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Robert Redford

Robert Redford recently starred in 2005's An Unfinished Life, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and in 2001, he starred in Spy Game, directed by Tony Scott, and The Last Castle, directed by Rod Lurie. In 2004, Redford was seen in The Clearing, directed by Pieter Jan Brugge.

He has since built a distinguished acting career, starring in such notable feature films as, Jeremiah Johnson, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, Three Days of the Condor, The Great Waldo Pepper, Brubaker, A Bridge Too Far, The Natural, Out of Africa, Legal Eagles, Sneakers, Indecent Proposal, and Up Close and Personal, among others

Redford has starred in several films produced by his own Wildwood Enterprises, which he founded in 1968. His acting and producing credits under the Wildwood banner include Downhill Racer, The Candidate, The Electric Horseman, and All the President's Men, which earned seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

In addition to his prominence as an actor, Redford won a Directors Guild of America Award, a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Director for his feature film directorial debut on the family drama, Ordinary People. He went on to both direct and produce The Milagro Beanfield War and A River Runs Through It, for which he received a Best Director Golden Globe nomination; and earned dual Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director in 1994 for helming Quiz Show. Redford also earned two Golden Globe nominations (Best Picture and Best Director) for The Horse Whisperer in 1998 and went on to direct and produce The Legend of Bagger Vance in 2000.

Redford also produced A Civil Action, starring John Travolta, and served as an executive producer on the films How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog, Slums of Beverly Hills, No Looking Back, and She's the One, and the September 2004 release, The Motorcycle Diaries, which were produced under his South Fork Picture banner.

For television, Redford recently executive produced the first American episode of the PBS series, MYSTERY! Based on Tony Hillerman's novel, Skinwalkers, the script was written by Jamie Redford and directed by Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals) and stars Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers) and Wes Studi (Dances With Wolves) as Native American detectives Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. MYSTERY: Skinwalkers premiered in November 2002. Previously, he executive produced the telefilm Grand Avenue, which aired on HBO in 1996.

Robert Redford is somewhat of an anomaly in the entertainment industry. Though he has been world-famous for more than thirty years, he remains a highly private individual. He is an ardent conservationist and environmentalist who stands for social responsibility and political involvement and an artist a staunch supporter of uncompromised creative expression.

Born in Santa Monica, CA, as a child his only sources of entertainment were the public library, radio and the local movie theater. Cartoons inspired him to draw and paint on his own. Later, having attended the University of Colorado, he dropped out and went to Paris where he attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts, where he pursued his goal of becoming a painter.

When he returned to the United States, Redford enrolled in art school in Brooklyn and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts to study acting. His drama teachers recognized his talent and set design soon took a back seat to acting.

He landed his first Broadway starring role in Sunday in New York, followed by Little Moon of Alban and Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, directed by Mike Nichols.

His first movie role was in War Hunt, in which Sydney Pollack, the man who would become a friend and frequently his director, played a bit part. He reprised the role of newlywed Paul Bratter in the film version of Barefoot in the Park, opposite Jane Fonda, for which he received praise from critics and audiences. His early film work includes Inside Daisy Clover, with Natalie Wood, The Chase, This Property is Condemned, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, among others.

In 1969, Redford and Paul Newman teamed to star in the Western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Directed by George Roy Hill, the film firmly established Redford as one of the industry's top leading men. He, Newman and Hill later reunited for The Sting, which won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, in addition to bringing Redford his Best Actor nomination.

A large part of Redford's life is his Sundance Institute (named for the outlaw he played in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), which he founded in 1981. The Sundance Institute is dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, and to the national and international exhibition of new independent cinema. Their highly acclaimed Screenwriting, Directing, Playwrite and Producing Labs take place at the Sundance Village mountain retreat in Utah, founded by Redford in 1969.

The Sundance Film Festival is a program of the Institute and is internationally recognized as the single most important showcase of independent cinema. Sundance Channel, a further extension of the Sundance Institute's mission, brings television viewers engaging feature films, shorts, documentaries, world cinema and animation, shown uncut and with no commercials. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture between Robert Redford, Showtime Networks Inc., and Universal Studios.

In February 1996, Redford received the Screen Actors Guild's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring his enduring contributions to film. In March 2002, he received an Honorary Academy AwardÂ, recognizing his achievements as "actor, director, producer and creator of Sundance, inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere."

In addition to his work as an actor, director and producer, Robert Redford has been a noted environmentalist and activist since the early 1970s and has served for almost thirty years as a Trustee of the Board the Natural Resources Defense Council. Redford has been involved with many pieces of environmental legislation including the Clean Air Act (1974-75), The Energy Conservation and Production Act (1974-76) and the National Energy Policy Act (1989).

Robert Redford has received numerous awards for his environmental work, including the 1989 Audubon Medal Award and the 1987 United Nations Global 500 Award, the 1993 Earth Day International Award and the 1994 Nature Conservancy Award. He was also the recipient of the 1997 National Medal for the Arts by President Clinton and the 2001 Freedom in Film presented by the First Amendment Center. He was honored with the 2002 Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts: Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2004 Forces for Nature Lifetime Achievement Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). In December 2005, Redford accepted the Kennedy Center Honors for his "distinguished achievement in the performing arts and in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the life of our country."

In addition to the NRDC, he joined the advisory board of the Land Trust of Napa Valley in 2004 and is a board member of The Gaylord A. Nelson Environmental Endowment at the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He also serves on the National Council of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian. His board memberships have included the Environmental Defense Fund, The Smithsonian Institution, Environmental Policy Center, the Navajo Education and Scholarship Foundation, the Solar Lobby, and Yosemite Institute, among others. He is a published author (The Outlaw Trail). In 1979, he produced The Solar Film, a short film about solar energy that was nominated for an Academy AwardÂ. Other documentaries he produced include, the award -winning Yosemite: Fate of Heaven and the feature length documentary, Incident at Oglala.

He is a resident of Sundance, Utah.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Robert Redford Facts

Birth NameCharles Robert Redford Jr.
OccupationActor, Director
BirthdayAugust 18, 1937 (86)
BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Robert Redford compared to you?
Awards2002 Academy Awards: Honorary Award
1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Life Achievement Award
1994 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award
1981 Academy Awards: Best Director (for Ordinary People)
1981 Golden Globe Awards: Best Director - Motion Picture (for Ordinary People)

Selected Filmography

The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Sneakers (1992)
Out of Africa (1985)
The Natural (1984)
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
The Sting (1973) user recommendation (breakthrough)
The Way We Were (1973)
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
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