OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Gray Frederickson, an Oklahoma City native who found incredible success as a producer in Hollywood, has died. He was 85.
Frederickson was born on July 21, 1937 in Oklahoma City. According to Variety magazine, his death follows a battle with prostate cancer.
He graduated from the University of Oklahoma and began making films in the 1960s.
One of his earliest jobs was working as executive producer on the legendary Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
He went on to produce some of the greatest films of all time, including The Godfather, for which he served as associate producer, The Godfather: Part II, for which he won an Oscar as co-producer, and Apocalypse Now, for which he co-produced co-produced. He also produced the popular coming-of-age film The Outsiders, which was filmed in Tulsa and based on the seminal young adult novel by then-Oklahoma teenager SE Hinton.
Frederickson was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2019.
“Oscar is an award for best film. The Oklahoma Hall of Fame is an honor for me, so this is the best,” Frederickson told The Oklahoman at the time. “It’s special because of Oklahoma. i am oklahoma I mean, it’s like another appendage to me. It’s part of me; it is who i am. And to be accepted by Oklahoma is really the pinnacle of everything for me.”
Frederickson’s passion for filmmaking in Oklahoma continued into his golden years at Oklahoma City Community College, where he taught for the Digital Cinema Production program – his own brainchild, recently named one of the top film schools in the country.
“His film career would have been enough to make him a legend, but then coming back to OKC and building our city’s film industry the way he did was an incredible gift,” said David Holt, Mayor of Oklahoma City. “Oklahoma City will forever be proud of Gray Frederickson and forever grateful to him.”
He is survived by his wife Karen and two children.
One of his children, Tyler Frederickson, posted on Facebook about his father’s death.
Today my father went to heaven. He was the greatest person in the world to help transform the film industry in Oklahoma…
… He will be missed by all and I know he will look down and see how the Oklahoma film industry continues to grow.
Tyler Frederickson, partial testimony
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