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Robert Redford Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of award-wining filmmaker, philanthropist and environmentalist Robert Redford.


Birth date: August 18, 1936

Birth place: Santa Monica, California

Birth name: Charles Robert Redford Jr.

Father: Charles Redford Sr., an accountant

Mother: Martha (Hart) Redford

Marriages: Sibylle Szaggars (July 11, 2009-present); Lola Van Wagenen (September 12, 1958-1985, divorced)

Children: with Lola Van Wagenen: Amy, David James, Shauna and Scott

Education: Attended in the mid-to-late 1950s: University of Colorado, Boulder, Pratt Institute of Art, Brooklyn, New York, and American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York

Other Facts

Redford had polio as a child.

After losing interest in baseball at the University of Colorado, he worked in the California oil fields to earn money before moving to Europe to study painting.

Founder of Sundance Village, Sundance Institute, the Sundance Film Festival and the Redford Center.

Redford, a life-long environmentalist, fought to preserve over 1.7 million acres of Utah wilderness from development until it became a protected site by presidential decree in 1996. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is twice the size of Yosemite National Park.

An outdoor enthusiast and athlete, his hobbies include skiing, both water and snow, horseback riding, tennis, football and baseball.

Redford and first wife, Lola, built their Utah home themselves.

Nominated for four Academy Awards and won one. Also received an honorary Oscar.

Nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.


1959 – First Broadway role as one of the college basketball players in “Tall Story.” The film version is released in 1960 with Redford reprising his role.

May 1962 – His first credited movie, “War Hunt,” is released.

1963 – Appears in Neil Simon’s play “Barefoot in the Park.” Reprises his role in the movie in 1967.

1969 – Stars in the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

1973 – Stars in the film “The Way We Were.”

1974 – He pays $450,000 for the movie rights to “All the President’s Men” and later produces and stars in the film.

1981 – Wins an Academy Award for Best Director for “Ordinary People.”

1981 – Sundance Institute near Park City, Utah, is founded.

1985 – Stars in the film “Out of Africa.”

2002 – Receives an honorary Academy Award for “Actor, director, producer, creator of Sundance, inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere.”

2005 – Kennedy Center honoree.

2010 – Receives the Knight of the Legion of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

November 22, 2016 – Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama.

2017 – Stars in the film “Our Souls at Night.”

2018 – Stars in the film “The Old Man & the Gun” about the bank robber Forrest Tucker.

October 16, 2020 – Redford’s son, James, passes away from cancer.

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