Within the last three years, Frizzled receptors have risen from obscurity to celebrity status owing to their functional identification as receptors for the ubiquitous family of secreted WNT signaling factors. However, the founding member of the Frizzled family, Drosophila Frizzled (FZ), was cloned almost a decade ago because of its role in regulating cell polarity within the plane of an epithelium. In this review, we consider the role of FZ in this intriguing context. We discuss recent progress towards elucidating mechanisms for the intracellular specification of planar polarity, and further review evidence for models of global polarity regulation at the tissue level. The data suggest that a genetic 'cassette', encoding a set of core signaling components, could pattern hair, bristle and ommatidial planar polarity in Drosophila, and that additional tissue-specific factors might explain the diversity of signal responses. Recently described examples from the nematode and frog suggest that the developmental control of cell polarity by FZ receptors might represent a functionally conserved signaling mechanism.