Legendary Actors And Actresses Revisited – Robert Redford

September 17, 2015


Rugged and dashingly handsome Robert Redford was undoubtedly one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s. Despite his rare onscreen presence in modern cinema, he managed to stick around and remain “a powerful motion-picture industry force as an Academy Award-winning director as well as a highly visible champion of American independent filmmaking”, as Rotten Tomatoes described him.

Early Life

Robert Redford’s road to success was rather meandering. He was born on August 18, 1937, in Santa Monica, CA. He later attended the University of Colorado on a baseball scholarship and spent a year as an oil worker.

He then traveled to Europe and lived in Paris as a painter. Upon returning to the US, Redford settled in New York City decided to pursue a career in acting.

In 1959 Redford made his Broadway debut with a small role in “Tall Story”. Bigger and better parts soon came: “The Highest Tree”, “Little Moon of Alban” and “Sunday in New York”, while he also made several TV appearances.

However, he had to wait until 1963 for his first actual big break. He got the leading role in a Broadway production of “Barefoot in the Park”, and it was this role that launched Redford to prominence and opened the door to Hollywood.

Hollywood Career

The beginning of Redford’s Hollywood career was rather hard and full of mistakes. The actor rejected many a role which could have secured him a bright future in the business. He decline roles in: Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, “The Graduate”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, while he also backed out of the Western titled “Blue”, resulting in a series of lawsuits and a long period of inactivity.

Then in 1969, he finally made a successful decision. He and Paul Newman co-starred in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, which turned out to be a massive success. Despite the mixed reviews of the Butch Cassidy sequels, Redford made it big with Sydney Pollack’s 1973 romantic melodrama “The Way We Were”, co-starring Barbra Streisand, and the rest is history.

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The actor ended up winning numerous rewards, for both acting and directing, while he also made an enormous impact on independent film. Some of the greatest titles under his name include: “The Sting” 1973, “The Great Gatsby” 1974, “The Great Waldo Pepper” 1975, “Havana” 1990, “Spy Game” 2001, “An Unfinished Life” 2005…