Redford, Robert, 1937–, American actor and director, b. Santa Monica, Calif., as Charles Robert Redford, Jr. One of Hollywood's superstars, he began his acting career in 1959, scoring his first big success in Neil Simon's Broadway hit Barefoot in the Park (1963) and moving toward stardom in its film version (1967). Teaming with Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), Redford became a genuine star with his portrayal of lovably roguish, tough yet tender crooks.
His other movies include The Candidate (1972), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Great Gatsby (1974), All the President's Men (1976), The Natural (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Havana (1990), Sneakers (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), The Last Castle (2001), and All Is Lost (2013,) in which the shipwrecked Redford is the only actor. As a director, his films include Downhill Racer (1969); Ordinary People (1980), for which he won the Academy Award; The Milagro Beanfield War (1988); A River Runs Through It (1993); and Quiz Show (1994). An activist in liberal and environmental causes, Redford also founded (1981) the Sundance Institute, which encourages young filmmakers, helps to finance new films, and showcases independent films in the annual Sundance Festival.
See biography by M. F. Callan (2011).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.