Linda Blair

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Linda Blair
Linda Blair 2012.jpg
Linda Blair in Los Angeles (2012)
BornLinda Denise Blair
(1959-01-22) January 22, 1959 (age 55)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1968–present
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Linda Blair
Linda Blair 2012.jpg
Linda Blair in Los Angeles (2012)
BornLinda Denise Blair
(1959-01-22) January 22, 1959 (age 55)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
OccupationActress, producer
Years active1968–present

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]


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]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1974Academy AwardsBest Supporting ActressThe ExorcistNominated
1974Golden Globe AwardsBest Supporting Actress – Motion PictureThe ExorcistWon
1974Golden Globe AwardsNew Star of the Year – ActressThe ExorcistNominated
1978Saturn AwardsBest ActressExorcist II: The HereticNominated
1982Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressHell NightNominated
1984Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressChained HeatNominated
1985Golden Raspberry AwardsScream QueenHerselfWon
1986Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressNight PatrolWon
1986Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressSavage IslandWon
1986Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressSavage StreetsWon



1970The Way We Live NowSara Aldridge
1971The Sporting ClubBarby
1973The ExorcistRegan MacNeilGolden 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
1974Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage AlcoholicSarah TravisTelevision movie
1974Born InnocentChris ParkerTelevision movie
1974Airport 1975Janice Abbott
1975Sweet HostageDoris Mae WithersTelevision movie
1976Victory at EntebbeChana VilnofskyTelevision movie
1977Exorcist II: The HereticRegan MacNeilNominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
1978Summer of FearRachel BryantTelevision movie
1979Wild Horse HankHank Bradford
1979Roller BoogieTerry Barkley
1981RuckusJenny Bellows
1981Hell NightMarti GainesNominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1983Chained HeatCarol HendersonNominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984Night PatrolOfficer Sue PermanGolden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984Savage StreetsBrendaGolden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1984Terror in the AislesRegan MacNeil
1985Red HeatChristine Carlson
1985Savage IslandDalyGolden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress
1987SFX RetaliatorDoris
1988Moving TargetSally Tyler
1988Silent AssassinsSara
1988WitcheryJane Brooks
1989Up Your AlleyVickie Adderly
1989The ChillingMary Hampton
1989Aunt Millie's WillUnknownShort film
1989W.B., Blue and the BeanAnnette Ridgeway
1990Dead SleepMaggie Healey
1990Zapped Again!Miss Mitchell
1990RepossessedNancy Aglet
1991Bedroom Eyes IISophie Stevens
1992Fatal BondLeonie Stevens
1992Calendar Girl, Cop, Killer?: The Bambi Bembenek StoryJane MderTelevision movie
1992Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken BrideHannah HawkesTelevision movie
1993Bad BloodEvie Barners
1993PhoneUnknownShort film
1994SkinsMaggie Joiner
1994Double BlastClaudia
1995SorceressAmelia Reynolds
1996Prey of the JaguarCody Johnson
1996ScreamObnoxious ReporterUncredited
1997MarinaMarinaShort film
2003Monster MakersShelly StokerTelevision movie
2005Diva Dog: Pit Bull on WheelsUnknownShort film
2005Hitters AnonymousBrenda
2006All Is NormalBarbara
2006The Powder Puff PrincipleSchool Board PresidentShort film
2012An Affair of the HeartHerself


1968–1969Hidden FacesAllyn JaffeUnknown episodes
1982"The Love Boat"MuffyEpisode: "Isaac Gets Physical"
1985Murder, She WroteJane PascalEpisode: "Murder Takes the Bus"
1990MacGyverJenny LarsonEpisode: "Jenny's Chance"
1992Married... with ChildrenIda MaeEpisode: "The Magnificent Seven"
1997The RuPaul ShowHerselfEpisode: "13 December 1997"
1999Godzilla: The SeriesAlexandra SpringerEpisode: "S.C.A.L.E."
2000L.A. 7Joni Witherspoon9 episodes
2000–2003Hollywood SquaresHerself10 episodes
2001–2006Scariest Places on EarthHerself15 episodes
2006SupernaturalDetective Diana BallardEpisode: "The Usual Suspects"
2010–2012Pit BossHerself12 episodes
2012Celebrity Ghost StoriesHerselfEpisode: "Victoria Rowell/Dot Jones/Carlos Mencia/Linda Blair"
2014RuPaul's Drag RaceHerselfEpisode: "Scream Queens"


External links[edit]