/Exorcist Director William Friedkin Dead At 87

Exorcist Director William Friedkin Dead At 87

Oscar-winning director William Friedkin, best known for “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” has died at 87, it was reported Monday.

The filmmaker died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles, his wife Sherry Lansing confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times.

His cause of death was heart failure and pneumonia, his wife, who is the former head of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, told The Times.

Friedkin rose to fame in the 1970s with his crime thriller “The French Connection,” earning him five Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director.

William Friedkin is seen on the set of "The Exorcist" in 1973.
William Friedkin is seen on the set of “The Exorcist” in 1973.

Ronald Grant Archive / Alamy

He went on to be nominated for Best Director again for his horror film “The Exorcist” in 1973. The film, which earned 10 Oscar nominations and won two, has been hailed by critics as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

His later work didn’t achieve the same amount of success.

His 1977 thriller “Sorcerer” was neither critically or financially successful ― though its release was likely smothered by the release of “Star Wars” shortly before. Still Friedkin, in a 2017 interview with Indie Wire, said it was “the only film I’ve made that I can still watch.”

One of his last projects was directing “The Devil and Father Amorth,” a documentary about real-life exorcisms. It premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2017.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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