Born in Chicago in 1935 to Jewish immigrants, William Friedkin began to make a name for himself in his late 20s and early 30s with the death row documentary “The People vs. Paul Crump” and even directing an episode of 1965’s “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” for television. Within five years of his feature debut “Good Times,” starring Sonny and Cher, Friedkin truly announced his arrival with 1971’s “The French Connection.” Led by a young Gene Hackman in an award-winning performance, the visceral crime/thriller put Friedkin on the map to stay with a film still considered to be among the greatest movies ever made. Only two years later, he delivered his adaptation of the hair-raising “The Exorcist,” which arguably made an even greater impact on audiences worldwide and the industry as a whole. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, the timeless horror movie officially vaulted Friedkin into the same company as Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, and other star-making directors of the 1970s.
Gifted with remarkable talents only rivaled by his refreshingly blunt opinionating, Friedkin brought an unmistakable sense of style and personality to his work. In addition to later efforts such as 1977’s “Sorcerer” and “To Live and Die in L.A.” in 1985, Friedkin also published his incredibly enlightening memoir “The Friedkin Connection” in 2013 and was the subject of the documentary special “Friedkin Uncut,” which boasted industry veterans such as Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Willem Dafoe, Wes Anderson, Michael Shannon, Matthew McConaughey, and many more singing Friedkin’s praises and celebrating the auteur’s immense influence on film. Friedkin leaves behind his wife Sherry and two sons.
Source From: www.slashfilm.com