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Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned, passes away

Anne Rice, the prolific author of many works of Southern Gothic fiction, including Interview with the Vampire, has passed away

Anne Rice, the prolific author of many classic works of Southern Gothic horror and fantasy fiction, including Interview with the Vampire, has passed away at age 80.

Rice is best known for The Vampire Chronicles, mostly based in New Orleans and which follow the vampires Lestat, Armand, Louis and Claudia. The first book in the series was adapted into a film by Rice herself and director Neil Jordan in 1994. It starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and a very young Kirsten Dunst, who gives an extraordinary performance for an 11 year old. It also co-starred Christian Slater as the journalist behind the ‘interview’ of the title.

Another of the Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned, was adapted in 2002, with Stuart Townsend playing Lestat and also starring R&B star Aaliyah, who was tragically killed in a plane crash before the film was released.

Rice also wrote a Mayfair Witches series of books, a Sleeping Beauty series and stand-alone books including The Feast of All Saints and Exit to Eden (which was made into a bizarre-sounding film in 1994 starring Dan Aykroyd).

Writers, directors and actors have all paid tribute, including Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello, who called her “a legendary writer and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.” Elvira, Mistress of the Dark said that “Interview with the Vampire was my favourite book of all time.”

Darren Hayes, of the band Savage Garden, said that the band’s name was taken from The Vampire Lestat and “I adored escaping into the rich, vivid worlds she created.”

Anne Rice’s work continues to live on, with a new Interview With the Vampire series coming to AMC in 2022 as well as a new series based around her Mayfair Witches books, coming to the same network.

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