Terrible news to report today as acclaimed horror author Anne Rice has died. Her nearly 40 novels featuring a wide array of witches, vampires, and werewolves published over a half-century sold some 135 million copies, placing her among the most popular horror-fantasy writers of all time.
Rice passed away on Saturday due to complications from a stroke. She was 80. Her son, Christopher Rice announced the news on social media. “She left us almost 19 years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died,” he wrote. “The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated.”
The author, who resided in Rancho Mirage, California, was surrounded by her family. “In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog laced hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California,” he added. “As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, ‘What a ride you took us on, kid.’ I think we can all agree.”
Best known for her vampire mythology that started it all off with her debut novel, Interview With The Vampire, which was published in 1976. The novel introduced fans to the beloved characters of Louis, Malloy, Claudia, and Lestat. The book would be adapted into a film in 1994 which starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst, directed by Neil Jordan.
The Vampire Chronicles consisted of thirteen novels with Interivew being the first. The third novel, Queen of the Damned also got the film treatment in 1992 starring the late Aaliyah.
Continuing in the Gothic horror tradition that was her bread and butter was her Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy. Near the end of her writing career, she wrote two novels about werewolves with The Wolf Gift in 2012 and The Wolves of Midwinter 2013.
She wrote several novels in other genres, but her Gothic supernatural horror fiction was her most popular.
Rice’s hometown of New Orleans and its Gothic architecture served as a backdrop to many of her novels and helped to set her writing apart from other authors.
Anne Rice was born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien in New Orleans on Oct. 4, 1941. She was named for her father, it was said, because her mother, Katherine, thought that the unusual name would help a girl get ahead in life.
Rice grew up bashful of her first name, however, and when asked to introduce herself to a teacher on the first day of school, she replied on impulse that she was Anne. The name stuck, and she would make it legal.
Rice will be interred in the family’s mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony. A public celebration of life will take place next year in New Orleans.
Survivors include her son.
Anne Rice was an incredible author and her work will live on long into the coming decades. Her work will continue to be adapted for film and television probably forever. Her legacy of work will serve as inspiration to generations of future storytellers.
She will not ever be forgotten.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter