Anne Rice, Queen of Gothic Lit, Dies at 80

Photo: WireImage

Beloved author of Gothic horror novels Anne Rice has died, her son Christopher Rice announced on social media. Christopher wrote that his mother died of “complications resulting from a stroke.” He added that Rice died “almost 19 years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died.” Rice will be interred at a family mausoleum in New Orleans, in a private ceremony. She was 80.

Rice, who was most well known for her Vampire Chronicles series, began her prolific writing career in 1976 with the publication of Interview With the Vampire. The 1994 film adaptation of that novel, starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and Kirsten Dunst, would go on earn two Oscar nominations. Born in 1941 in New Orleans to a Roman Catholic family, Rice grappled publicly with her spirituality. She eventually announced in 2010 that she was no longer Christian, writing, “I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control.”

Throughout her 45-year career, Rice wrote 36 novels, selling over 150 million copies globally and becoming one of the best-selling authors of all time. In addition to Gothic horror, Rice also wrote erotic fiction and Christian literature, in addition to collaborating with Christopher on two historical horror novels. “As a writer, she taught me to defy genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions,” Christopher wrote in his statement. A public ceremony celebrating Rice’s life will be held next year, he added.

Anne Rice, Queen of Gothic Lit, Dies at 80