Interview With the Vampire Author and Screenwriter Anne Rice Dies at Age 80

Interview With the Vampire Author and Screenwriter Anne Rice Dies at Age 80

Writer Anne Rice, who garnered instant international recognition and acclaim with her debut novel, Interview With the Vampire, died of complications from a stroke yesterday at the age of 80. The famed New Orleans author’s son, Christopher Rice, announced the news earlier this morning on Twitter.

“She left us almost 19 years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died,” Christopher wrote on his social media account. “The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated.”

The scribe, who resided in Rancho Mirage, California in the later years of her life, was surrounded by her family yesterday. “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,” her son 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.”

Rice published nearly 40 books over her half-century career, which sold nearly 135 million copies. The accomplishment led her to becoming the most popular and best-selling fantasy novelists of all time.

In addition to penning her dozens of acclaimed books, Rice also adapted Interview with the Vampire into the hit 1994 Warner Bros. movie of the same name, which starred Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. She wrote the scripts for six of her other novels, as well.

Another notable screenplay Rice scribed was for 2002’s Queen of the Damned, which was also released by Warner Bros. The film is loosely based on the third installment in her Vampire Chronicles book series, and is a stand-alone sequel to Interview with the Vampire.

After it was first published in 1976, Interview With the Vampire sold approximately eight million copies. Its subsequent 12 follow-up novels, whose most recent entry, Blood Communion: A Tale of Prince Lestat, was published in 2018, eventually sold more than 80 million copies. The series’ first movie adaptation was a critical and commercial success, having grossed $223.7 million (nearly $400 million today) worldwide when it was released in 1994.

In addition to her Vampire Chronicles, books, she also penned the Mayfair Witches series and the erotic Sleeping Beauty series (under the pen name, A.N. Roquelaure). She also garnered fame on the other end of the narrative spectrum in her deeply religious Christ the Lord novels in the early 2000s. She penned the books after she returned to the Catholic Church in 1998, after decades of atheism.

Although she lived most of her life in California, both with her husband Stan during the beginning of their marriage in the 1960s and after his death in 2002, Rice was a native of New Orleans. She later purchased several homes in the southern city in the late 1980s, and set many of her stories there. She will be buried in a private ceremony in the Louisiana city where she was born in 1941, and a public memorial is planned for next year, her son said.

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