He’s a Hollywood legend with an impressive list of screen credits and countless awards, including the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom. Plus, he’s still a heartthrob, even in his 80s.
Here are some things you may not know about Robert Redford.
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Redford was born Aug. 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, Calif. After losing his baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado at Boulder as a result of heavy drinking, Redford moved overseas for a while. He returned to the U.S. in 1958 and married his first wife, Lola.
The Redfords lived in New York City, where Robert decided to try his luck at acting after his son Scott died of SIDS. He made his Broadway debut in “Tall Story” in 1959.
Redford’s biggest stage role was in the 1963 production of “Barefoot in the Park.” He reprised his role in the 1967 film version opposite Jane Fonda.
But it was the 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” that truly made Redford a star. He eventually founded Utah’s famous Sundance Film Festival, which he named after his iconic character in that film. The Sundance Film Festival gives independent movie directors a place to showcase their work.
Throughout his film career, Redford has made an effort to choose deep, interesting roles. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for “The Sting” (1973), and was also lauded for his performances in “The Candidate” (1972), “The Way We Were” (1973), “All the President’s Men” (1976), and “All is Lost” (2013).
Then, he found his second home behind the camera. For his directorial debut, “Ordinary People,” Redford won the 1980 Academy Award for Best Director. He was nominated a second time for directing the 1994 film “Quiz Show.” Redford also directed “A River Runs Through It” (1992), “The Horse Whisperer” (1998), and “The Conspirator” (2010).
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Redford its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.