The Exorcist director William Friedkin dies aged 87

William Friedkin and still of The ExorcistRLJE Films/Warner Bros

William Friedkin, the iconic director behind The Exorcist, has died aged 87.

William Friedkin was a renowned American movie and TV director, producer and screenwriter, best known for his work on the 1971 film The French Connection, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.

But arguably one of his most iconic works is the 1973 horror The Exorcist, a cultural phenomenon that was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, solidifying his status in the horror genre. To this day, the film is considered to be one of the most scariest horrors of all time.

Article continues after ad

Throughout his career, he’s been praised for his innovative approach to filmmaking. It is with a heavy heart that it’s been announced Friedkin has passed away.

The Exorcist director William Friedkin dies aged 87

Friedkin’s wife and former film executive Sherry Lansing confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, August 7, saying Friedkin passed away in Los Angeles.

No further details have been shared at the time of writing. He is survived by Lansing and his two sons.

The tributes continue to pour in for the late filmmaker, with Little White Lies writing on Twitter: “RIP William Friedkin, 1935 – 2023. A legend among filmmakers.”

Article continues after ad

Actor Elijah Wood tweeted: “Aww man…a true cinematic master whose influence will continue to extend forever. So long, William Friedkin.”

A Friedkin fan page said: “R.I.P. William Friedkin, the king, and the namesake for this silly account that will never be worth a fraction of what he accomplished. I adored him for his movies and his refusal to deal with bullshit in interviews. He f*cking lived.”

Elsewhere, The Simpsons writer and producer Mike Reiss added: “When working on the Mr. Plow show, we heard that William Friedkin was a fan of @TheSimpsons. So we put in a parody of his film SORCERER just for him. Years later he visited the show, charmed everyone, and even wound up as a guest star. RIP a great guy.”

Article continues after ad

Related Topics