William Friedkin (born August 29, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American movie and television director, producer, and screenwriteR&Best known for directing The Exorcist and The French Connection in the early 1970s.After seeing the movie Citizen Kane as a boy, he became fascinated with movies and immediately began working for WGN-TV after high school. He eventually began directing live television shows and documentaries including The People vs. Paul Crump which won several awards and contributed to the commutation of Crump's death sentence. In 1965, Friedkin moved to Hollywood and two years later released his first feature film, Good Times starring Sonny and Cher. Several other "art" films followed (including the gay movie The Boys in the Band), although Friedkin did not want to be perceived as an art house director. In 1971 his The French Connection was released to wide critical acclaim. Shot in a gritty style more suited for documentaries than Hollywood features, it won five Academy Awards, including Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. Friedkin followed up with 1973's The Exorcist, based on William PeteR&Blatty's best-selling novel, which revolutionized the horror genre and is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time. The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Following these two critically acclaimed pictures, Friedkin, along with Francis Coppola and PeteR&Bogdanovich, was acclaimed as one of the premier directors in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Friedkin's later movies did not achieve equal success. Sorcerer, an American r ake of the movie Wages of Fear starring Roy Scheider, was released at the same time as Star Wars, which dominated box offices nationwide. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's, Friedkin's films received lackluster reviews and moderate ticket sales. In 1985, shortly after the release of To Live and Die in L.A., film director Michael Mann brought a lawsuit against Friedkin, claiming that Friedkin had stolen the entire concept of L.A. from Mann's Miami Vice. Mann eventually lost the lawsuit. In 2000, The Exorcist was re-released in theaters withemextra footage and grossed $40 million in the U.S. alone. Friedkin has two sons: Jack (with actress Lesley-Anne Down) and Cedric. He has been married three times, including a short marriage to French actress Jeanne Moreau. He is currently married to former film executive Sherry Lansing.