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William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist Writer, Dies at 89

Blatty wrote the novel that spawned the ubiquitous horror franchise

Liam Mathews

William Peter Blatty, who wrote the novel The Exorcist and the screenplay for the film adaptation that became one of the most influential horror movies of all time, has died. He was 89 and passed on Thursday, Jan. 12.

Blatty won an Oscar for his screenplay for The Exorcist and later directed The Exorcist III, which he adapted from his novel Legion.

The Exorcist franchise he created has spawned five movies and most recently a TV series.

His death was announced on Twitter by The Exorcist film director William Friedkin.

Blatty's admirers and contemporaries also paid their respects on Twitter: