William Peter Blatty, the novelist who brought us legendary horror The Exorcist, has passed away aged 89. His wife stated to multiple news outlets that he died of multiple myelomas.
The writer scooped an Academy Award for his adapted screenplay for the film, which was nominated for 10 awards, including best picture, but the film only won two statuettes. He also wrote and directed the second sequel, The Exorcist III, which was released in 1990 and was his last Hollywood work.
Blatty’s started his career in Hollywood a million miles away from the terrors of The Exorcist, writing screenplays for films such as Gunn, Promise Her Anything and The Great Bank Robbery. Indeed his most famous pre-Exorcist fame was working with director Blake Edwards of the Pink Panther sequel A Shot in the Dark, which was released in 1964.
William Freidkin, who directed The Exorcist, said on his Twitter page: “William Peter Blatty, dear friend and brother who created The Exorcist passed away yesterday.”
Furthermore, famed horror writer Stephen King also spoke of his sadness at Blatty’s passing on his Twitter, saying: “RIP William Peter Blatty, who wrote the great horror novel of our time. So long, Old Bill.”