Linda Blair (born January 22, 1959) is an American actress famous for her role as the possessed child in The Exorcist. and its first sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic.
She did not receive the Academy Award for the role and it is thought that this was due in part to the fact that the demon voice was dubbed (Mercedes McCambridge) and a double (Eileen Dietz) was used in many scenes. Linda Blair began her career as a young child modeling and then moved into commercials. Blair had originally planned to be a doctor but was offered The Exorcist role.
Following the success of this film, Blair appeared in the controversial television films Born Innocent and Sarah T...Portrait Of A Teenage Alcoholic. She also had a featured role in the disaster film Airport '75. Blair's career went into decline afterwards and she appeared in many minor films often with a horror theme.
During the early 1980s she had a passionate relationship with singer Rick James, but left him when she could no longer handle his drug addiction.
In 1990, she spoofed her "Exorcist" character in the film Repossessed that also starred Leslie Nielsen. In the late 1990s, Blair won wide acclaim for her performance in the stage revival of Grease. Linda Blair has long been active in charities involving prevention of cruelty to animals such as PETA. In 2000, she appeared in the British teen show LA 7 featuring the popular pop group S Club 7, while simultaneously starring in many low budget movies and TV shows over the past few years.
Linda Blair is also a Scientologist.