Obituary: Oscar-Winning Film & Opera Director William Friedkin Dies at 87

By Francisco Salazar

Oscar-winning film director William Friedkin has died at the age of 87.

Born on August 29, 1935, Friedkin became one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation and made his feature film debut in 1965 with “Good Times.” He would go on to direct “The French Connection” which won him an Oscar for Best Director and was also awarded the Best Picture.

He later directed “The Exorcist,” “Cruising” “Rules of Engagement,” “Bug” and “Killer Joe” among others. His final film, “The Caine Mutiny Court Material” will have its world premiere at the 2023 Venice Film Festival.

Outside of his work in film, he was an opera director who directed such productions as Richard Strauss’ “Salome” at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Jacques Offenbach’s  “The Tales of Hoffmann” at the Theater an der Wien, and “Il Tabarro” at the Los Angeles Opera. He also worked with the Washington National Opera. Regarding his passion for opera Friedkin told the Hollywood Reporter, ““Opera is the most collaborate of all the arts.”