Date of Birth
22 January 1959, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Linda Denise Blair
5' 2" (1.57 m)
From the age of six, Linda Blair had to get used to the spotlight, both as a model and in motion pictures, when out of 600 applicants she got picked for the role of Regan, the possessed child, in The Exorcist (1973). Linda seemed to be set to take the Academy Award for that role, but when it leaked how little of the possessed child she actually had been (dubbed voice by Mercedes McCambridge and liberal use of a dummy) that dream broke, and with that disappointment probably came the first blow to what should have been a sure road to stardom. Over the next few years she had no trouble finding leading roles in a number of pictures, mostly as some kind of abused child (13-year-old alcoholic, rape victim, to mention a few), but the early attention brought with it life in the fast lane and Linda, as quite a few others in recent years, hadn't had the time to learn how to handle it, and drugs, a stream of unsteady relationships and other factors almost brought her career to an end.
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Family moved to Westport, CT when Linda was 2.
Appeared in 75 commercials and hundreds of magazine catalogues by the time she was 12.
Received death threats after The Exorcist (1973) premiered. Warner Brothers, the studio which released the film, hired the police to live with the Blair family for 6 months. The culprit was never caught.
Flew to Florida to attend funerals for members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, when an acquaintance convinced Linda to go with her and buy cocaine. Blair reportedly went because she was interested in buying pedigree puppies which the dealers were supposedly selling. Blair reportedly bought cocaine, and then returned to Connecticut. She kept in touch with the dealers, supposedly because she wanted the puppies, but the Drug Enforcement Agency was tapping the phones. They arrested Blair, along with 30+ others, and charged her with conspiracy to buy the cocaine in Florida and sell it in Connecticut. Police searched her purse, found amphetamines, and then charged her with possession. The possession charge was dropped, and the conspiracy charge was reduced. She received three years probation.
Her father, James, was an executive headhunter. Her mother, Elinore, was a real estate agent. She has a brother, Jimmy, and a sister, Debbie.
Dated Rick James. James' 1983 hit, "Cold Blooded," was supposedly about his and Blair's brief romance.
Is a vegan.
Owns her own clothing line called Linda Blair's Wild West Collection.
Did a lot of her own skating in Roller Boogie (1979) and consequently developed bursitis in her hip.
Has chickens and horses as pets in her home.
Linda has won numerous awards for her work as an animal rights activist from organizations such as P.E.T.A. and Linda also lends her name to helping stop animal abuse all over the world.
One of Linda's pet dogs was stolen from her and ever since she has become involved with stopping animal/pet theft.
She's written a book about veganism called "Going Vegan!".
Her frightening turn as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973) was ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's villains list of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villians.
Won the Presidential Fitness Award during her early teens.
Ranked #36 in VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Kid Stars"
Founder of "The Linda Blair World Heart Foundation", which advocates the rescue and adoption of animals.
Friend of Tippi Hedren.
Did an audition for the role of Emmeline for The Blue Lagoon (1980) in an attempt to avoid to be typecast as the possessed girl she played in The Exorcist (1973). But the role went to Brooke Shields.
Was in talks to star as Iris in Taxi Driver (1976), but the role went to Jodie Foster instead (and Foster was nominated for an Oscar).
It was always very strange for me when I was young and would meet someone who geniunely seemed to be afraid of me. They couldn't separate me from the monster I became in a movie. You wouldn't believe how often people ask me to make my head spin around.
"I'm not doing this (film) as an art piece, I'm not doing it from my heart, as a statement of my beliefs or my philosophy. I'm working." Interview with The Los Angeles Times about Chained Heat (1983), 1983.
On getting the role of "Reagan MacNeil" in The Exorcist (1973): "I wanted to be a princess. I wanted to be in Disney movies, I wanted to be in "Lassie", I wanted to be in "Flipper", I didn't want to be a monster".
Where Are They Now
(2002) Host of the Fox Family Channel's series "The Scariest Places on Earth" (2000).
(February 2008) Currently developing a remake of Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967).
(February 2009) Operates the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation which is a non- profit, 501C3 tax deductible organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused, neglected, and abandoned animals from the harsh streets of the Los Angeles area, as well as from the overcrowded and overwhelmed city and county animal shelters.