Won
1986 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Night Patrol Won
1986 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Savage Island Won
1986 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Savage Streets Won

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Way We Live Now Sara Aldridge
1971 The Sporting Club Barby
1973 The Exorcist Regan MacNeil Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress
1974 Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic Sarah Travis Television movie
1974 Born Innocent Chris Parker Television movie
1974 Airport 1975 Janice Abbott
1975 Sweet Hostage Doris Mae Withers Television movie
1976 Victory at Entebbe Chana Vilnofsky Television movie
1977 Exorcist II: The Heretic Regan MacNeil Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1978 Stranger in Our House Rachel Bryant Television movie
1979 Wild Horse Hank Hank Bradford
1979 Roller Boogie Terry Barkley
1981 Ruckus Jenny Bellows
1981 Hell Night Marti Gaines Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1983 Chained Heat Carol Henderson Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984 Night Patrol Officer Sue Perman Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984 Savage Streets Brenda Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984 Terror in the Aisles Unknown
1985 Red Heat Christine Carlson
1985 Savage Island Daly Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1987 SFX Retaliator Doris
1987 Nightforce Carla
1988 Moving Target Sally Tyler
1988 Grotesque Lisa
1988 Silent Assassins Sara
1988 Witchery Jane Brooks
1989 Up Your Alley Vickie Adderly
1989 The Chilling Mary Hampton
1989 Aunt Millie's Will Unknown Short film
1989 W.B., Blue and the Bean Annette Ridgeway
1990 Dead Sleep Maggie Healey
1990 Zapped Again! Miss Mitchell
1990 Repossessed Nancy Aglet
1991 Bedroom Eyes II Sophie Stevens
1992 Fatal Bond Leonie Stevens
1992 Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer?: The Bambi Bembenek Story Jane Mder Television movie
1992 Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride Hannah Hawkes Television movie
1993 Bad Blood Evie Barners
1993 Phone Unknown Short film
1994 Skins Maggie Joiner
1994 Double Blast Claudia
1995 Sorceress Amelia Reynolds
1996 Prey of the Jaguar Cody Johnson
1996 Scream Obnoxious Reporter Uncredited
1997 Marina Marina Short film
2003 Monster Makers Shelly Stoker Television movie
2005 Diva Dog: Pit Bull on Wheels Unknown Short film
2005 Hitters Anonymous Brenda
2006 All Is Normal Barbara
2006 The Powder Puff Principle School Board President Short film
2009 Imps* Unknown
2012 An Affair of the Heart Herself

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1968–1969 Hidden Faces Allyn Jaffe Unknown episodes
1985 Murder, She Wrote Jane Pascal Episode: "Murder Takes the Bus"
1990 MacGyver Jenny Larson Episode: "Jenny's Chance"
1992 Married... with Children Ida Mae Episode: "The Magnificent Seven"
1997 The RuPaul Show Herself Episode: "13 December 1997"
1999 Godzilla: The Series Alexandra Springer Episode: "S.C.A.L.E."
2000 L.A. 7 Joni Witherspoon 9 episodes
2000–2003 Hollywood Squares Herself 10 episodes
2001–2006 Scariest Places on Earth Herself 15 episodes
2006 Supernatural Detective Diana Ballard Episode: "The Usual Suspects"
2010–2012 Pit Boss Herself 12 episodes
2012 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode: "Victoria Rowell/Dot Jones/Carlos Mencia/Linda Blair"
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Episode: "Scream Queens"

References[edit]

External links[edit]