Blake Edwards

'Exorcist' author William Peter Blatty dies at 89

'Exorcist' author William Peter Blatty dies at 89

Novelist and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, a former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the bestselling novel and Oscar-winning movie “The Exorcist,” has died. He was 89.

Blatty died Thursday at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., where he lived, his widow, Julie Alicia Blatty, told the Associated Press. The cause of death was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, she said.

Inspired by an incident in a Washington suburb that Blatty had read about while in college, “The Exorcist” was published in 1971, followed two years later by the film of the same name. Blatty’s story of a...

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