Born Charles Robert Redford Jr. on August 18, 1937 in Santa Monica
, California to Charles and Martha Redford. His father was an accountant for Standard Oil
. At eighteen Redford attended the University of Colorado
on a baseball scholarship. Afterwards he worked for about one year as an oil worker, then traveled to Europe to live for a while in Paris
, looking to become a painter. He married Lola Van Wagenen in 1958 and in 1959 Redford returned to the United States and settled in New York, where he pursued an acting career. He began with small parts in Broadway
, then worked his way into bigger stage roles. He received his big film break in 1962 with a small part in the drama “War Hunt
.” It wasn’t until he starred in a Broadway production of “Barefoot in the Park
,” however, when he achieved true recognition and garnered big roles in “Situation Serious But Not Hopeless
” and “Inside Daisy Clover
,” both in 1965.
Following these mediocre films, Redford starred in a variety of other unmemorable movies. He was offered a role in the film version of “Who’s Afaid of Virginia Woolf” but declined the offer and instead spent that summer in Spain. When he returned he co-starred with Jane Fonda in the film version of “Barefoot in the Park,” which did very well. This gained him more positive attention, but then he went and turned down roles in “The Graduate” and “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Probably his most famous role came along in 1969 when he co-starred with Paul Newman as Butch in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” a tremendous success. Following films for Redford were less lustrous until 1973’s “The Way We Were,” the Barbara Streisand vehicle still popular in the hearts of many romance-seekers. Redford then starred in “The Sting,” a movie which received several Academy Awards including Best Picture. His famous portrayal of Jay Gatsby in the 1974 adaption of “The Great Gatsby” came next, which kept at the top of the list of Hollywood golden boys. Unlike his previous mistakes, Redford maintained a decent movie selection for quite a while during the late seventies with films such as “Three Days of the Condor” and “All the President’s Men.”
In 1980 Redford made his directorial debut with the incredibly moving drama “Ordinary People,” which won four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting actor for Timothy Hutton’s first film appearance. Redford stopped appearing in films for several years but returned in 1984’s “The Natural,” which was very well-recieved. He and his wife divorced in 1985, and he continued to star in a variety of good and bad films— perhaps the best film of his during the rest of the 1980s was “Out of Africa.”
The 1990s proved Redford still has it both directing and acting-wise, some of his many movies including the infamous “Indecent Proposal,” “A River Runs Through It” and “Quiz Show.” “Spy Game” is his latest work.
Redford also founded the Sundance Institute, which holds the annual Sundance Film Festival in Utah- known for giving a great push to burgeoning talent.
Other films with Robert Redford include:
“The Last Castle”
“Up Close and Personal”
“The Electric Horseman”
“The Great Waldo Pepper”
“This Property Is Condemned”
“The Iceman Cometh”
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