Aug. 18th, 1936
Santa Monica, California, USA
Guest TV Roles
The Sundance Kid
Arthur Honniger - Hitchhiker
Jackson Emmit Parker
Born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, and Martha Hart. His mother died in 1955, the year after he graduated from high school. Charles Robert Redford Jr. was a scrappy kid who stole hubcaps in high school and lost his college baseball scholarship at the University of Colorado because of drunkenness. After studying at the Pratt Institute of Art and living the painter's life in Europe, he studied acting in New York at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Lola Van Wagenen (consumer activist), born in 1940, dropped out of college to marry Redford on September 12, 1958. They divorced in 1985 after having four children, one of whom died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Daughter Shauna Redford, born November 15, 1960, is a painter who married Eric Schlosser on October 5, 1985, in Provo, UT. Her first child, born in January 1991, made Redford a grandfather. Son James Redford (aka Jamie Redford), a screenwriter, was born May 5, 1962. Daughter Amy Redford, an actress; was born October 22, 1970. Redford also has a brother named William.
Television and stage experience coupled with all-American good looks led to movies and television roles. His breakthrough role was "The Sundance Kid" in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), when the actor was 32. The Way We Were (1973) and The Sting (1973), both in 1973, made Redford the number one box office star for the next three years. Redford used his clout to advance environmental causes and his riches to acquire Utah property, which he transformed into a ranch and the Sundance ski resort. In 1980, he established the Sundance Institute for aspiring filmmakers. Its annual film festival has become one of the world's most influential. Redford's directorial debut, Ordinary People (1980), won him the Academy Award as Best Director in 1981. He waited eight years before getting behind the camera again, this time for the screen version of John Nichols (I)' acclaimed novel of the Southwest, The Milagro Beanfield War (1988). He scored with critics and fans in 1992 with the Brad Pitt film A River Runs Through It (1992), and again, in 1994, with Quiz Show (1994), which earned him yet another Best Director nomination.
- 1995: Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#4).
- Lifelong friends with 'Sydney Pollack' (qv) both men having made their feature film acting debuts in _War Hunt (1962)_ (qv).
- Lost out on the role of Ben Braddock in _The Graduate (1967)_ (qv) because director Mike Nichols didn't think anyone would believe Redford would have trouble getting "the girl".
- 2005: Premiere Magazine ranked him as #17 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature.
- 1960: He spent his last $500 on two acres of land in Utah, an investment that would ultimately grow to 5,000 acres becoming home to his Sundance Institute. Founded by Redford in 1969, Sundance is located at the base of Utah's picturesque Mt. Timpanogos.
- In the early 1970s Paramount had plans to remake _Double Indemnity (1944)_ (qv) with Redford in the 'Fred MacMurray' (qv) role. The project never got off the ground.
- After his suggestions of 'Warren Beatty' (qv), 'Alain Delon' (qv) and 'Burt Reynolds (I)' (qv) to play the role of Michael Corleone in _The Godfather (1972)_ (qv) were rejected by 'Francis Ford Coppola' (qv), Paramount production chief 'Robert Evans (I)' (qv) suggested Redford. When Coppola demurred, preferring his first choice of Tony Awar-winning Broadway actor 'Al Pacino' (qv), Evans explained that Redford could fit the role as he could be perceived as "northern Italian." Evans lost the struggle, Pacino was cast and a star was born.