Name:
Robert Redford
Birth Date:
August 18, 1937
Birth Place:
Santa Monica, California, USA
Height:
5' 9
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
His role as The Sundance Kid in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' (1969)
Profession:
actor, director, writer, producer
Education:
The Pratt Institute of Art
BIOGRAPHY
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Sundance Film Festival

Background:

Award winning American movie actor, director, and producer Robert Redford is best known for his roles in Inside Daisy Clover (1965, won a Golden Globe Award), Barefoot in the Park (1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Candidate (1972), The Way We Were (1973), The Sting (1973, earned Oscar nomination), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), All the President's Men (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1977), The Natural (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Sneakers (1992) and Spy Game (2001). In a more recent film, Redford earned rave reviews playing cantankerous rancher Einar Gilkyson in director Lasse Hallstrom’s An Unfinished Life (2005). Redford continues his involvement in mainstream Hollywood movies with forthcoming projects like Aloft (2005, also serves as a director), Gary Winic’s animated Charlotte's Web (2006) and the Kirk Ellis-written drama/sport Untitled Jackie Robinson Project (2006).

“As a director, I wouldn't like me as an actor. As an actor, I wouldn't like me as a director.” Robert Redford
In 1980, Redford acquired international recognition as an acclaimed director with the drama Ordinary People, in which he took home an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Directors Guild of America Award and a National Board of Review Award. His directorial efforts include The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), A River Runs Through It (1992), Quiz Show (1994, nabbed a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Picture and received Oscar nomination for Best Director), The Horse Whisperer (1998), The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) and the upcoming Aloft (2005).

Robert Redford is also well associated as the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute, Sundance Catalog and the Sundance Channel, which are all located at a ski resort just outside Park City, Utah, called the Sundance Resort. The Sundance Film Festival works with independent filmmakers in the United States and has received recognition from the industry as a place to option films.


Painter

Childhood and Family:

In Santa Monica, California, Charles Robert Redford Jr. was born on August 13, 1937, to parents Charles Robert Redford Sr., an accountant for Standard Oil, and Martha Redford, who died in 1955 when Redford graduated from high school. Redford was accepted at the University of Colorado on a baseball scholarship, but he dropped out in 1957 due to drunkenness. After leaving college, he had various odds jobs, including working as a carpenter, a shop assistant and an oil field employee. Redford attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he was a painting student, and after finishing his studies, he spent a year traveling and painting in Europe. Upon Redford’s return to the States, he made a decision to become an actor by first studying theatrical design and acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

At age 21, on September 12, 1958, Redford tied the knot with Lola Redford Van Wagenen (born in 1940), but the couple divorced in 1985. Redford and his wife of 27 years share three children. Their first child is a daughter named Shauna Redford (born on November 15, 1960), a painter, while their second is a son named David James ‘Jamie’ Redford (born on May 5, 1962), a screenwriter. The third is daughter Amy Hart Redford (born on October 22, 1970), an actress. In 1991, Redford became a grandfather.


Ordinary People

Career:

Robert Redford lived a colorful life before making the decision to become an actor. Upon quitting college, he supported himself by working as a shop assistant, a carpenter and an oil field worker, before being a painting student and living the painter’s life in Europe. Moving back to the United States, Redford studied theatrical design and acting in New York and began a career in acting. In 1959, he appeared in his first Broadway in a production of “Tall Story,” following up with “The Highest Tree “(1959) and “Sunday in New York” (1961). The latter garnered Radford a Theater World award in 1961. Meanwhile, Redford made his TV movie debut as Don Parritt in The Iceman Cometh (1960) and guest starred in a number of shows like “Maverick,” “The Deputy,” “Hallmark Hall of Fame,” “Tate,” “Perry Mason,” “Play of the Week,” “Naked City,” “The Americans,” “Route 66,” “Bus Stop,” “The New Breed” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” His breakout role came with a guest starring role of a Nazi soldier, opposite Charles Laughton, in the final installment of CBS’s Playhouse 90, “In the Presence of Mine Enemies” (1960). Redford also received an Emmy nomination for his good performance in ABC’s The Voice of Charlie Pont (1962).

After a string of television performances, Redford had his film debut with War Hunt, in 1962, an anti-war film set during the Korean conflict. The film saw him costarring with Tom Skerritt and Sydney Pollack. Redford was back on stage the following year and enjoyed his biggest Broadway success as the hot newlywed husband of Elizabeth Ashley in Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” (1963), and following some more Broadway performances, Redford returned to film in 1965.

The same year he made Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious (1965), Redford delivered his breakthrough as a bisexual film star, Wade Lewis, who ties the knot with starlet Natalie Wood in Inside Daisy Clover (1965). Through his bright acting, Redford netted a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer-Male in 1965. He rejoined Wood for Sydney Pollack’s This Property Is Condemned (1966), starred alongside Jane Fonda in The Chase (1966) and reprised his Broadway role of uptight newlywed Paul Bratter for the motion picture version of Barefoot in the Park (1967, again with Fonda).

Vanishing from the screen for two years, Redford attracted crowds with his comeback, the William Goldman-scripted Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), in which director George Roy Hill cast Redford as the title character Harry Longbaugh aka The Sundance Kid, opposite Paul Newman. The film made him a bankable star and cemented his screen persona as an intellectual, trustworthy, sometimes mocking, good guy. Also in 1969, Redford played roles in Downhill Racer (1969) and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969).

Although Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970) and The Hot Rock (1972) did little to boost his career, Redford scored a success with the incisive political satire The Candidate (1972, played politician Bill McKay), which was written by Oscar-winner Jeremy Larner, before working again with Pollack in Jeremiah Johnson (1972). 1973 was Redford’s notable year since he won roles in two high profile movies. Reuniting with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid director George Roy Hill, and Paul Newman, for the period caper comedy The Sting (1973), Redford’s acting won him praise and he received a nomination at the Academy Awards for Best Actor. He also starred with Barbra Streisand in the romantic drama The Way We Were (1973), for director Sydney Pollack. In 1974, he took home a Golden Globe for World Film Favorites.

Over the next two years, Redford enjoyed blockbuster success with such hits as the lavish film remake The Great Gatsby (1974), the period comedy-drama The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) and Three Days of the Condor (1975), making Redford Hollywood’s top box office name. In 1976, Redford’s concerns for political causes could be seen with his portrayal of Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward (to Dustin Hoffman's Carl Bernstein) in the political drama All the President's Men (1976), directed by Alan J. Pakula and scripted once again by William Goldman. The film both won the hearts of audience and film critics. He had another hit on his hands with the 1977 A Bridge Too Far. Redford’s enormous success handed him three Golden Globes in the categories of World Film Favorites for three consecutive years (1976, 1977 and 1978).

Already famous as a movie star, Redford broke into directing with the 1980 Ordinary People, a drama film detailing the slow dissolution of a middle-class family. The result of his behind-the-scene-efforts was spectacular since the film, which starred America’s Sweetheart Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton, picked up four Oscars, including one Best Director for Redford. Additionally, Redford nabbed a Golden Globe and a National Board of Review for Best Director, as well as a Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Motion Picture Director. The same year, he was an executive producer for The Solar Film (1980) and a star in Brubaker (1980).

Besides directing and producing, Redford continued acting as he entered middle age. He starred as baseball player Roy Hobbs in the The Natural (1984), made a fine romantic lead opposite Meryl Streep in the Oscar-winning Best Picture, Out of Africa (1985, helmed by Sydney Pollack) and revisited screen comedy as an attorney named Tom Logan in Legal Eagles (1986). The remaining of the decade saw Redford busy with his work as a director/ producer with Promised Land (1987, as a producer), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988, as director and producer) and Some Girls (1988, as producer).

Still a leading actor in his 50s, Redford starred with Lena Olin in the big budget romance Havana (1992) and costarred alongside Jo Marr and Garrison Hershberger in the action-packed Sneakers (1992). The following years, Redford was seen as the heartthrob in 1993's controversial Indecent Proposal, opposite Demi Moore.

Going back to the director’s chair after the 1992 A River Runs Through It (voice), Redford attracted attention with his outstanding work in the period drama Quiz Show (1994), a story about the 1950s TV quiz show scandals. Redford was handed a New York Film Critics Circle for Best Picture, and nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Moreover, the film was also nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

After portraying a veteran newsman who mentors and romances a rising talent (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Up Close & Personal (1996), Redford helmed and starred with Kristin Scott Thomas in a tough adaptation of Nicholas Evans’ novel, The Horse Whisperer (1998). The same year, he also produced A Civil Action and Edward Burns’ No Looking Back.

In the new millennium, Redford helmed The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). He also executive produced the well-received, festival-screened How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog (2000). Redford then returned to acting by playing Lt. Gen. Eugene Irwin, a dishonored Army general sent to prison, in the political thriller The Last Castle (2001). He continued with a costarring role, opposite Brad Pitt, in the box office hit Spy Game (2001), and three years later, Redford was cast as successful business man Wayne Hayes, opposite Helen Mirren, in the thriller The Clearing.

Recently, the actor received positive feedback for his portrayal of cantankerous rancher Einar Gilkyson in director Lasse Hallstrom’s An Unfinished Life (2005). Redford will provide his voice for Ike in the Gary Winic’s animated Charlotte's Web (2006), cast himself in the adventure/drama Aloft (2005) and star as Branch Rickey in the Kirk Ellis-written drama/sport Untitled Jackie Robinson Project (2006).


Awards:

  • Kennedy Centre Honors: Lifetime Achievement, 2005
  • Honorary Oscar, 2001
  • Nashville Independent Film Festival: Freedom in Film Award, 2001
  • Screen Actors Guild: Life Achievement Award, 1996
  • Golden Globe: Cecil B.DeMille Award, 1994
  • New York Film Critics Circle: Best Picture, Quiz Show, 1994
  • Academy Award: Best Director, Ordinary People, 1981
  • Golden Globe: Best Director, Ordinary People, 1981
  • Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Motion Picture Director, Ordinary People, 1980
  • National Board of Review: Best Director, Ordinary People, 1980
  • Golden Globe: World Film Favorites, 1978
  • Golden Globe: World Film Favorites, 1977
  • Golden Globe: World Film Favorites, 1976
  • Golden Globe: World Film Favorites, 1974
  • Golden Globe: Most Promising Newcomer-Male, Inside Daisy Clover, 1965
  • Theater World: “Sunday in New York,” 1961



     
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