‘Interview With the Vampire’ Author Was 80 – The Hollywood Reporter

Anne Rice, New Orleans author best known for her sensational debut novel, Interview with a Vampire, sent her a supernatural path writing about bloodsuckers, witches and werewolves, who died from complications of a stroke on Saturday. She was 80.

Rice’s son, Christopher Rice, News announcements on social media. “She has been away from us for almost 19 years since the day my father, her husband Stan, passed away,” he wrote. “The extent of our family’s grief cannot be overstated.”

The author, resides in Rancho Mirage, California, surrounded by her family. “In her final hours, I sat at her bedside in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, overwhelmed by the memory of a life that took us from the mist-shrouded hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the sparkling vistas of Southern California,” he added. “When she kissed Anne goodbye, her sister Karen said, ‘You took us on a trip, kid.’ I think we can all agree.”

Rice’s nearly 40 novels published over half a century have sold some 135 million copies, placing her among the most beloved fantasy writers of all time.

Rice adapted her first book into a 1994 Warner Bros. starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, and her six other novels, including Eden’s Exit and Queen of the Damnedalso turned into movies and/or cinematography.

She considers the struggles of bystanders as a cross-section of her work, in addition, she also Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witch novels include erotic Sleeping Beauties series (written as AN Roquelaure) and, on the other end of the spectrum, she is heavily religious Christ book.

Rice also used the pseudonym Anne Rampling for 1985 Eden’s Exit and in 1986 Belinda. It is in tribute to British actress Charlotte Rampling, whose performance she loved in the 1974 erotic film Hack.

Interview with a Vampirefirst published in 1976, tells the life story of the vampire Louis (Pitt in the film) and his son Lestat (Cruise), embarking on a 200-year journey through history, beginning from a slave plantation in Louisiana and moved to Rice’s new hometown. Orleans, France and Eastern Europe.

With a plot that includes two male vampires raising a vampire child, the book subtly raises themes that are ahead of its time in mainstream literature. Rice believes that the book’s mythical quality allows her to see deeper truths about life: “For some reason, when I work with vampire characters in the comics, the characters are This fantasy, I can see reality. I can touch reality,” she said.

New Orleans’ Gothic architecture – especially her front Garden District home – and vibrant culture are inspirations, with her hometown also the setting for her other major series, The Mayfair Witches.

Its first book, 1990 Magic Hour, focuses on a neurosurgeon named Rowan Mayfair who uncovers her clan’s Southern roots and the magical legacy of her female ancestors. The trilogy spans the family’s 400-year history and examines the supernatural enemies inflicted upon them.

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Anne Rice was born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien in New Orleans on October 4, 1941. She was named after her father, it is said, because her mother, Katherine, thought the unusual name would help a girl who gets ahead in life. .

However, Rice grew up with her first conviction, and when asked to introduce herself to a teacher on her first day of school, she impulsively replied that she was Anne. The name stuck, and she’ll make it legal.

She was the second of four girls (her sister Alice Borchardt also became a famous novelist with her. The Legend of Wolves trio, and sister Tamara Tinker became a poet). Rice’s father was a Navy veteran of World War II who worked for the Post Office; Her mother died of alcoholism when Rice was still a teenager.

“My mom believes we can achieve great things,” she told Alice Cooper in a 2016 interview in Billboards. “She told us stories about the Bront and how they wrote under male names to gain cultural acceptance; she filled my head with stories about Dickens and all that he achieved in terms of social justice through his fiction. My mother completely believed in me, and even though she died when I was 14, I took her trust and faith in me and devoted my life to it.”

Rice’s father remarried in 1957 and moved the family to a suburb of Dallas, where Rice graduated from Richardson High School. She attended Texas Women’s University for a year and then North Texas State College before dropping out and moving to San Francisco, where she worked as a claims adjuster.

From California, she reconnected with her high school sweetheart Stan Rice, who proposed to her via mail. They married in 1961 and settled in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. After several false starts, she completed her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1964, then earned her master’s degree in creative writing at San Francisco State.

The couple had a daughter named Michele in 1966, but she was diagnosed with leukemia and died at the age of 5.

Michele’s departure “had a devastating impact”, she said Playboy in 1993. “There’s a period after death like that where you don’t think the lights will come on again. I remember even in the weeks immediately after her death, it was very difficult for me to swallow food.”

Then she turned a short story she wrote into a novel Interview with a Vampire. “I’m just a drunk, hysterical guy with no work, no identity, nothing,” she said. “There was a period of two years after her death when I was drinking a lot and writing a lot, like crazy. Then I exited it and wrote Interview with a Vampire. My husband said to me, ‘I really believe in your writing.’ … I’ve always felt it was one of the best things he’s ever done for me, aside from being his amazing self. “

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Although the novel is about a 6-year-old being killed and made immortal, Rice says she never had a sense of connection. Vampireplot about Michele’s death (so was Stan, a poet and painter). “When I look back at it, I think, ‘How could I have been separated from this world?’ But I really don’t think that’s my life.”

After being rejected by several publishers, Rice met agent Phyllis Seidel at a writers’ conference, and she helped her connect with Alfred K. Knopf. The company paid an unusually high advance for a new writer at the time – $12,000 – and the novel was published in 1976. The investment paid off, with the first book being published. sold about 8 million copies and the final 12-book series reached 80 million in sales.

Rice personally adapted the story into the screenplay for the film; a commercial and critical success, it grossed $223.7 million worldwide (nearly $400 million today).

Controversy during the making of the Neil Jordan-directed film centered on Rice’s disapproval of casting Cruise as the archetypal vampire Lestat, but she later said Billboards“I thought [Cruise] did a wonderful job. As soon as I finished watching the movie on my indoor videotape [before its release], I called the great producer David Geffen at his home in California and told him I love the movie, love what Tom has achieved, love it all. All my initial fears were rendered meaningless by Tom’s passionate depiction. “

In addition to Pitt and Cruise, the film stars Kirsten Dunst as Claudia, the child vampire; Antonio Banderas as Armand, a 400-year-old vampire; Thandiwe Newton as Yvette, a slave; and Christian Slater as the journalist interviewing Louis. (River Phoenix was originally cast in that role but died before filming began; Slater donated his salary to charity in Phoenix’s honor.)

That same year, Rice’s 1985 novel Eden’s Exit was made into a sexual fantasy comedy starring Dana Delany as a seductress and Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O’Donnell as undercover cops.

Queen of the Damnedthe third novel in Vampire Chronicles series, also received cinematic treatment with a 2002 film starring Aaliyah in her final role before her death in an August 2001 plane crash. cum actor played Akasha, the 6,000-year-old mother of all vampires, with Stuart Townsend as Lestat, who becomes a rock star in the modern-day storyline. The film grossed $45.5 million worldwide.

In 1978, Rices had a second child, Christopher, who eventually followed in his mother’s footsteps as the author of supernatural thrillers and erotic romances. Rice cursed when her son was born.

After her first book, Rice wrote a pair of historical novels – 1979 Feast of All Saints and in 1982 Cry to heaven – popular but not at the level Interview. She later authored her first three erotic novels (one feminist and one strongly opposed to censorship, she said). Playboy“I was fascinated by sadness theory”) before returning to her original success with 1985 The Vampire Lestat.

Stan retired as president of the creative writing department at San Francisco State, and in 1988 the family moved to New Orleans, purchasing a mansion in the Garden District to serve as the setting for Magic Hour. The couple went on to buy and renovate many properties in the city, including the St Elizabeth Orphanage and Rice’s childhood home.

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While Vampire Chronicles paving the way for the later popular vampire novel, Rice disparages Stephenie Meyer’s Sunset said, “Lestat and Louie feel sorry for the glistening vampires in the sun. They will never hurt the immortals who choose to spend eternity going to repetitive high school in a small town – anything more than they will hurt the disabled physically or mentally challenged. Amidst the backlash, she later clarified that the claim was a joke.

Rice fell into a diabetic coma in 1998, one of several declines she experienced in the late 1990s and 2000s. She then lost about 100 pounds and had to have a gastrectomy. thick.

Rice’s husband died in 2002 from complications of a brain tumor. In the following years, she sold properties in New Orleans and moved to California.

She publicly announced her return to Roman Catholicism in her youth and wrote religious novels including 2005 Christ our Lord: Out of Egypt. It was made into a movie with the name Young Messiah (2016), grossing only $7 million at the box office.

She wrote in CHEAP at the time of the film’s release, “My profound devotion to Jesus has motivated me to strive to contribute to the tradition of responsible fiction about Him. I admire Lloyd Douglas’ Cloak and by Lew Wallace Ben Hur but managed to do something completely original. “

In 2010, Rice announced that she would be leaving all organized religion, citing disagreement with church doctrine and social doctrine. She returned to writing about the supernatural, especially in 2012 Wolf gift and 2013 Wolves in the middle of winterwhere the main character, Reuben, becomes a werewolf.

The rice will be laid to rest in the family mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony. A birthday celebration will take place next year in New Orleans.

Survivors include her son.

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