William Peter Blatty, whose 1970 blockbuster novel The Exorcist was the basis for a terrifying film and television franchise, has died at the age of 89.
“William Peter Blatty, dear friend and brother who created The Exorcist passed away yesterday,” the 1973 film’s director William Friedkin tweeted Friday.
Variety confirmed the death of the New York native and Air Force veteran who won an Oscar in 1973 for the adaptation of his own 1971 novel.
Blatty’s other screenwriting credits include John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!, Promise Her Anything, The Great Bank Robbery, A Shot in the Dark, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? and Darling Lili. He also wrote and directed the 1980 film adaptation of his book The Ninth Configuration, as well as 1990’s The Exorcist III, which was based on his novel Legion.
Among his additional volumes are the fictional Which Way to Mecca, Jack?, and autobiographical I’ll Tell Them I Remember You.
Fox aired a critically acclaimed, sequel series in 2016 called The Exorcist, featuring characters from Blatty’s original work.