TULSA, Okla. — Danny Boy O’Connor is known for the 90′s hip hop music group House of Pain, Kid 90 documentary and the founder of The Outsiders Museum says the recent passing of Oscar-winning producer, Gray Frederickson is a loss for the Oklahoma film community and beyond.
Frederickson died on Nov. 20, 2022, at the age of 85.
He produced over 50 noteworthy films in his lifetime. Frederickson made his mark on the film industry creating movies like The Outsiders, Apocalypse Now and the Godfather films.
As a producer, he was nominated for Apocalypse Now and won an Oscar for The Godfather.
In 2019, the Circle Cinema honored Gray Frederickson with a medallion on the Oklahoma Walk of Fame right outside of the Tulsa theater.
“Circle Cinema was very saddened to learn about the passing of Gray Frederickson on Sunday. He might not be a name a lot of people know in the film industry, but he was so vital in producing some of the most important films of a generation,” said Ryan Thomas, Communications Manager of Circle Cinema.
O’Connor runs The Outsiders Museum, which was a north Tulsa home that was used in the movie to shoot many of its scenes. He recalled the day he first met Frederickson.
“So, you know, prior to buying the Outsiders House Museum, I had no idea who he was. And then during the first event, we did a small fundraiser at the House and somebody came in and said the Gray Frederickson is at the front gate. And I was like OK and they’re like, yeah, dude, that’s Coppola’s guy, he’s one of the main guys you know involved in The Outsiders, I said, ‘Oh.’ you know, straighten my stuff out, dust myself off and went out there and introduced myself to him and we just had a real pleasant conversation,” said O’Connor. “And you know, he came all the way up from Oklahoma City unannounced, just to see what we were up to, and was very happy with what we were doing. And that was the start of a nice little friendship that we had.”
O’Connor also remembers hearing about The Outsiders wrap party that Frederickson put on after the production was done filming to thank the cast and crew and the community.
“I think it was like 30 or $40,000. He decided to throw a party, you know, a wrap party at Crutchfield Park with like hot air balloon and horses and ice sculptures and catered food and carnival stuff, for the neighborhood,” said O’Connor.
One of the last times O’Connor spoke to Frederickson was about two weeks ago. O’Connor is currently working on a book about The Outsiders. “I couldn’t imagine a book about the Outsiders without hearing, you know, without Gray Frederickson involved involvement and his voice being heard and so. We were able to get a wonderful interview from him. He was gracious enough to say, ‘Yeah no no no problem. How long do you need? And I said it shouldn’t be more than 20 minutes. About an hour and a half later we had wrapped it up,” said O’Connor.
Thomas believes what the award-winning producer will be remembered for is what he did for the Oklahoma film community.
“He passed along his knowledge of filmmaking and production to future generations and to help ensure that there’s a thriving and vibrant film scene in Oklahoma,” said Thomas.
Frederickson certainly made his mark in the Hollywood and Oklahoma film industries but beyond that, it seems that it was in the individual connections he made throughout his life is where he truly left his legacy.
“You know I have lunch today with S.E. Hinton you know and I’m sure it obviously it’s going to come up and talk about Gray and she always spoke to me of him. Everybody spoke fondly of him. What a tremendous loss it is for us. But his legacy will be felt for years to come,” said O’Connor.
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