Began career in mailroom of WGN-TV, Chicago; eventually moved up to director
Helmed first TV-movie, "The People vs. Paul Crump," a 16mm documentary
Moved to Los Angeles
Hired to direct episodes of NBC's "Alfred Hitchcok Presents", including the final broadcast
Directed first feature, "Good Times", starring Sonny and Cher
Directed "The Night They Raided Minsky's," an affectionate look at burlesque; production was slightly hampered by death of co-star Bert Lahr during filming
Filmed a somewhat static feature adaptation of Harold Pinter's stage play "The Birthday Party"
Helmed "The Boys in the Band", adapted from the Mart Crowley play
Won the Best Director Oscar for "The French Connection"
Had box-office hit with screen version of "The Exorcist"
Formed the Directors Company, a partnership with Peter Bogdanovich and Francis Ford Coppola; split after one year
Suffered career setback with the box-office failure of "Sorcerer", a remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's "The Wages of Fear"
Helmed comic period piece, "The Brink's Job", about the infamous 1950 Boston heist
Directed and penned first screenplay, "Cruising"; film sparked controversy over its depiction of the gay community in NYC
Attempted satire of international weapons merchants in "Deal of the Century", starring Chevy Chase
Helmed and co-scripted "To Live and Die in L.A."
Returned to TV to direct Barbra Streisand's HBO special, "Putting It Together--The Making of 'The Broadway Album'"
Executive produced, created and directed the NBC pilot "C.A.T. Squad" and its 1988 TV-movie sequel
Helmed "Rampage," a film which dealt with the death penalty and the complexity of the insanity plea; release delayed when De Laurentis Entertainment went bankrupt (released in 1992)
Returned to horror with "The Guardian"; also co-scripted
Continued in the horror vein directing "On a Dead Man's Chest" episode of HBO's "Tales From the Crypt"
Helmed "Jailbreakers" segment of Showtime's "Rebel Highway" series
Returned to features as director of the sports-themed "Blue Chips", scripted by Ron Shelton
Helmed third film in Joe Eszterhas' "sleaze" trilogy, "Jade"
Directed the acclaimed small screen remake of "12 Angry Men" (Showtime)
Received star number 2,093 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (August 14)
Directed Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck" in Florence, Italy with Zubin Mehta conducting
Directed "Rules of Engagement" a film produced by Richard D. Zanuck, the executive who greenlit his most popular film "The French Connection"
Staged two productions for the Los Angeles Opera
Directed Benicio Del Toro in "The Hunted"; production was shut down in June 2001 when Del Toro was injured days before principal photography was due to end (completed several months later)
Directed the psychological horror film, "Bug" starring Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.