By Summer Aborashid

There was no way we could celebrate 28 Days of Diabolical Dames without including the star of what I consider to be the scariest movie ever. Linda Blair was only 14 when she was cast as Regan MacNeil in the 1974 classic The Exorcist. She wasn’t the director’s first choice (he even considered casting a dwarf to play the demon-possessed child, since no parents would let their kids be involved!) but it’s impossible to imagine the the movie without her in it. Even an actor twice her age probably wouldn’t have been able to pull off what she did — it was truly frightening. Although she didn’t actually provide the deep, demonic voice heard in the film. That was added later by another dame, a famous radio actress named Mercedes McCambridge.

In its 1993 “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains,” The American Film Institute ranked Blair’s Reagan MacNeil as the #9 movie villain of all time. In my opinion, she’s at the top, and her acting in this one film is enough of a reason for her to be on our list!

But Blair’s career didn’t end with The Exorcist. She of course went on to reprise her role in The Exorcist II and has, over the years, appeared in numerous genre films, including Stranger in our House, Hell Night, Bad Blood and Dead Asleep. She’s appeared in many other non-horror projects for film and television since she first shocked the world with her spinning, puking head, but she’s always going to be one of us! (Even if she lampooned Reagan in the 1990 send-up of The Exorcist, Repossessed!) Blair most recently appeared on an episode of the TV series Supernatural. Also, even though she wasn’t credited, Blair played a reporter in the original Scream — look for her!

Genre Cred: The Excorcist (1973) , The Excorcist II: the Heretic (1977) , Stranger in our House (1978), Hell Night (1981), Bad Blood (1989), Repossessed (1990), Dead Asleep (1990) and one episode of Supernatural (2006).

— Lady Succubus