- NAME: Robert Redford
- OCCUPATION: Environmental Activist, Film Actor, Director, Producer
- BIRTH DATE: August 18, 1936 (Age: 76)
- EDUCATION: Van Nuys High School, University of Colorado, Pratt Institute, American Academy of Dramatic Arts
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Santa Monica, California
- Full Name: Charles Robert Redford Jr.
- AKA: Charles Robert Redford
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Robert Redford is a Hollywood legend, starring in several blockbuster films in his day, and producing and directing many others. He also helped start the Sundance Film Festival in the late 1970s.
Robert Redford - Early Life (3:15)
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While he made his film debut in 1962's War Hunt, Redford's film career didn't really take off until 1967. He reprised his stage role as Paul in the film adaptation of Barefoot in the Park starring opposite Jane Fonda. Redford gave another star-making turn in the 1969 western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the film, he played an outlaw known as the Sundance Kid and his co-star Paul Newman played Butch Cassidy. The two proved to be a dynamic duo on screen, and the movie enjoyed both critical and commercial success.
Not one to be typecast as a "pretty boy," Redford sought out more challenging projects and avoided trading on his sex appeal. He tackled the sports drama Downhill Racer and the Western Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, both released in 1969. Another important film for Redford was the 1972 political drama The Candidate, a dark, satirical look at campaigning.
As his career thrived, Redford sought refuge from the Hollywood scene. He had bought land in Utah in the 1960s with money from an inheritance, and he continued to add to his holdings there over the years. His love of land encouraged him to become active in environmental causes. In the 1970s, Redford even received death threats for his efforts to stop certain developments in Utah.
Redford had a banner year in 1973 with two major hit films—The Sting and The Way We Were. For The Sting, he again joined forces with Paul Newman to play con artists in 1930s Chicago. He received his first Academy Award nomination for the film. In The Way We Were, Redford starred opposite Barbra Streisand. The film charts the ups and downs of one couple's relationship. Returning to political fare, Redford scored another success with 1976's All the President's Men. He and Dustin Hoffman played famed reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in this drama about the Watergate scandal.
With 1980's Ordinary People, Redford showed that he was more than just a handsome movie star. The film provides a heartbreaking look at a family torn apart by loss and grief. It served as his directorial debut and starred Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Timothy Hutton. This drama brought Redford his first Academy Award—one for Best Director. Around this time, Redford helped establish the Sundance Institute. The Institute was created to help and support independent filmmakers through workshops and other means. He later launched the Sundance Film Festival, which has showcased independent films for more than 20 years.
As the 1980s progressed, Redford chose only a few acting roles. He starred in the 1984 baseball drama The Natural and the 1985 adventure tale Out of Africa, playing opposite Meryl Streep. Working behind the camera, Redford directed The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) starring Ruben Blades and Sonia Braga.
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