William Peter Blatty Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Bethesda, Maryland, USA  (multiple myeloma)
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

William Peter Blatty was born on January 7, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a writer, known for The Exorcist (1973), The Ninth Configuration (1980) and The Exorcist III (1990). He was married to Julie Alicia Witbrodt, Linda Blatty, Elizabeth Gilman and Mary Margaret Rigard. He died on January 12, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Spouse (4)

Julie Alicia Witbrodt (14 June 1983 - 12 January 2017) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Linda Blatty (20 July 1975 - 6 October 1980) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Elizabeth Gilman (1967 - 1971) ( divorced) ( 3 children)
Mary Margaret Rigard (18 February 1950 - 1950) ( annulled)

Trivia (6)

Years before he became famous for writing "The Exorcist", Blatty appeared on Groucho Marx's quiz show, You Bet Your Life (1950), posing as an Arab sheik with so many wives that he could not recall how many he had. Groucho was completely taken in. When Blatty revealed that it was a hoax after a couple of minutes, he told Groucho that he did it because George Fenneman had said that Groucho was an expert at spotting phonies. Groucho replied, "That is incorrect, because I've had Fenneman in my employ now for 14 years." Blatty won $10,000 on the show, and when Groucho asked what he intended to do with the money, Blatty replied that he was going to take a year off from his job and write a novel. That novel was "The Exorcist",.
He really loved Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005); he said to The Houston Chronicle that the film is "a handsome, classy, elegant piece of work".
He served in the U.S. Air Force Psychological Warfare Division from 1951-54.
His parents, Peter Blatty (a carpenter) and Mary Mouakod Blatty, were Lebanese immigrants. His father deserted the family when William was six, leaving Mary Blatty to raise five children.
Won a scholarship to Georgetown University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1950 and later earned a master's degree in English from George Washington University in 1954.
He became friends with Tippi Hedren in the early 1970s, and she named one of her lions Billy after him. He gave her a copy of his unpublished novel "The Exorcist" and she was so absorbed reading it that she woke up her then-husband, agent Noel Marshall, in the middle of the night and told him that he should represent Blatty in publishing the novel and the film adaptation. She took the photo of the author for the first edition novel's back jacket. The 1971 novel became a bestseller and Marshall would be credited as Executive Producer for the film adaptation, The Exorcist (1973), for which he was supposed to receive 15% of the profits. When the film became a blockbuster, Blatty refused to give the profits, since he never signed the written contract but only initiated it. Marshall sued and the lawsuit dragged on for several years, eventually reaching an out-of-court settlement. These were trying years for Hedren and Marshall since they needed the money to feed the big cats for their film Roar (1981); the financial stress would result in their divorce. Many years later Blatty ran into Hedren at a party and said "Hi". She walked away from him without acknowledging him.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on the Academy Awards snub of The Exorcist (1973), which out of ten nominations won only for Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay (which went to Blatty himself)] The Academy should fold its tent and go back to baking apple strudel or whatever they can do well.

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