California native Robert Redford was a teenage bad-boy before he became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Losing a college baseball scholarship for excessive drinking may have been an oddly fortuitous turn for young Redford, as he went on to study painting and theatrical set design in New York, where he also landed his first roles on television and on stage. Dating from the late 1950s, you can catch a very young Redford in episodes of The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Redford made his big screen debut alongside Sydney Pollack and Tom Skerritt in War Hunt (1962). In 1967 he
appeared in Barefoot in the Park with Jane Fonda, which certainly made an impression on movie-goers, but it was as Sundance in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) that saw Redford shoot to stardom. 1973 double header The Sting and The Way We Were made his star status official and opened the door for starring roles in dozens of acclaimed films.
Redford first stepped behind the camera in 1980 to direct Ordinary People, a move that earned him his first Oscar. He would be nominated again for directing 1984’s Quiz Show. As he steadily became Hollywood royalty, his dedication to the art of filmmaking grew. His love of the Southwest saw him buy a large parcel of land near Provo, Utah which directly led to the establishment of the Sundance franchise. Along with the Sundance Film Festival that takes place in and around Park City, Utah each year and celebrates independent film, Redford’s Sundance is also affiliated with a catalog, cinemas, a television channel and the non-profit Sundance Institute supporting independent film.
Born in 1936, Robert Redford’s status as an actor and director has become nearly iconic. Active in environmental as well as film causes, the quintessential All American Boy has put his money where his mouth is and used his fame and fortune to establish a legacy in the world of film. His bad-boy days long, long behind him, Redford now has three living children and five grandchildren. He and his wife Sibylle Szaggars live in Utah.