Anne Rice, the influential author of the best-selling Vampire Chronicles novel series, died on Saturday due to complications resulting from a stroke. She was 80 years old.
The writer’s son Christopher broke the news on social media and said that she would be interred in the family mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony. A public celebration of her life will take place next year.
Earlier tonight, my mother, Anne Rice, passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died. Below is a statement I posted to her Facebook page moments ago. pic.twitter.com/g2VAK2XZjc
— Christopher Rice/ C. Travis Rice (@chrisricewriter) December 12, 2021
Born in New Orleans in 1941, Rice became a world renowned writer of gothic fiction, with her books selling more than 150 million copies globally. In the early 70s, while grieving the death of her daughter Michelle, she began converting one of her stories into what became her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. The story centers on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells his life story to a reporter. Michelle served as an inspiration for the child vampire Claudia.
The novel also introduced the character of vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, who would be the central character in the 13-book series, the most recent of which was published in 2018.
“I had an idea of Lestat as the man of action, the man who could do things that I couldn’t do,” Rice said in a talk at Southern Illinois University in 2010.
Interview with the Vampire was adapted by Neil Jordan into a successful feature film in 1994 starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst. Winning several awards, the film helped reignite interest in the vampire genre which continued with the TV series The Vampire Diaries and the Twilight film series.
Queen of the Damned, one of the bestselling sequels to Interview with the Vampire was turned into a film in 2002. Other adaptations of Rice’s novels include Garry Marshall’s Exit to Eden in 1994 and the Emmy-winning Showtime original The Feast of All Saints in 2001.
Earlier this month, AMC ordered a series based on Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches.