William Friedkin

Film Director / Film Producer / Screenwriter / Television Director | * 08/29/1935 (87) | Chicago, Illinois (United States of America (USA))
William "Billy" Friedkin (born August 29, 1935) is an American film and television director, producer and screenwriter closely identified with the "New Hollywood" movement of the 1970s. Beginning his career in documentaries in the early 1960s, he directed the crime thriller film The French Connection (1971), which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, and the supernatural horror film The Exorcist (1973), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. His other films include the drama The Boys in the Band (1970), the thriller Sorcerer (1977), the crime comedy drama The Brink's Job (1978), the crime thriller Cruising (1980), the neo-noir thriller To Li..."> ()
Photo of William Friedkin

William Friedkin (born August 29, 1935) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for directing "The French Connection" (1971) and "The Exorcist" (1973); for the former, he won the Academy Award for Best Director. Some of his other notable films include "The Boys in the Band" (1970), "Sorcerer" (1977), "Cruising" (1980), "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), "Blue Chips" (1994), "Jade" (1995), "Rules of Engagement" (2000), "The Hunted" (2003), "Bug" (2006), and "Killer Joe" (2011).In 1965 Friedkin moved to Hollywood and two years later released his first feature film, Good Times starring Sonny and Cher. Several other "art" films followed, including the adaptation of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band and most notably The Birthday Party, based on an unpublished screenplay by Harold Pinter, which he adapted from his own play. Friedkin, however, did not want to be known as an art house director, but rather for action and serious drama through stories about an America upended by crime, hypocrisy, the occult, and amorality. All of which he mounted up into his films to reflect what was going on in an America that was changing in the wake of Vietnam, the Sexual Revolution, and Watergate.In 1971, his The French Connection was released to wide critical acclaim. Shot in a gritty style more suited for documentaries than Hollywood features, the film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Friedkin followed up with 1973's The Exorcist, based on William Peter Blatty's best-selling novel, which revolutionized the horror genre and is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time. The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won the Best Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing.Following these two pictures, Friedkin, along with Francis Ford Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich, was deemed one of the premier directors of New Hollywood; In 1973 the trio announced the formation of an independent production company at Paramount, The Directors Company. Whereas Coppola directed The Conversation and Bogdanovich, the Henry James adaptation, Daisy Miller, Friedkin abruptly left the company, which was soon closed by Paramount. Friedkin's later movies did not achieve the same success. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Friedkin's films received mostly lackluster reviews and moderate ticket sales. However, his action/crime movie To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), starring William Petersen and Willem Dafoe, was a critical favorite and drew comparisons to Friedkin's own The French Connection (particularly for its car-chase sequence). In 2011 Friedkin directed Killer Joe, a black comedy written by Tracy Letts, and starring Matthew McConaughey. Killer Joe premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, prior to its North American debut at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. In April 2013 Friedkin published a memoir, The Friedkin Connection. He was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 70th Venice International Film Festival in September.

Most frequent genres for this person: Documentaries | Drama | Thriller

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for William Friedkin

Academy Award for Best Director Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film 2x Golden Globe Award for Best Director Leopard of Honour Officer of Arts and Letters Star On Hollywood Walk of Fame Robert Honorary Award Sitges Grand Honorary Award 2x Academy Award for Best Director Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay
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Movies with William Friedkin as Actor(45)

as himself2021 Algren
as himself2021 I Am Alfred Hitchcock
as himself2020 Fellini of the Spirits
as himself2018 Friedkin Uncut
as Self - Filmmaker (archive footage)2014 Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
as Self - Reader (segment "My Ballsy Yarns")2013 A Fuller Life
as himself2011 Miller's Tale
as himself2011 Making the Boys
as himself2010 Godard Made in USA
as himself2009 Anatomy of a Chase
as himself2007 Exorcising 'Cruising'
as himself2004 A Little Solitaire
as himself2003 The Cutting Edge
as himself1997 Hollywood Halloween
as himself1991 Fear in the Dark

TV Shows/Series with William Friedkin as Actor(4)

Movies with William Friedkin as Crew(44)

Directing/Director2023 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
Directing/Director2018 The Devil and Father Amorth
Writing/Writer2018 The Devil and Father Amorth
Directing/Director2011 Killer Joe
Directing/Director2006 Bug
Directing/Director2003 The Hunted
Directing/Director2000 Rules of Engagement
Directing/Director1997 12 Angry Men
Directing/Director1995 Jade
Directing/Director1994 Jailbreakers
Directing/Director1994 Blue Chips
Directing/Director1990 The Guardian
Writing/Screenplay1990 The Guardian
Directing/Director1988 C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf
Production/Executive Producer1988 C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf
Writing/Story1988 C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf
Directing/Director1987 Rampage
Production/Producer1987 Rampage
Writing/Writer1987 Rampage
Directing/Director1986 C.A.T. Squad
Production/Executive Producer1986 C.A.T. Squad
Directing/Director1985 To Live and Die in L.A.
Writing/Screenplay1985 To Live and Die in L.A.
Directing/Director1983 Deal of the Century
Directing/Director1980 Cruising
Writing/Writer1980 Cruising
Directing/Director1978 The Brink's Job
Directing/Director1977 Sorcerer
Production/Producer1977 Sorcerer
Directing/Director1975 Conversation with Fritz Lang
Directing/Director1973 The Exorcist
Production/Executive Producer1973 Paper Moon
Directing/Director1971 The French Connection
Directing/Director1970 The Boys in the Band
Directing/Director1968 The Night They Raided Minsky's
Directing/Director1968 The Birthday Party
Directing/Director1967 Good Times
Directing/Director1966 The Thin Blue Line
Production/Producer1966 The Thin Blue Line
Writing/Story1966 The Thin Blue Line
Directing/Director1962 The People vs. Paul Crump
Production/Producer1962 The People vs. Paul Crump

TV Shows/Series with William Friedkin as Crew(4)

Directing/Director2000 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Directing/Director1989 Tales from the Crypt
Directing/Director1985 The Twilight Zone
Directing/Director1962 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Additional Information

Official websites:
Full Name: William Friedkin
Born: Thursday, 08/29 1935 (August) in Chicago, Illinois (United States of America (USA)) (current age: 87 years + 214 days)
Zodiac sign: Virgo (Chinese zodiac sign: Pig)
Languages: English (EN)
Educated at: Senn High School
Other names for William Friedkin (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"윌리엄 프리드킨"
"윌리암 프리드킨"
William Friedkin frequently works together with these people:
Tress MacNeille (36x, Actress)
Pamela Hayden (23x, Actress)
Gary Leva (20x, Crew)
Maggie Roswell (17x, Actress)
Michael Arick (15x, Crew)
Norman Lloyd (12x, Actor)
Raymond Bailey (11x, Actor)
Harry Tyler (11x, Actor)
Bud S. Smith (11x, Crew)
Steven Spielberg (10x, Crew)
Alfred Hitchcock (10x, Crew)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:8730, Added: 05/06/2018, Last updated: 03/25/2023