Writer Anne Rice, whose Interview With The Vampire sold more than 150 million copies, died at age 80 on Dec. 11, according to media reports.
Her son Christopher Rice, an out gay man who is also an author, announced the news via Anne Rice's public Facebook page, stating she had died following complications from a stroke.
He wrote, in part, "Earlier tonight, Anne passed away due to complications resulting from a stroke. She left us almost nineteen years to the day my father, her husband Stan, died. The immensity of our family's grief cannot be overstated. As my mother, her support for me was unconditionalshe taught me to embrace my dreams, reject conformity and challenge the dark voices of fear and self-doubt. As a writer, she taught me to defy genre boundaries and surrender to my obsessive passions.
"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. As she kissed Anne goodbye, her younger sister Karen said, 'What a ride you took us on, kid.' I think we can all agree."
Interview with the Vampirepenned while Anne Rice was grieving the loss of her daughter to leukemiahas since been reappraised as a key text in the modern vampire genre and spawned 11 sequels, collectively known as The Vampire Chronicles, Deadline noted. Rice penned her own screenplay for the 1994 film adaptation of the novel, which starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst and was helmed by Neil Jordan.
The author would distance herself from the 2002 standalone sequel, Queen of the Damned, while her work has also been adapted into further films including Exit To Eden (based on the erotic book written initially under the pseudonym Anne Rampling) and Christ the Lord.
She was married to poet and painter Stan Rice for 41 years, from 1961 until his death from brain cancer in 2002. The pair had two children, Christopher and Michele, who died of at age five.