The daily gossip: 'Exorcist' director William Friedkin dies at 87, Greta Gerwig makes history as 'Barbie' passes $1 billion, and more

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William Friedkin
The acclaimed filmmaker won the Best Director Oscar for 'The French Connection.'
(Image credit: Clemens Bilan / Getty Images)

1. William Friedkin, Oscar-winning director of "The Exorcist," dies at 87

William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning "Exorcist" director who gave generations of moviegoers nightmares with arguably the scariest horror film ever made, has died. He was 87. The filmmaker's death was confirmed Monday to Variety by a friend of his wife. Friedkin is perhaps best known for directing "The Exorcist," the groundbreaking 1973 blockbuster that became the first horror film recognized with a Best Picture Oscar nomination. Prior to that, Friedkin helmed the 1971 classic "The French Connection," which won the Oscar for Best Picture, and he took home the Best Director statue. His other movies include "Sorcerer" and "To Live and Die in L.A." Friedkin's most recent non-documentary film was 2011's "Killer Joe," though he has a new movie starring Kiefer Sutherland, "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial," premiering this year. Eli Roth remembered Friedkin as "one of the most impactful directors of all time," while Stephen King mourned the "deeply talented filmmaker," and Guillermo del Toro said the "world has lost one of the Gods of Cinema."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan worked as a culture writer at The Week from 2018 to 2023, covering the entertainment industry, including film reviews, television recaps, awards season, the box office, major movie franchises and Hollywood gossip. He has written about film and television for outlets including Bloody Disgusting, Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Heavy and The Celebrity Cafe.