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Whatever Happened To?…

08 Oct
Linda Blair

Born in St. Louis on January 22, 1959

As a young child, Linda Blair began her career by modeling, then later started acting in commercials, including one for Gulden’s Mustard that ran for years. Blair had originally planned to become a doctor, but instead accepted a role in The Exorcist because money she would earn would allow her to pursue her interest in horesemanship, particularly show jumping. She was chosen over the very similar-looking Pamelyn Ferdin since the director wanted an unknown.

At the age of 15, Blair dated, then lived with pop singer Rick Springfield, despite the ten year difference in their ages and, more importantly, the fact that she was legally a minor.
Following the success of The Exorcist, Ms. Blair appeared in numerous controversial television films, including Born Innocent and Sarah T…Portrait Of A Teenage Alcoholic. She was featured in Airport 75 and also in Exorcist II: The Heretic, the failed sequel to the successful original film that made her a household name, nearly cost her her career.

Adding to her troubles, in December of 1977, Ms Blair was arrested for conspiring to buy and distribute cocaine and for possessing amphetamines, eventually pleading guilty to possession charges and fined. She was also sentenced to three years probation, instructed to appear in several anti-drug commercials, and ordered to enter a nine month drug rehabilitation program.

Throughout the 1980s, Ms. Blair’s career fell into decline, and she appeared in many minor films, often with a horror or slapstick comedy theme. Meanwhile, Linda returned to her first love of riding and showing horses, where she competed under pseudonyms in showjumping events and won numerous equestrian events.
During the early 1980s Ms Blair had a passionate relationship with singer Rick James, but left him when she could no longer handle his drug addiction. In 1978, as part of a plea bargain to avoid jail time, she was ordered to stay away from drugs after the December 1977 arrest.
In 1990, she reprised her Exorcist character in the spoof film Repossessed, in addition to reducing her appearances in lower budget movies and concentrating on TV work, including a guest spot on the 1992/1993 season opener of the FOX series Married… with Children, making it the highest watched episode of that series.
In 1996 Blair had a brief uncredited cameo appearance in the box office smash Scream, in addition to winning wide acclaim for her performance in the 1997 stage revival of Grease.

In 2000, she appeared in the British teen show LA 7 featuring the popular pop group S Club 7, while starring in several independent movies. She also hosted Fox Family’s series Scariest Places on Earth. She is currently working on the film, All is Normal.
Linda Blair has long been active in charities involving prevention of cruelty to animals with her own Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation

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Posted by on October 8, 2006 in Actresses, Whatever Happened To

 

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