Anne Rice, the gothic novelist who rose to prominence with her groundbreaking 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire, died Saturday night at age 80, according to a social media announcement from her son Christopher.
The announcement, revealed early Sunday via Twitter and Facebook, noted that the writer “passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke” almost 19 years to the day that her husband Stan passed away.
Rice, according to her website, published more than 40 titles over her illustrious writing career, serving as a goth icon for penning larger-than-life undead characters. Interview with the Vampire made it to the big screen in 1994 as a Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise vehicle, and according to the Associated Press, is destined to return to the small screen in 2022 via a new AMC and AMC+ series.
Among the celebrities who took to social media to pay tribute to Rice was Darren Hayes, who noted that his band Savage Garden took their name from a phrase he discovered in Rice’s novel The Vampire Lestat. He reflected, “I adored escaping into the rich, vivid worlds she created.”
Author Sarabeth Pollock mourned Rice as well, noting, “Anne Rice played such an important role in my life. Her work inspired me to learn as many languages as I could and to study history with zeal. Interview with the Vampire put my life on a whole new trajectory.”
Danielle Binks observed, “Anne Rice was an author who had a really complicated (and fascinating) relationship with fans and fandom … but she leaves behind quite the literary legacy, that helped pull a genre and monster into the modern era.”
She added, “Condolences to those who loved her, and her words.”
Rice will be interred in the family’s mausoleum in New Orleans, and a public celebration of her life is tentatively planned in her hometown early next year.