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Director WILLIAM FRIEDKIN began his career in the mailroom at WGN-TV, Chicago, and within two years was directing live television. In eight years he directed more than 2,000 live programs. His first work in film was 'The People Vs. Paul Crump' a documentary about a man who spent eight years on death row in the Cook County Jail. With it, Friedkin won his first award, the Golden Gate Prize at the San Francisco Film Festival. More satisfying than the award was Crump's commuted sentence due to the attention the film garnered.

The project so impressed station management that Friedkin was appointed head of a newly created documentary film unit. He continued to make documentaries, including several for producer David Wolper: "The Thin Blue Line," "Mayhem on a Sunday Afternoon" and "The Bold Men."

Friedkin's first feature film, "Good Times" (1968), also marked the screen debut of Sonny and Cher. This was followed by "The Night They Raided Minsky's" (1968), "The Birthday Party" (1969) and "The Boys in the Band" (1970).

During the late '60s and early '70s with the youth movement, Woodstock, and the Vietnam War, using drugs became an integral part of the counterculture. "The French Connection" (1971), a sharp, gritty expose of the drug world, won Friedkin a Best Director Oscar® and also earned Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor in a Leading Role and Editing. In addition, it was nominated for Cinematography, Sound and Supporting Actor.

He followed that with "The Exorcist" (1973), one of the most horrifying pictures of all time, which received 10 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Directing and Best Picture, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound. Other Friedkin pictures include "Sorcerer" (1977), "The Brinks Job" (1979), "Cruising" (1981), "Deal of the Century" (1983), and "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985).

In 1986 Friedkin returned to television with a two-hour movie of the week titled "C.A.T. Squad." NBC ordered a second, "C.A.T. Squad — Python Wolf," which aired in May of 1988.

Between the television shows, Friedkin directed "Rampage" (1987), a feature film for which he also wrote the screenplay. The film deals with the death penalty and the complexity of the insanity plea. This picture was released in 1992.

In 1990, Friedkin returned to the horror genre with the release of "The Guardian." This was followed by an episode of HBO's "'Tales From the Crypt," which Friedkin directed in 1992.

In 1993, Friedkin directed "Blue Chips" for Paramount Pictures starring Nick Nolte, Shaquille O'Neal and Mary McDonnell. "Blue Chips" was released in February 1994 with positive reviews. Friedkin followed this by directing another Paramount Pictures feature, "Jade" (1995), written by Joe Eszterhas and starring David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino and Chazz Palminteri.

In early 1997, Friedkin directed a Showtime/MGM television remake of the classic courtroom drama "Twelve Angry Men," which included legendary stars such as Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Hume Cronyn and Ossie Davis. The DGA nominated Friedkin for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for Best Dramatic Special. It was also nominated for six Emmy Awards®.

On May 26, 1998, Friedkin made his critically acclaimed operatic debut by directing Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" in Florence, Italy, with Zubin Mehta conducting.

In "Rules of Engagement," he is reunited once again with producer Richard D. Zanuck, whom he previously worked with on "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" while Mr. Zanuck was president of pro duction at 20th Century Fox and executive vice president of production at Warner Bros., respectively.


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