The Exorcist director William Friedkin dies at 87

The Exorcist director William Friedkin dies at 87

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William Friedkin, who achieved cinematic immortality by directing the bleak, grim 1971 drug-smuggling thriller “The French Connection” and the terrifying 1973 demon-possession blockbuster “The Exorcist,” died Monday at age 87. .

He died at his home of heart failure and pneumonia, a spokesman for the Creative Artists Agency said.

Friedkin made his directorial debut with the 1967 light musical comedy “Good Times” with pop duo Sonny and Cher, then spent the rest of his career making some of the most disturbing, violent and controversial images in film history. .

“The French Connection” won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Friedkin, and Best Actor for Gene Hackman, whom Friedkin initially did not want in his memorable role as New York narcotics detective Popeye Doyle.

“The Exorcist” shocked moviegoers and angered some with the unflinching story of an innocent 12-year-old girl, played by Linda Blair, who takes on a stern Roman Catholic exorcist to free her from a demonic possession. Ghost passes by. A cultural phenomenon and one of the highest-grossing films of all time adjusted for inflation, it was praised by some as the greatest horror film ever made.

“The Exorcist” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Friedkin.

Friedkin told interviewer Tom Huddleston in 2012, “My films have always been studies at the extremes of human behavior.” , … I don’t know.”

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