ROBERT REDFORD (Alexander Pierce) is an iconic actor and
filmmaker as well as an ardent conservationist
and environmentalist, a man who stands for social responsibility and political
involvement, and an artist and
businessman who is a staunch supporter of uncompromised creative expression.
This interest in creative expression began long before Robert Redford set his
mind on an acting career. Born
in Santa Monica, Calif., Redford's only sources of entertainment as a child were
the public library, radio and
the local movie theater. Cartoons inspired him to draw and paint on his own.
Later, he dropped out of the
University of Colorado and went to Paris, where he attended the Ecole des Beaux
Arts. When he returned to
the United States, Redford enrolled in art school in Brooklyn and the American
Academy of Dramatic Arts to
study acting so he would better understand the needs of the theater. His drama
teachers recognized his talent
and set design soon took a back seat to acting.
Redford 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"
and "Situation Hopeless,
But Not Serious," 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 became an instant classic and 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 a Best Actor nomination.
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," "Up Close &
Personal," "Spy Game," "The Last Castle," "The Clearing" and "An Unfinished
Life," 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 Oscar
nominations including Best
Redford produced and directed the 2011 critically acclaimed film, "The
Conspirator," the true story of Mary
Surratt, the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of
Abraham Lincoln, starring James
McAvoy and Robin Wright. In March 2012, Redford, as executive producer, working
alongside his son, Jamie
Redford, as producer, had the world premiere of their film "Watershed" at the
Environmental Film Festival in
Redford recently directed and starred in "The Company You Keep," alongside
Shia LaBeouf, Stanley Tucci, Anna
Kendrick, and many others. This thriller, focused on a former Weather
Underground activist, was released
in 2013. Redford is currently being lauded for his critically acclaimed, tour de
force performance in "All Is
Lost," J.C. Chandor's film released theatrically in October 2013. He is
currently in production on "A Walk in the
Woods," based on the Bill Bryson novel, in which he stars with Nick Nolte and is
directed by Larry Charles.
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 emotionally
shattering 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 Golden Globe Best
Director 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. In November 2007, he acted in, produced and directed
"Lions for Lambs."
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
Motorcycle Diaries," which were produced under his South Fork Picture banner.
For television, Redford executive produced the first American episode of the
PBS series, "MYSTERY!" in 2002.
Based on Tony Hillerman's novel, "Skinwalkers," the script was written by Jamie
Redford and directed by Chris
Eyre. Previously, Redford executive produced the telefilm "Grand Avenue," which
aired on HBO in 1996.
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 Award, recognizing his
achievements as "actor, director, producer and creator of Sundance, inspiration
to independent and innovative
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. The Institute's highly acclaimed
Screenwriting, Directing, Playwright
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.
In spring 2012, Redford launched Sundance London with an inaugural four-day
arts festival designed to present
the best of American independent film and music to audiences in the UK and
Europe. He also announced the
start of Sundance Entertainment, a new production company focusing on television
and multi-media content.
Its first project, "All The President's Men Revisited," premiered on Discovery
Channel Worldwide in winter
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 30 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).
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 Award 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."
Redford remains active with local, regional and national organizations on a
variety of environmental, arts and
justice issues and is a resident of Sundance, Utah.