- Richest Celebrities › Directors
- Net Worth:
- $70 Million
- Date of Birth:
- Aug 29, 1935 – Aug 7, 2023 (87 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- 6 ft (1.83 m)
- Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer, Television Director
- United States of America
💰 Compare William Friedkin’s Net Worth
- Early Life and Education
- Career Beginnings
- The French Connection
- The Exorcist
- Other Work
- Personal Life and Death
- Bel Air Mansion
What was William Friedkin’s net worth?
William Friedkin was an American film and television director, producer and screenwriter who had a net worth of $70 million at the time of his death. William Friedkin was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 29, 1935. He died on August 7, 2023 at the age of 87.
William Friedkin was a highly acclaimed filmmaker known for his innovative techniques and ability to craft intense, thought-provoking narratives. His work has made a significant impact on the film industry, solidifying his place as one of the prominent directors of his time. Friedkin’s breakthrough came with the release of “The French Connection” in 1971. This gritty police drama, starring Gene Hackman, was lauded for its realistic portrayal of detective work and its heart-pounding car chase sequence. The film earned several Academy Awards, including Best Director for Friedkin, and its success cemented his reputation as a filmmaker of great skill and vision.
In 1973, Friedkin directed “The Exorcist,” a film that would become one of the most influential horror movies ever made. Its visceral, unsettling approach to demonic possession both terrified and fascinated audiences, turning it into a cultural phenomenon. The film’s mixture of psychological terror and special effects wizardry earned it two Academy Awards and several nominations, and it continues to be regarded as a classic of the genre.
Friedkin’s ability to explore dark and complex themes continued to be a hallmark of his career. Films like “Sorcerer” (1977) and “Cruising” (1980) may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as his earlier works, but they demonstrated his willingness to take creative risks and push boundaries. Later in his career, Friedkin continued to explore different genres and styles. He directed the suspenseful courtroom drama “Rules of Engagement” (2000) and the intense crime thriller “Killer Joe” (2011), both of which were well-received by critics. William Friedkin was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997 at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Early Life and Education
William Friedkin grew up with a love for cinema and was deeply influenced by the films he saw in his youth. He attended Senn High School in Chicago, where his interest in storytelling began to flourish. Though he never received formal film education, Friedkin’s passion for movies led him to immerse himself in the world of filmmaking, learning through experience and observation.
Friedkin’s career in film started with work in live television, directing documentaries and episodes for various shows. His documentary work, particularly “The People vs. Paul Crump” (1962), garnered attention for its compelling storytelling and advocacy for social justice. Friedkin’s early successes in television opened doors for him in Hollywood, where he directed his first feature film, “Good Times” (1967), followed by “The Birthday Party” (1968) and “The Boys in the Band” (1970).
The French Connection
With “The French Connection” (1971), Friedkin achieved widespread acclaim. This gritty police drama, featuring an iconic car chase sequence, set new standards for action filmmaking. Its intense realism and superb performances helped it win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Friedkin. The film’s success marked a turning point in his career and established him as a leading director in Hollywood.
Friedkin’s next major success came with “The Exorcist” (1973), a film adaptation of the novel by William Peter Blatty. The terrifying depiction of a young girl’s demonic possession became an instant classic, shocking audiences and critics alike. Friedkin’s mastery of suspense and horror, combined with groundbreaking special effects, earned the film two Academy Awards and solidified its place in cinema history.
Beyond “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist,” Friedkin’s body of work includes a wide range of films that showcase his versatility and creativity. From the adventurous “Sorcerer” (1977) to the provocative “Cruising” (1980) to the dark comedy “Killer Joe” (2011), Friedkin’s films often explore complex characters and morally ambiguous themes. His direction of operas has further demonstrated his artistic breadth.
Personal Life and Death
William Friedkin was married four times, most recently to Sherry Lansing, a former studio executive. They were married from 1991 until his death in 2023.
Friedkin’s relationships with fellow filmmakers and actors reflect his collaborative nature and deep respect for the creative process. An articulate and insightful speaker, Friedkin often shared his views on filmmaking, art, and culture, providing valuable insights into his approach and philosophy. His memoir, “The Friedkin Connection,” offers a detailed look at his life, career, and the artistic journey that has defined one of cinema’s most enduring talents.
William Friedkin died on August 7, 2023 at the age of 87.
Bel Air Mansion
In 2005 William and Sherry paid $15 million for an incredible hilltop mansion in LA’s Bel Air neighborhood. The 10,000 square foot mansion sits on a little over five acres and is likely worth $20-30 million today.