Born August 29, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois
William Friedkin, best known for directing The Exorcist and The French Connection in the early 1970ís, has been a movie and television director, producer, and writer for nearly 50 years. After seeing the movie Citizen Kane as a boy, he became fascinated with movies and immediately began working for WGN TV after high school. He eventually began directing live television shows and documentaries including The People vs. Paul Crump which won several awards and helped to commute the death sentence of the filmís subject.
In 1965, Friedkin moved to Hollywood and by 1967 saw the release of his first feature film Good Times which starred Sonny and Cher. Several other films followed until 1971 when The French Connection was released to wide critical acclaim. It won 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (Friedkin was the youngest person to ever win Best Director). Friedkin followed with 1973ís The Exorcist which revolutionized the horror genre and is considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time. The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including a nomination for Best Director.
By this point, Friedkin was thought of as one of the premier directors in Hollywood and many expected him to continue his string of blockbuster hits. Unfortunately, Friedkin was never able to find large success again in his later movies. Throughout the 1980ís and 1990ís, Friedkin found his films released to lackluster reviews and ticket sales.
Friedkin has been married four times, including a short marriage to French actress Jeanne Moreau. He is currently married to film executive Sherry Lansing.
Hunted, The (2003) Rules of Engagement (2000) Jade (1995) Blue Chips (1994) Guardian, The (1990) Rampage (1988) To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) Deal of the Century (1983) Cruising (1980) Brink's Job, The (1979) Sorcerer (1977) Exorcist, The (1973) French Connection, The (1971) Boys in the Band, The (1970) Night They Raided Minsky's, The (1968) Birthday Party, The (1968) Good Times (1967)