Real name: Charles Robert Redford Jr.
Birthdate: August 18, 1937
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Robert Redford (born Charles Robert Redford, Jr. on August 18, 1936), is an American motion picture actor, director, producer, businessman, model, environmentalist, and philanthropist. One of Hollywood's biggest superstars, Redford's appeal has lasted several decades.
According to screenwriter William Goldman, Robert Redford was once described as "just another California blond—throw a stick at Malibu, you'll hit six of him." He attended the University of Colorado on a baseball scholarship but dropped out in 1957 to spend a year traveling and painting in Europe. Back in the United States, he studied theatrical design and acting in New York.
In 1980, Redford's first outing as a director, Ordinary People, a drama about the slow disintegration of an upper-middle class family, won him an Oscar. Redford managed to get a powerful dramatic performance out of America's Sweetheart, Mary Tyler Moore, as well as superb work from Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton. He also starred in The Natural (1984), based on characters and situations from Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel by the same name, The Natural. The film won Redford new fans and further acclaim.
His second stint behind the camera would not be for another eight years with The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), a well-crafted—though not commercially successful screen version of John Nichols' acclaimed novel of the Southwest. Other directorial projects have included the successful period family drama A River Runs Through It (1992), based on Norman Maclean's novella, and the intelligent expose Quiz Show (1994), about the quiz show scandal of the late 1950’s. Working from a screenplay by Paul Attanasio with noted cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and a strong cast that featured John Turturro, Rob Morrow and Ralph Fiennes. Redford's skill behind the camera earned him well-deserved praise. Redford handpicked Morrow for his part in the film (his only high profile feature film role to date), because he liked his work on Northern Exposure.
In 1995, Redford received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bard College. In December of 2005, he received honors at the Kennedy Center for his contributions to American culture. The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts: whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television. Currently, he is the narrator for the Cosmic Collision movie at the Denver Nature and Science Plantetarium.
His daughter Amy is set to direct her first feature film, an independent drama entitled The Guitar. His other daughter Shauna is married to Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser, with whom she has two children.