Anne Rice, Queen of Gothic Fiction, Dies at 80

Photo: Lee Celano/Liaison/Getty Images

Celebrated author Anne Rice died on Saturday, December 11, after suffering complications due to a stroke. Rice is best known for her gothic fiction, specifically Interview with the Vampire, a classic of the genre, which she adapted into the 1994 film starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst. She was 80 years old.

Over her long career, Rice wrote dozens of novels, including 13 installments in the Vampire Chronicles, the last of which was published in 2018.

Christopher Rice, Rice’s son and collaborator, announced the news on her official Facebook and Twitter pages with a heartfelt statement, “The immensity of our family’s grief cannot be overstated,” he wrote in part. “As my mother, her support for me was unconditional — she 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.”

Christopher is also a writer, like his mother and father, poet Stan Rice who died 18 years ago, and recently collaborated on what will be Rice’s last book, Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris, which is currently expected to hit the shelves in 2022.

Rice will be interred in New Orleans at her family’s mausoleum, and fans who want to pay their respects will have the chance to attend a “celebration of life” in New Orleans sometime next year. “Let us take comfort in the shared hope that Anne is now experiencing firsthand the glorious answers to many great spiritual and cosmic questions, the quest for which defined her life and career,” Christopher wrote.

Celebrity fans are mourning the loss on social media, sharing personal anecdotes and praise for the beloved author.

“Rest In Peace Anne Rice,” actor Matt Bomer tweeted in part on Sunday. “Thank you for your incredible contributions to literature and entertainment.” Bomer was Rice’s number one pick to play Louis de Pointe du Lac in a planned Vampire Chronicles TV series back in 2017. The series fell apart in development, but has since been revived at AMC and AMC+, which recently announced plans to premiere an Interview with the Vampire series in 2022.

Anne Rice, Queen of Gothic Fiction, Dies at 80