|Name:||William Peter Blatty|
|Birth Day:||January 7, 1928|
|Death Date:||Jan 12, 2017 (age 89)|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
Bestselling author who turned his novel The Exorcist into an Academy Award-winning screenplay. William Peter Blatty is also known for Elsewhere, Crazy, and other novels.
As per our current Database, William Peter Blatty died on Jan 12, 2017 (age 89).
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William Peter Blatty lived in twenty-eight different residences over the course of his childhood, due to his family's constant evictions for failure to pay rent. William Peter Blatty later studied English literature at both Georgetown University and The George Washington University.
Blatty was born on January 7, 1928, in New York City. He was the fifth and youngest child of Lebanese immigrants, Mary (née Mouakad), a devout Catholic and the niece of a bishop, and Peter Blatty, a cloth cutter. His parents separated when he was a toddler. He was raised in what he described as "comfortable destitution" by his deeply religious mother, whose sole support came from peddling homemade quince jelly in the streets of Manhattan; she once offered a jar of it to Franklin D. Roosevelt when the President was cutting the ribbon for the Queens–Midtown Tunnel, telling him, "For when you have company." He lived at 28 different addresses during his childhood because of nonpayment of rent. "We never lived at the same address in New York for longer than two or three months at a time," Blatty told The Washington Post in 1972. "Eviction was the order of the day." Blatty's mother died in 1967.
He attended Brooklyn Preparatory, a Jesuit school, on a scholarship and graduated as class valedictorian in 1946. He later attended Georgetown University on a scholarship, where he earned his bachelor's degree in English in 1950. "Those years at Georgetown were probably the best years of my life," Blatty said in 2015. "Until then, I’d never had a home." While studying for his master's degree at George Washington University, Blatty took menial jobs. Initially unable to find a job in teaching, he worked as a vacuum-cleaner door-to-door salesman, a beer-truck driver, and as a United Airlines ticket agent. He earned his master's in English literature from the George Washington University in 1954. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force.
Blatty married four times and had seven children. With his first wife, Mary Margaret Rigard, whom he married on February 18, 1950, he had three children: Christine Ann, Michael Peter, and Mary Joanne. His first marriage ended in divorce after 13 years. His second wife was Elizabeth Gilman, whom he married in 1965. In July 1975 he married his third wife, tennis professional Linda Tuero, with whom he had two children. Following the dissolution of his first three marriages, Blatty married Julie Alicia Witbrodt, his fourth wife, in 1983, with whom he had two children. The couple remained together until Blatty's death in 2017. After residing for many years in Hollywood and Aspen, Blatty settled in Bethesda, Maryland in 2000.
In the late 1950s, Blatty worked as the public relations director at Loyola University of Los Angeles and as a publicity director at the University of Southern California. He published his first book, Which Way to Mecca, Jack? in 1960, a humorous look at both his early life, and his work at the United States Information Agency in Lebanon. In 1961, while still working in public relations, Blatty appeared as a contestant on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life, winning $10,000, enough money to quit his job and to write full-time. Thereafter, he never held a regular job.
Later Blatty resumed writing fiction. In 1971, he wrote The Exorcist, the story of a twelve-year-old girl possessed by a powerful demon, that topped The New York Times Best Seller list for 17 weeks and remained on the list for 57 consecutive weeks. The book sold more than 13 million copies in the United States alone and was translated into over a dozen languages. He later adapted it with director William Friedkin into the film version. Blatty went on to win an Academy Award for his Exorcist screenplay, as well as Golden Globes for Best Picture and Best Writing. It also became the first horror film ever to be nominated for the best picture Oscar.
In 1978, Blatty adapted his novel Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane into a film titled The Ninth Configuration, and in 1980 he wrote, directed, and produced a film version, which focused on the question of the existence of God. The film was a commercial flop despite critical acclaim. Movie critic Jerry Stein called it a "masterpiece" in The Cincinnati Post, and Peter Travers described it as "the finest large-scale American surrealist film ever made" in People magazine. At the 38th Golden Globe Awards in 1981 it was nominated for three Golden Globes, and won the Best Writing Award against competition that included The Elephant Man (1980), Ordinary People (1980), and Raging Bull (1980). In 1983, Blatty wrote Legion, a sequel to The Exorcist which later became the basis of the film The Exorcist III. At first he was unable to set up the production because he wanted to direct the film. Blatty's agent, Steve Jaffe, helped package the project with producer Carter DeHaven at Morgan Creek Productions. Blatty directed the film. He originally wanted the movie version to be titled Legion, but the film's producers wanted it to be more closely linked to the original. The first sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), was disappointing both critically and commercially. Blatty had no involvement with it and his own follow-up ignored it entirely.
Blatty's son Peter Vincent Blatty died from a rare heart disorder in 2006 at the age of 19. His death was the subject of Blatty's non-fiction book that is "part comic memoir, part argument for life after death", titled, Finding Peter: A True Story of the Hand of Providence and Evidence of Life After Death (2015).
In 2011, The Exorcist was re-released in a 40th Anniversary Edition in paperback, hardcover, and audiobook formats with new cover artwork. As described by Blatty, this new, updated edition features new and revised material.
The Exorcist was eventually adapted into a stage play starring Richard Chamberlain and Brooke Shields in 2012 and a TV mini-series some years later. The TV series debuted on Fox in 2016. Internationally, the series premiered in Brazil on FX on September 23, 2016, the same day as in the U.S. It premiered in Australia on showcase on December 4, 2016.
Blatty was a Roman Catholic. In 2012, he filed a canon law petition against his alma mater, Georgetown University, which he said has been at variance with Catholic Church teaching for decades, inviting speakers who support abortion rights and disobeying Pope John Paul II's instructions issued to church-affiliated colleges and universities in 1990.
Blatty died of multiple myeloma on January 12, 2017, at a hospital in Bethesda, five days after his 89th birthday.
Currently, William Peter Blatty is 93 years, 0 months and 19 days old. William Peter Blatty will celebrate 94th birthday on a Friday 7th of January 2022.
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