Actress, Author, Activist & Humanitarian Linda Blair was born in St. Louis Missouri. At the age of 2 her family moved to Westport, Connecticut. When she was 5 she began her modeling career by appearing in a Downy Fabric Softener ad. Soon she could be seen in numerous TV commercials, magazine ads and campaigns for everything from Macy’s, Sears, and J.C. Penny’s to Welch’s Grape Jelly, Ivory Soap and Guldens Mustard. Blair often appeared in the New York Times Magazine and became known as the Cinderella girl.
By the time Blair was 12 she had a lengthy resume. Appearing in more than 75 commercials, the soap opera Hidden Faces, and two feature films, The Sporting Club and The Way We Live Now. She was also a successful Jr. Rider. Since animals were Blair’s greatest passion she decided she was ready to stop working so she could focus on her studies and become a veterinarian. She discussed retiring from the business with her mom, who told her that was ok but she had to finish a couple of jobs first. That’s when The Exorcist came along.
At the age of 14, The Exorcist instantly catapulted Blair to international fame and changed her life in ways she never imagined or was prepared for. Her extraordinary performance as Regan MacNeil earned Blair an Academy Award Nomination, a Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award. There were also death threats, questions about her mental health and bad press. While Blair looked at The Exorcist and Regan as a job and made up character with special effects, many people couldn’t separate her from the character she played and were genuinely afraid of her or asked her if she could perform some of the special effects on cue. The press asked her about faith, God, the Devil and Catholicism, thinking she had all the answers.
Blair’s next role in Born Innocent was the first of many acclaimed and controversial TV movies. Blair plays a runaway who is hardened after being sent to a juvenile detention home, it was the highest rated TV movie to air in 1974. Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, Victory at Entebbe with Elizabeth Taylor, Sweet Hostage opposite Martin Sheen, and Stranger in Our House directed by Wes Craven, soon followed.
Through the years Blair hosted Scariest Places on Earth, starred in S Club 7 and could also be seen guest starring on television shows such as Married With Children, Murder She Wrote, The Love Boat, MacGyver and most recently Supernatural. Blair’s theatrical releases included the hilarious parody Repossessed, co-starring Leslie Nielson, Airport 1975, The Heretic, Roller Boogie, Hell Night, Night Patrol and Savage Streets. In 1997 Blair made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in Grease. She starred in the Los Angeles production of Women Behind Bars, the San Francisco production of Run For Your Wife and the Canadian production of the romantic comedy It Had To Be You.