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William Friedkin with Linda Blair The Exorcist
William Friedkin with Linda Blair The Exorcist
William Friedkin with Linda Blair The Exorcist

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Linda Blair Leads Hollywood Tributes to Legendary Director William Friedkin

NOTE: This article is 10 months old and may not include the most recent information.

Following the recent passing of iconic director William Friedkin at age 87, Linda Blair, star of Friedkin’s career-defining 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, posted an emotional tribute crediting him for her memorable performance.

Blair, who played possessed child Regan in the film, wrote: “Taking a real 13-year-old and confirming my stability to endure the journey he was about to take me and the world on. His directing came with demanding guidance, commitment and strict work ethic. His creative licensing with my performance, always thought provoking and precise with his ‘on point’ direction for my performance as Regan. Pushing envelopes with ground breaking special effects to ensure my performance was nothing less than shocking and unforgettable.”

Other Hollywood stars also shared memories of the late visionary director. Ellen Burstyn, who also starred in The Exorcist, remembered Friedkin, stating: “My friend Bill Friedkin was an original; smart, cultured, fearless and wildly talented. On the set, he knew what he wanted, would go to any length to get it and was able to let it go if he saw something better happening.”

Acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola offered admiration for Friedkin’s daring style, calling him: “My friend Bill Friedkin was an original; smart, cultured, fearless and wildly talented. His accomplishments in Cinema are extraordinary and unique. He is the only colleague I knew whose work actually saved a man’s life (THE PEOPLE VS PAUL CRUMP). Billy’s work represents true milestones in Cinema, a list which will never be forgotten; certainly THE FRENCH CONNECTION, THE EXORCIST and SORCERER, but all of his films are alive with his genius.”

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Horror author Stephen King singled out Friedkin’s 1977 film Sorcerer, tweeting: “Sorcerer is one of the greatest films ever made.”

Jason Blum praised Friedkin, stating: “More than any other filmmaker, he changed both the way directors approached horror films and also the perception of horror films in the broader culture.”

As a pivotal New Hollywood director, William Friedkin garnered immense respect from stars for his bold, mold-breaking vision that influenced generations. Linda Blair’s tribute underscores the inspiration he gave her in The Exorcist.

Trevor Decker
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NOTE: This article is 10 months old and may not include the most recent information. William Friedkin, the renowned American film director best known...