The filmmaker who won an Oscar for ‘The French Connection’ before making a huge success with ‘The Exorcist’ is confirmed by his wife to have passed away at the age of 87.
AceShowbiz –William Friedkin has passed away at the age of 87. The award-winning filmmaker – who was best known for directing “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection” – died in Los Angeles on Monday, August 7.
The news was confirmed by Sherry Lansing, his wife – who is a former producer and studio head – to The Hollywood Reporter.
Friedkin was widely recognised as one of the most influential directors of his generation. The filmmaker enjoyed huge success with “The Exorcist”, the 1973 horror movie that remains one of the most iconic films in cinema history.
The movie centred on the demonic possession of a young girl, and was based on William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel. “The Exorcist” proved to be a big hit with fans and film critics, leading to ten Oscar nominations, including one for Friedkin as director.
Prior to that, Friedkin won a best director Oscar for “The French Connection”, his 1971 crime thriller. The movie starred the likes of Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, and Fernando Rey, and was based on Robin Moore’s 1969 book of the same name. The acclaimed film followed the pursuit of a wealthy French heroin smuggler, and won numerous awards, including Oscars for best picture, screenplay and film editing.
Friedkin – who started his career in local TV and documentary projects – never recaptured the success that he achieved in the 1970s, when he was one of the leading lights in the movie business. Despite this, Friedkin continued to make films and TV shows well into the 21st century.
His other film credits included “To Live and Die in LA” and “Rules of Engagement” while he also directed episodes of various well-known TV shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation“.
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