Hollywood actress Linda Blair is famous for her signature role of the possessed little girl Regan Teresa MacNeil in the William Friedkin’s horror thriller The Exorcist (1973). Her performance in the movie won a Golden Globe Award and received an Oscar nomination. Yet, her career gradually sank to the bottom. Her turn as Officer Sue Perman in Night Patrol (1984) was given a Razzie Award. Blair continued to appear in minor films like Nightforce (1987), The Chilling (1989), Bedroom Eyes II (1991) and Prey of the Jaguar (1996). Recently, the actress was seen in the thriller All Is Normal (2006), starring as Barbara. On stage, Blair received a good response from audiences after playing Rizzo in the 1997 revival of “Grease.”
Outside the spotlight, the actress, who was the 36th actor in VH1’s “100 Greatest Kid Stars,” has her own clothing line called “Linda Blair’s Wild West Collection.” The vegan actress also wrote a book titled “Going Vegan!” Additionally, she is an active member of P.E.T.A., an organization protecting animal rights. She has taken home numerous awards for her work as an animal rights activist, as well as lent her name to help the worldwide effort in stopping animal abuse. Blair actively participated in efforts to stop animal/pet theft after one of her dogs was stolen. She also has more than 75 charities to which she is devoted.
As for her private life, Blair was romantically involved with musician Rick Springfield (born on August 23, 1949) before having a special relationship with actor Wings Hauser (born on December 12, 1947), whom she met while filming Bedroom Eyes II (1991). In 1994, the couple separated.
Childhood and Family:
In St. Louis, Missouri, Linda Denise Blair was born on January 22, 1959, to James Frederick Blair (job-placement executive) and Elinore Blair (real-estate agent; died in 1994). With her parents and her siblings, Jimmy and Debbie, she moved to Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 2.
Showing an interest in performing, Linda began modeling at age 6. During her early teens, Linda won a Presidential Fitness Award. The animal lover, who once dreamed of entering veterinary school, keeps chickens and horses as pets at her home.
Linda Blair had been a model since a very young age and had already appeared in 75 commercials and hundreds of magazine catalogues by the age of 12. She then stepped into acting and made her small screen debut by taking the lead role of Allyn Jaffe in the TV series “Hidden Faces” (1968). It was followed by a wide screen debut in the drama The Way We Live Now (1970), where she was cast in the supporting role of Sara Aldridge.
After a small part in The Sporting Club (1971), young Blair soon received her breakthrough when she played her signature role of Regan Teresa MacNeil, a possessed little girl, in The Exorcist (1973). Giving an impressive performance, Blair won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress, as well as earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Newcomer. Blair’s role of Regan is on the 9th spot in American Film Institute’s list of “The 100 Years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.” The William Friedkin-directed horror thriller, which was based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, is also considered one of the best horror movies.
Blair continued her victory and made her TV movie debut in the controversial Born Innocent (1974), in which she convincingly portrayed Chris Parker, a young runaway who is abused while in jail. Still on TV, she remarkably played the title character in Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic (1975). She also nicely costarred as Chana Vilnofsky, opposite Kirk Douglas and Richard Dreyfuss, in the made-for-TV thriller Victory at Entebbe (1976). After reprising her role of Regan Teresa MacNeil in the sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), she starred as Rachel Bryant in Wes Craven’s TV thriller Stranger in Our House (1978). Blair then played the leading role of Terry Barkley in the mediocre musical romantic comedy Roller Boogie (1979) before appearing in the second-rate drama action Ruckus (1981). On TV, the actress guest starred in the series “Fantasy Island” (1982) and “The Love Boat” (1982).
Subsequent to her role as the imprisoned Carol Henderson in the little seen movie Chained Heat (1983), Blair sank further when her performance as Officer Sue Perman in the comedy Night Patrol (1984) handed her a Razzie for Worst Actress. Receiving a Razzie for Worst Career Achievement, the actress appeared in minor motion pictures like Red Heat (1985) and Nightforce (1987). She fared better by starring as Vickie Adderly in Bob Logan’s low budgeted comedy Up Your Alley (1988). The same year, Blair tried her hand as a producer in Grotesque (1988), where she also had the leading role of Lisa. Following The Chilling (1989), she costarred with Leslie Nielsen in Repossessed (1990), a spoof of her famous film The Exorcist. Blair’s career did not seem to improve when she took roles in Chuck Vincent’s Bedroom Eyes II (1991), Fatal Bond (1992, as Leonie Stevens), Bad Blood (1993), her self-produced Skins (1994), Sorceress (1995) and the action thriller Prey of the Jaguar (1996).
Blair made a stage appearance as Rizzo in a revival of “Grease” (1997) and received positive reviews from the audience. She appeared on the small screen as a guest star in the series “PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal” (1998, as Rebecca Royce) and “Godzilla: The Series” (1999, as the voice of Alexandra Springer). She had the regular role of Joni in the comedy series “L.A. 7,” which featured the teen music group S Club 7 (2000), before disappearing from the screen. Three years later, she reappeared as Shelly Stoker in the small screen family movie Monster Makers (2003).
In 2005, Blair was cast in the supporting role of Brenda in the Monte Young-helmed wide screen comedy Hitters Anonymous. The actress will also been seen in All Is Normal (2006), taking the leading turn as Barbara. The thriller was directed and written by Juliana Brafa and Todd G. Bieber.
- Razzie: Worst Actress, Night Patrol, 1986
- Razzie: Worst Career Achievement Award, 1985
- Golden Globe: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Exorcist, 1973