Share:

William Friedkin

Film Director / Film Producer / Screenwriter / Television Director | * 08/29/1935 (85) | Chicago, Illinois, USA
4,487
William 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 is perhaps best known for directing the action thriller film The French Connection (1971) and the supernatural horror film The Exorcist (1973), the former of which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director. The latter also earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director. His other films include The Boys in the Band (1970), the suspense thriller Sorcerer (1977), the controversial crime film Cruising (1980), the action thriller To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), the psychological horror film ... ()
Photo of William Friedkin

William Friedkin is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for directing The French Connection in 1971 and The Exorcist in 1973; for the former, he won the Academy Award for Best Director. Some of his other films include Sorcerer, Cruising, To Live and Die in L.A., Jade, Rules of Engagement, The Hunted, Bug, and Killer Joe. As mentioned in Friedkin's voice-over commentary on the DVD re-release of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Friedkin directed one of the last episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour in 1965, called "Off Season". Hitchcock admonished Friedkin for not wearing a tie while directing. 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including the adaptation of Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band and most notably The Birthday Party, based on an unpublished screenplay by Harold Pinter, which he adapted from his own play.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 Officier Des Arts Et Des Lettres‎ 2x Academy Award for Best Director Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay

Watch Movies & Series on Amazon Prime Video Today!

Enjoy thousands of movies and TV shows/series, over two million songs ad free, free shipping, exclusive deals and more with Amazon Prime. Start your 30-day free trial today. After that, only $12.99/month or $119 annually; Prime Video standalone is available for just $8.99/month.
www.amazon.com

Movies with William Friedkin as Actor(33)

as himself2018 Friedkin Uncut
as Himself - Filmmaker (archive footage)2014 Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
2014 Algren
as Himself - Reader (segment "My Ballsy Yarns")2013 A Fuller Life
as himself2011 Miller's Tale
as himself2011 Making the Boys
as Self2010 Godard Made in USA
as himself2006 Shadows of Suspense
as himself2004 A Little Solitaire
as himself1991 Fear in the Dark
as Himself - Interviewer1975 Conversation with Fritz Lang

Movies with William Friedkin as Crew(44)

Directing/Director2018 The Devil and Father Amorth
Writing/Writer2018 The Devil and Father Amorth
Directing/Director2011 Killer Joe
Directing/Director2007 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
Writing/Writer1988 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
Writing/Writer1987 Rampage
Production/Producer1987 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
Writing/Writer1966 The Thin Blue Line
Production/Producer1966 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(3)

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

Additional Information

Official websites:
Full Name: William Friedkin
Born: Thursday, 08/29 1935 (August) in Chicago (current age: 85 years + 53 days)
Zodiac sign: Virgo (Chinese zodiac sign: Pig)
Languages: English (EN)
Educated at: Senn High School
Spouses (current/former): Jeanne Moreau, Lesley-Anne Down, Kelly Lange, Sherry Lansing, Jennifer Nairn-Smith
William Friedkin frequently works together with these people:
Gary Leva (16x, Crew)
Bud S. Smith (8x, Crew)
Martin Scorsese (6x, Actor)
Steve Boeddeker (6x, Crew)
Augie Hess (6x, Crew)
Randy Jurgensen (6x, Actor)
Caleb Deschanel (6x, Crew)
Sydney Pollack (5x, Crew)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:8730, Added: 05/06/2018, Last updated: 09/24/2020