Born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Named after her father, Anne changed her first name in 1947 on her first day of school. She studied at Texas Women's University (1959Ð60), San Francisco State College (1964 BA; 1971 MA), and at the University of California, Berkeley (1969Ð70). After a variety of jobs, including waitress, cook, and insurance claims examiner, she began her career as a writer of erotica and vampire novels.
Rice gained a vast cult readership for her supernatural novels. Her first, Interview with the Vampire, was published in 1976. The book was the first in her popular Vampire Chronicles series, which includes 1985's The Vampire Lestat and 1988's The Queen of the Damned. Interview with the Vampire was made into a film in 1996 starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Rice was also known for her sadomasochistic erotica, including Beauty's Punishment (1984). Later novels include Servant of the Bones (1996) and Vittorio the Vampire (1999). She also writes mainstream fiction using the pen name of Anne Rampling.
Much to the chagrin of her fans, Rice renounced her vampire novels after her return to the Catholic faith in 1998. It was then that she published Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, her first novel in a trilogy chronicling the life of Jesus. She has since left New Orleans to live in Southern California in an effort to escape her fame as a novelist and live a simpler life.
Rice was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Their daughter, Michele, was born in 1966 and died of leukemia in 1972 at the age of five. Their son, Christopher, was born in 1978 and is a novelist.