Oscar-Winning ‘Godfather Part II’ Producer Fred Roos Passes Away at 89

Fred Roos, Oscar-Winning Producer ( IMDb)

Fred Roos, the Oscar-winning producer known for his work on “The Godfather Part II” and his long-standing collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola, passed away on Saturday in Beverly Hills at the age of 89, just four days before his 90th birthday. Roos’ death marks a serious loss for the film industry, as he was a pivotal figure in some of Hollywood’s most iconic films.

Roos won an Oscar for “The Godfather Part II” and was later nominated for his work on Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” His passing coincides with Francis Ford Coppola’s appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, where Coppola is presenting his passion project “Megalopolis,” on which Roos served as a producer.

Roos had a prolific career, beginning as a casting director in the late 1960s for TV shows like “Gomer Pyle: USMC,” “I Spy,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” He transitioned to film casting with credits that include “Flight to Fury,” “Two-Lane Blacktop,” and “Five Easy Pieces.”

Oscar Winning Producer Fred Roos of Godfather Part II Fame (IMDb)

His work on George Lucas’ 1973 film “American Graffiti” was remarkable for its ensemble cast, which included future stars such as Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, and Harrison Ford.

Roos’ first collaboration with Coppola was on “The Godfather,” which led to a five-decade partnership. He co-produced “The Conversation,” “The Godfather Part II,” and “Apocalypse Now,” among others. Roos was instrumental in casting several outstanding actors, including Harrison Ford, whom he championed for the role of Han Solo in “Star Wars.”

In addition to his work with Francis Ford Coppola, Roos was an executive producer on many of Sofia Coppola’s films, including “The Virgin Suicides,” “Lost in Translation,” and “Marie Antoinette.” He also worked on her most recent film, “Priscilla.”

Roos had a keen eye for talent and was known for discovering and launching the careers of many actors, including Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Laurence Fishburne, and Nicolas Cage. He also played a crucial role in the careers of Martin Landau, Bill Murray, and many others.

Roos’ impact extended beyond his casting prowess. He produced a range of films from Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut “Drive, He Said,” to the acclaimed documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” which chronicled the tumultuous production of “Apocalypse Now.”

Roos continued to produce films up until his death, with his final project being the Broadway adaptation of “The Outsiders,” which recently garnered 12 Tony nominations, including Best Musical.

Fred Roos leaves behind a legacy of influential films and numerous discovered talents. His contributions to the film industry will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.

His son and producing partner, Alexander Roos, continues to produce under their banner, FR Productions, ensuring that Fred Roos’ influence on the film industry will endure.