The writer passed away on Thursday (12Jan17), five days after his 89th birthday.

Blatty began his career in public relations in the 1950s before becoming an author. In 1959, he ghost-wrote Abigail van Buren's bestselling book Dear Teenager and went on to publish several novels, including Which Way to Mecca, Jack?, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, I, Billy Shakespeare, and Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane.

He began writing scripts for films including A Shot in the Dark, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, Gunn, and Darling Lili in the 1960s.

Following his years working in the movie industry, Blatty took some time out to write The Exorcist, which was later adapted into a classic film starring Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn. Blatty won an Academy Award for his screenplay for the 1973 movie, which he also produced, and a Golden Globe for Best Picture.

He also adapted, directed and produced a film version of his book Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane, which was re-titled The Ninth Configuration. The film was nominated for three Golden Globes and won for Best Writing.

Blatty also wrote a sequel to The Exorcist titled Legion, which became the basis for The Exorcist III.