William Friedkin

Film Director
Born Aug 29, 1935

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. , The Guardian, Jade, Bug, and Killer Joe.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about William Friedkin.

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    William Peter Blatty, Author Of 'the Exorcist,' Dead At 89
    Huffington Post - 6 days ago
  • 58067e1a1a000030005ba47e
    5 Memorable Haunted Houses Of Classic Horror Movies
    Huffington Post - Oct 18, 2016
  • 'the Exorcist' Maker Says Vatican Let Him Film Real Rite
    Yahoo News - May 19, 2016
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    Scary Scrum Of Candidates
    Huffington Post - Nov 05, 2015


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William Friedkin.


1935 Birth Born on August 29, 1935.


1960 24 Years Old 1 More Event
Friedkin began going to movies as a teenager, and has cited Citizen Kane as one of his key influences. Several sources claim that Friedkin saw this motion picture as a teenager, but Friedkin himself says that he did not see the film until 1960, when he was 25 years old. … Read More
1965 29 Years Old 1 More Event
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". … Read More


1970 34 Years Old While he was filming The Boys in the Band in 1970, Friedkin began a relationship with Kitty Hawks, daughter of director Howard Hawks. It lasted two years, during which the couple announced their engagement, but the relationship ended about 1972.
1971 35 Years Old In 1971, his The French Connection was released to wide critical acclaim. … Read More
1972 36 Years Old 1 More Event
…  The idea for the book itself actually came to Blatty while sitting in Friedkin's office in 1972 during the first film's production, as he read an article concerning the then atheist-run state of Albania executing a priest for baptizing a newborn infant. … Read More
1973 37 Years Old 1 More Event
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. … Read More


1980 44 Years Old In 1980, he directed an adaptation of the Gerald Walker crime thriller Cruising, starring Al Pacino, which was protested against even during its making and remains the subject of heated debate. … Read More
1981 45 Years Old Friedkin suffered a major heart attack on March 6, 1981. … Read More


2007 71 Years Old …  Friedkin's involvement in 2007's Bug resulted from a positive experience watching the stage version in 2004. … Read More
2010 74 Years Old In June 2010, author William Peter Blatty, promoting his latest novel, revealed that Friedkin had committed to direct the feature film adaptation of his thriller, Dimiter.
2011 75 Years Old In 2011 Friedkin directed Killer Joe, a black comedy written by Tracy Letts, and starring Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, and Thomas Haden Church. Killer Joe premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, prior to its North American debut at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. … Read More
2013 77 Years Old In April 2013 Friedkin published a memoir, The Friedkin Connection. … Read More
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