William Grimes, writing for The New York Times:
William Friedkin, a filmmaker whose gritty, visceral style and fascination with characters on the edge helped make “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist” two of the biggest box-office hits of the 1970s, died on Monday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 87.
The cause was heart failure and pneumonia, said his wife, Sherry Lansing, the former head of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. His death came just weeks before the release of his most recent directorial effort, “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” a movie based on the Herman Wouk play.
The Exorcist is still one of the scariest of film ever made. An absolute masterpiece.