One of the most powerful film directors of the 1970's, Academy Award-winning director William Friedkin was representative of Hollywood's first wave of hip, hot, young super-directors. Famed for his boisterous talent and booming ego, Friedkin earned a reputation for drawing out brilliant performances from his actors - by whatever means necessary. While a few of the director's notoriously manipulative tactics seemed questionable, no one could argue their effectiveness. Just five years after making his feature film debut, Friedkin snagged the Best Director Oscar for "The French Connection" (1971). The director's landmark achievement, however, would be his 1973 filmic adaptation of William Peter Blatty's "The Exorcist." A landmark in special effects, make-up and storytelling, "The Exorcist" grossed - and grossed-out - millions. Noted for the stylized documentary look of his dramas, Friedkin's talents catapulted him to the front rank of American directors. The husband of former Paramount Pictures head honcho, Sherry Lansing since 1991, Friedkin's career remained active well into the next century.