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Robert Redford


Date of Birth: Tuesday, August 18, 1936
AGE: 81
Occupation: Actor

















Biography: Charles Robert Redford, Jr. better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He has received two Oscars: one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime Achievement in 2002. His popular films include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), The Candidate (1972), The Sting (1973), The Way We Were (1973), The Great Gatsby (1974), Three Days of the Condor (1975), All the President?s Men (1976), The Natural (1984), Out of Africa (1985), and Sneakers (1992). As a filmmaker, his notable films include Ordinary People (1980), A River Runs Through It (1992), The Horse Whisperer (1998), and The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000).

Redford was born in Santa Monica, California. His mother, Martha W. (nee Hart), was born in Texas, and his father, Charles Robert Redford, Sr., was a milkman-turned-accountant from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He has a step-brother, William, from his father?s re-marriage. Redford is of English, Irish, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry (his surname originates in England).



Redford?s family moved to Van Nuys while his father worked in El Segundo. He attended Van Nuys High School, where he was classmates with baseball player Don Drysdale. He has described himself as having been a "bad" student, finding inspiration outside the classroom, and being interested in art and sports. He hit tennis balls with Pancho Gonzales at the Los Angeles Tennis Club to warm him up. After high school, he attended the University of Colorado for a year and a half, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. While there, he worked at the restaurant/bar The Sink. After being asked to leave the University of Colorado, he traveled in Europe, living in France, Spain, and Italy. He later studied painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and took classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

Redford?s career - like that of almost all major stars who emerged in the 1950s - began in New York, where an actor could find work both in television and on stage. Starting in 1959, he appeared as a guest star on numerous programs, including The Untouchables, Whispering Smith, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66, Dr. Kildare, Playhouse 90, Tate, and The Twilight Zone, among others. He earned an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Voice of Charlie Pont (ABC, 1962). One of his last television appearances was on October 7, 1963, on Breaking Point, an ABC medical drama about psychiatry.

Redford?s Broadway debut was in a small role in Tall Story (1959), followed by parts in The Highest Tree (1959) and Sunday in New York (1961). His biggest Broadway success was as the stuffy newlywed husband of Elizabeth Ashley in Neil Simon?s Barefoot in the Park (1963).

While still largely an unknown, Redford made his screen debut in War Hunt (1962), co-starring with John Saxon in a film set during the last days of the Korean War. After his Broadway success, he was cast in larger feature roles in movies, Daisy Clover (1965), Pollack?s This Property Is Condemned (1966). The same year saw his first teaming with Jane Fonda, in Arthur Penn?s The Chase. Fonda and Redford were paired again in the big screen version of Barefoot in the Park (1967) and were again co-stars in Pollack?s The Electric Horseman (1979).

Redford became concerned about his blond male stereotype image and turned down roles in Who?s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate. Redford found the film he was looking for in George Roy Hill?s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), scripted by William Goldman, in which he was paired for the first time with Paul Newman. The film was a huge success and made him a bankable star, cementing his screen image as an intelligent, reliable, sometimes sardonic good guy.

His overall career was flourished with the critical and box office hit Jeremiah Johnson (1972); the political satire The Candidate (1972); The Way We Were (1973); and The Sting (1973), for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

The popular and acclaimed All the President?s Men (1976), directed by Alan J. Pakula and scripted once again by Goldman, was a landmark film for Redford. Not only was he the executive producer and co-star, but the film?s serious subject matter - the Watergate scandal - also reflected the actor?s offscreen concerns for political causes.

Redford continued acting throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in the newsroom romance Up Close & Personal, and with Kristin Scott Thomas in The Horse Whisperer, which he also directed. Redford also continued work in films with political context, such as Havana (1990), playing Jack Weil, a professional gambler in 1959 Cuba during the Revolution, as well as Sneakers (1992), Spy Game (2001), and Lions for Lambs (2007).

Redford had long harbored ambitions to work on both sides of the lens. As early as 1969, Redford had served as the executive producer for Downhill Racer. His first outing as director was in 1980?s Ordinary People, a drama about the slow disintegration of an upper-middle class family, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director. Redford was credited with obtaining a powerful dramatic performance from Mary Tyler Moore, as well as superb work from Donald Sutherland.

In 1995, he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bard College. He was a 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award/Honorary Oscar recipient at the 74th Academy Awards. In 1996, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

With the financial proceeds of his acting success, starting with his salaries from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer, Redford bought an entire ski area on the east side of Mount Timpanogos northeast of Provo, Utah called "Timp Haven," which was renamed "Sundance". Redford?s wife Lola was from Utah and they had built a home in the area in 1963. Portions of the movie Jeremiah Johnson (1972), a film which is both one of Redford?s favorites and one that has heavily influenced him, were shot near the ski area. He founded the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalog, and the Sundance Channel, all in and around Park City, Utah, 30 miles (48 km) north of the Sundance ski area. The Sundance Film Festival caters to independent filmmakers in the United States and has received recognition from the industry as a place to open films. In 2008, Sundance exhibited 125 feature-length films from 34 countries, with more than 50,000 attendees. The name Sundance comes from his character, the Sundance Kid. In addition, Redford owns a celebrated restaurant called Zoom, located on Main Street in the former mining town of Park City.

Since founding the nonprofit Sundance Institute in Park City, in 1981, Redford has been deeply involved with independent film. Through its various workshop programs and popular film festival, Sundance has provided much-needed support for independent filmmakers. In 1995, Redford signed a deal with Showtime to start a 24-hour cable television channel devoted to airing independent films - the Sundance Channel premiered on February 29, 1996.

On August 9, 1958, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Redford married Lola Van Wagenen, who dropped out of college to marry him. They had four children: David James "Jamie", Shauna, Amy, and Scott Anthony. Scott - their first child - was born September 1, 1959, and died of sudden infant death syndrome on November 17, 1959, at age 2˝ months. His remains have been buried at Provo City Cemetery in Provo, Utah. Lola and Redford divorced in 1985. He has five grandchildren: Dylan and Lena Redford (of son Jamie), Mica and Conor Schlosser (of daughter Shauna) and Eden August (of daughter Amy).

In July 2009, Redford married his longtime partner, Sibylle Szaggars, at the luxurious Louis C. Jacob Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. She had moved in with Redford in the 1990s and shares his Sundance, Utah, home.

2009 Redford is politically liberal, and has supported environmentalism, Native American rights, and the arts.

Redford is an avid environmentalist and is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Redford has been a vocal critic of Barack Obama for his lack of follow through on environmental policies. He wrote, "One reason I supported President Obama is because he said we must protect clean air, water and lands. But what good is it to say the right thing unless you act on it?"




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