Linda Blair: What happened to the girl from ‘The Exorcist’?

Linda Blair from the movie 'The Exorcist'.

We review the career and future of the actress.

A still from the movie ‘The Exorcist’.

“The black legends of ‘The Exorcist’ are mere hearsay.” This is how Linda Blair (Missouri, 1959) manifested herself four years ago at a press conference at the University of Malaga, where she received an award in tribute to her career.

His career? In fact, Blair is only honored by Regan MacNeill, the girl possessed by Lucifer who brought Father Karras upside down in the legendary film directed by William Friedkin in 1973, for many the most terrifying film of all time. Everything that happened later in his life and in his artistic career is part of one of the darkest stories ever known to Hollywood.

It matters little that nine people involved in the film died shortly before or after the film’s premiere, that a strange fire destroyed one of the sets, or that the film’s two main interpreters (Blair and Ellen Burstyn) victims of various fatalities will be injured during filming.

The true poltergeist of ‘The Exorcist’ relates to the inexplicable decline suffered by the young actress’s career after her successful role in the film, which earned her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Blair was then 13 years old and a whole life ahead of him, so few could imagine that this was going to be the only really remarkable job of his career.

So long was Regan MacNeill’s dark shadow that a rumor began to spread in Hollywood that this girl (who was constantly asked if she was mentally stable) was carrying a kind of curse with her and that hiring her was synonymous with fatality. (Donald Wrye, 1974) or ‘Sweet kidnapping’ (Lee Phillips, 1975).

At that time, being just a teenager, she went to live with Australian singer Rick Springfield. In 1977 she returned to incarnate Regan in the forgettable sequel to ‘The Exorcist’ (‘The Heretic’, by John Boorman) but not even for these did she manage to regain the confidence of an industry that had already defenestrated her, especially after her remarkable weight gain.

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A still from the movie ‘The Exorcist’.

In 1977 she was arrested for possession and distribution of cocaine and amphetamines. She was sentenced to three years of community work and forced to enter a detoxification center for 9 months. He managed to overcome his addictions, but shortly after he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for depression.

After recovering from her illness, she wanted to show the whole world that she had regained her slim figure and began posing nude in different erotic publications such as Playboy. It seemed obvious that the cinema had already forgotten her forever, so she redirected her life in other directions.

She became vegan and published a book on the benefits of her diet, launched her own fashion line (Linda Blair’s Wild West Collection), and founded the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation dedicated to the protection of animal rights.

In recent decades we have been able to see her appearing very glancingly in ‘Scream’ (Wes Craven, 1996), poking her head through different TV movies, and starring in an episode of the series ‘Supernatural’. But that was a long time ago, and the fact is that Blair’s profile on IMDb has slowed down, especially since 2008, and little we have been able to enjoy her on any screen (neither big nor small).

Coinciding with the premiere in 450 theaters in the United States of the full version of ‘The Exorcist’ in 2010, shortly before its release on Blu-Ray, it was claimed again to promote the business. Then he declared: “without a doubt, the movie changed my life”. You don’t have to swear, Linda.

Of course, in 2004 he founded the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, an association that works to rescue abused or abandoned animals.

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