One of the great Hollywood directors of the early 1970s, William Friedkin (1935-2023) has passed away at the age of 87. This has been confirmed by his wife Sherry Lansing (79), as reported by the industry magazine “The Hollywood Reporter”. The producer and former Paramount studio boss, to whom Friedkin has been married since 1991, announced that he died on August 7 in Los Angeles. In addition to his wife, he also leaves behind two sons.

Friedkin, born in Chicago in the US state of Illinois in 1935, was an important representative of “New Hollywood” cinema in the 1970s, which was committed to modernizing and rethinking the dream factory and its productions. Film lovers should therefore be familiar with him for “Focal Point Brooklyn” (1971) with Gene Hackman (93) – originally “The French Connection” – and “The Exorcist” (1973).

“Brooklyn’s Spotlight” won five Oscars, including one for Hackman for Best Actor and one for Friedkin for Best Director. Friedkin was also nominated for an Oscar for today’s horror classic “The Exorcist”. Friedkin also received a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for both productions.

The director, screenwriter and producer was honored with the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice International Film Festival in 2013. His most recent work is a re-imagining of ‘The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial’ starring Kiefer Sutherland, 56, which will be screened out of competition at the Lido this year. The film festival takes place from August 30th to September 9th.