Robert Redford Biography

Robert Redford photo

Born: August 18, 1937


Date of Birth: August 18, 1937

This Santa Monica, California, native says that, "All my life I've been dogged by guilt because I feel there is a difference between the way I look and the way I feel inside. We are a country that is obsessed with the cosmetics of our lives, how we look."

The way he's always looked is simply marvelous and it no doubt led to his early screen casting. But he's long since proven himself more than just a pretty face with his excellent performances in front of the camera, his subtle touch behind the camera, and his founding of the Sundance Film Institute for budding filmmakers which led to the Sundance Film Festival which has become one of the world's leading showcase venues for independent films.

Not bad for a guy who didn't even think about being an actor until he was in his twenties. His first love was baseball and he even won a baseball scholarship to the University of Colarado but dropped out to move to Europe and chase his dream of being a painter. He returned to New York in the late '50s to study art at the Pratt Institute and at the same time began studying acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

It was his role alongside Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that turned Redford into a star of huge proportions. But, he once said, "They throw that word 'star' at you loosely, and they take it away equally loosely. You take the responsibility for their crappy movie, that's what that means."

He reteamed with Newman in The Sting (1973), and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In 1980, Redford made his feature film directorial debut with Ordinary People, and won his first Oscar for Best Director.

He also was nominated for Best Director for Quiz Show (1994), and was given an Honorary Oscar statuette for being an "Actor, director, producer, creator of Sundance, and an inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere."

In addition to winning six Golden Globes, he was awarded the prestigious Cecile B. DeMille Award in 1994.

More recently, he starred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and the Disney remake Pete's Dragon (2016), directed by David Lowery. Redford apparently agreed to the role in the Disney feature on the basis that in return, Lowery would direct him in the movie The Old Man & the Gun (2018), based on the true story of a man who escaped San Quentin in his later years and went on to rob several more banks. Redford received yet another Golden Globe nomination for his work in the film.

For the long-awaited feature film Avengers: Endgame (2019), which went on to earn close to US $2.8 billion at the worldwide box office, Redford reprised his role as Alexander Pierce.

Redford married Lola Van Wagenen in 1958. They have four children together but were divorced in 1985. In 2009 he married his second wife, Sibylle Szaggars.

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