William Friedkin may be best known for his film The Exorcist (1973), one of the most terrifying films of all time. It received ten Academy Award nominations including Best Director and Best Picture. Prior to that, he directed The French Connection (1971), for which he received the Director's Guild of America Award and the Academy Award for Best Director. The film also won for Best Actor, Best Editing, Best Screenplay and Best Picture.
Other films include Sorcerer (1977), The Brinks Job (1979), Cruising (1981), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) and Blue Chips (1994). In 1997, he directed a Showtime/MGM television remake of Twelve Angry Men with Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Hume Cronyn and Ossie Davis. The DGA nominated him for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Best Dramatic Special. It was also nominated for six Emmy Awards.
He made his operatic debut in 1998 with a widely acclaimed Wozzeck in Florence and his Los Angeles Opera debut in 2002 with Duke Bluebeard's Castle and Gianni Schicchi. He returned to Los Angeles Opera in 2004 to direct Ariadne auf Naxos. Recent films include Rules of Engagement (2000) and The Hunted starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro (2003). In 2005, he directed the operas Samson & Delilah in Israel and Aida in Italy and the film Bug which will be released in the fall of 2006.
In 2006, he will be directing Duke Bluebeard's Castle/Gianni Schicchi at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Salome in Munich, Germany.