The news was revealed on Facebook by her son, Christopher Rice, who said his mother died from “complications resulting from a stroke.” He added, “She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died.”
Earlier tonight, my mother, Anne Rice, passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died. Below is a statement I posted to her Facebook page moments ago. pic.twitter.com/g2VAK2XZjc
— Christopher Rice (@chrisricewriter) December 12, 2021
Born in New Orleans, Rice burst onto the literary scene in 1976, when she published Interview with the Vampire, which introduced her most famous creation, Lestat, an antiheroic bloodsucker whose exploits she chronicled over several books in what became known as “The Vampire Chronicles.”
Her debut book was turned into a blockbuster movie in 1994, starring Tom Cruise as Lestat, Brad Pitt as the man he turns, and Kirsten Dunst as a vampiric little girl. A follow-up, The Queen of the Damned, which featured pop star Aaliyah, followed in 2001. She has been credited with helping re-popularize vampire fiction, and more of her work is slated to be adapted for the screen.
But Rice was interested in far more than vampires. She wrote historical novels, including 1979’s The Feast of All Saints, about the black community in New Orleans before the Civil War. She wrote Christian fiction, including speculative accounts of the early life of Jesus Christ (which, too, have been turned into movies). She wrote erotic fiction, including Exit to Eden, which was improbably turned into a comedy starring Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O’Donnell.
“In her final hours, I sat beside her hospital bed in awe of her accomplishments and her courage, awash in memories of a life that took us from the fog laced hills of the San Francisco Bay Area to the magical streets of New Orleans to the twinkling vistas of Southern California,” Christopher wrote in his post.
After news broke of Rice’s passing, people on social media were quick to pay tribute to the legendary novelist.
So sad to learn of the passing of the incredible author Anne Rice. I named our band Savage Garden after a passage from her novel ‘The Vampire Lestat’. I adored escaping into the rich, vivid worlds she created. My deepest sympathy and love to her son and author @chrisricewriter
— Darren Hayes (@darrenhayes) December 12, 2021
Really sorry to see this news about Anne Rice. She had the table next to mine at a convention in New Orleans many years ago — she was charming company and I was honored to get the chance to talk with her about her work. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/IzwikIHlRV
— John Jackson Miller (@jjmfaraway) December 12, 2021
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.
She leaves behind a tremendous legacy. https://t.co/HQdrmYRUVx
— Sarabeth Pollock (@SarabethPollock) December 12, 2021
My passion for the world of vampires certainly grew thanks to Anne Rice. In remembrance of her genius I pledge to consume more vampiric content during the upcoming holidays. #AnneRice pic.twitter.com/8krWPwrZpJ
— Per Axbom (@axbom) December 12, 2021
Yeah. That totally sums up the cultural and supernatural impact in a single image pic.twitter.com/EDkD7uJAad
— Danielle Binks (@danielle_binks) December 12, 2021
Incredibly sad news. I devoured Anne’s books in my younger years, the queen of all things gothic. RIP Anne Rice, thank you for the words:
“The star, whose popular books include Interview With A Vampire and The Vampire Chronicles, died on Saturday night.”https://t.co/qJadyuzzfK
— Mark Rees (@reviewwales) December 12, 2021
Growing up, Anne Rice was a favorite of mine. She established a baseline for vampires in my mind, and fueled an early love of New Orleans which led to an actual love when I finally visited it (five times!) much later. A big influence to me and many more, may she rest in peace. https://t.co/RrT2oEEQys
— David Gaider (@davidgaider) December 12, 2021
Her books have been my box of chocolates beside an open fire under a burgundy velvet blanket for decades now. The queen of erotic thoughtful gothic. She kept part of me uncynical and romantic. Ill look at the moon and raise a glass of blood red wine to you tonight. #annerice
— Siobhán McSweeney (@siobhni) December 12, 2021
Anne Rice invented vampire fiction as we know it. Buffy, Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, THE ENTIRE GENRE OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE: they were all standing on Anne’s shoulders.
— Zoah Hedges-Stocks (@Zoah_HS) December 12, 2021