Who Was Cary Grant?
Can we really ever know what someone is like by watching them on screen? We may feel like we do, but Cary Grant is the perfect example of someone who had a very different public and private persona. The actor was the perfect suave and debonair leading man, starred in some of Hollywood’s most iconic productions and always looked great doing so.
Grant’s daughter and fourth wife released memoirs recently that give us a glimpse into the late actor’s life and reveal that his character was more complex and fallible than we could have ever imagined.
Despite hailing from England, whose inhabitants are often pale-skinned, Cary Grant never appeared in a movie without sporting the perfect tan. His tan did not come out of the makeup kit, and he is actually well known for barely wearing any. It was all his own, and he spent plenty of time in the sun to keep it up.
But just being tan wasn’t enough, Cary Grant maintained his physique as well. In fact, the actor never weighed more than 180 pounds during his entire life. Proving that maintaining his good looks was still a priority even after he left show business.
No Stars to Be Seen
One amusing encounter occurred while Cary Grant and fellow British actor Michael Caine were engaged in conversation outside a Los Angeles hotel. They were approached by a fan who only recognized Caine. The woman went on to tell him that although she had spent two weeks in town, Caine was the only movie star she had seen.
She then addressed Grant and told him that you never get to see the big Hollywood stars. He wholeheartedly agreed and began to laugh.
The Real James Bond
The role of James Bond in 'Dr. No' was actually offered to Cary Grant first, before Sean Connery accepted and played the iconic spy. Grant reportedly believed that he was too old for the part because he was 58 years old at the time.
That is somewhat ironic, because the creator of 007 himself, Ian Fleming, has said that the inspiration for James Bond was, in fact, Cary Grant. He based him on the actor’s roles in 'Notorious', 'To Catch A Thief', and 'North by Northwest', to name just a few.
The Stage as a Second Home
Cary Grant did not have an easy childhood, and he used the stage as an escape from his problems. Although he received a scholarship to attend grammar school, he was kicked out at the age of 13, allegedly for sneaking into the girls’ bathroom. Not long after, he left home to try his luck with a comedy troupe, which played shows both in England and across the pond.
In 1927, he was cast in the Broadway musical 'Golden Dawn'. This was the beginning of his stage career, and led to other parts, which more often than not were critically acclaimed. Four years after his Broadway debut, in 1931, Grant was signed by Paramount Pictures.
A New Name
Cary Grant was born as Archibald Alexander Leach, but when he began at Paramount, the executives had some reservations about the name. One even said to him that, “Archie just doesn’t sound right in America,” prompting the actor to admit that, “It doesn’t sound particularly right in Britain, either.”
The first name he came up with was “Cary Lockwood,” but the higher-ups felt it sounded too much like other stars. While going over a list of names, he stopped on Grant and the rest is tinsel town history. In 1941, Archibald Leach legally changed his name to Cary Grant.
Second Time’s the Charm
No one can dispute the fact that Cary Grant is the epitome of Hollywood success, which makes it even more surprising that the actor failed his very first screen test. He was spotted by a talent scout from Fox Film Corporation in 1928, who was interested in casting him in a movie.
The opportunity, however, fell through after he failed the screen test for having too thick a neck and sporting a bowlegged walk. He may have missed his chance for stardom in the silent movie era, but once talking films became all the rage, he became a great success.
First Time on Screen
Grant’s first movie was a comedy from 1932 titled 'This is the Night'. The film did well and was the first of many hits for the actor. He soon made a name for himself as a good looking and sophisticated leading man in such films as 'Merrily Go to Hell', 'Hot Saturday', and 'Madame Butterfly'.
In 1933, he starred alongside Mae West in the films 'She Done Him Wrong' and 'I’m No Angel'. The starlet took credit for discovering Grant, despite his appearance in several Hollywood movies previously. Unfortunately, Grant went on to face a string of box office flops which put his entire career in jeopardy.
“Most Spectacular Run Ever”
But Grant would not quit, he kept working and eventually, his career took off again, beginning with the comedy 'The Awful Truth', which was released in 1937. The films that followed were all massive hits that ended up being, according to Benjamin Schwartz, a critic for The Atlantic, “the most spectacular run ever for an actor in American pictures.”
Grant went on to star in what are considered two of the greatest comedies of all times, 'Bringing Up Baby' and 'The Philadelphia Story'. He also received critical acclaim and was nominated twice for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, once in 1941 for 'Penny Serenade', and once in 1944 for 'None but the Lonely Heart'.
The War Effort
Although Cary Grant was not a soldier in World War II, he did receive the Kings Medal for Services in the Cause of Freedom. There are rumors that he earned it by spying on both his colleagues and his wife at the time, Barbara Woolworth Hutton.
The Woolworths were one of the wealthiest families around and were suspected of sending aid to the fascists. The actor also gave away all of his earnings from two films to support the British and American war efforts.
Mr. Nice Guy
In all his years on screen, Cary Grant never once portrayed a villain. This was an intentional move by the studio to keep audiences from feeling anything remotely negative about the actor. The only somewhat controversial role that Grant ever took was in Alfred Hitchcock’s film 'Suspicion', from 1941.
In the film, he plays a husband whose wife believes that he is going to murder her but, in the end, he is revealed as innocent. Hitchcock claims that the ending was changed at the direction of the studio in order to maintain Grant’s “heroic” image.
Hitchcock Was a Fan
The actor caught the attention of and soon became one of Alfred Hitchcock’s favorites. The legendary director chose Grant to star in some of his most iconic films including 'North by Northwest', 'Notorius' and 'To Catch a Thief' with Grace Kelly. Although, similarly to Hitchcock, Grant never took home an Oscar for any of his movies.
He also never won a Golden Globe even though he was nominated in the Best Actor category five times in six years. Some people claim that Cary Grant was not the kind of actor that wins an Academy Award due to his effortless style of acting.
A Free Agent
At the time, actors usually worked with one of the big studios for their entire careers, but Grant was so successful by the beginning of the 1940s, that he decided not to renew his contract with Paramount and become a free agent. He then began to hand-pick his own parts and became more and more selective over time.
The first role he picked after leaving Paramount was in the 1946 Hitchcock film North by Northwest with Eva Marie Saint. Grant remained a free agent and worked with whichever studio he chose until his retirement.
Quitting the Biz
In 1966, when Cary Grant was 62, his first and only child was born. It was a girl named Jennifer and after her birth, Grant retired from acting, but he was not just a stay-at-home dad. Grant became a businessman and joined the board of directors for the cosmetics company, Fabergé, which is no longer in business.
Despite some opinions that the appointment was just for show, Grant proved that he had a head for business. He later went on to serve on other boards, such as Hollywood Park, which became Pinnacle Entertainment, and Western Airlines, which merged with Delta in 1987. In 1975, he joined the board director for MGM Studios.
Grant did officially retire after the birth of his daughter, but he unofficially quit appearing in movies more than ten years earlier, in 1952. At that time, he began to believe that his type of acting was old-fashioned and that the method acting being showcased by James Dean and Marlon Brando was the future.
He was also not acting as a form of protest against the shunning of Charlie Chaplin by Hollywood for his liberal point of view. He did agree to appear in 'To Catch A Thief' after Alfred Hitchcock convinced him.
Although the actor semi-retired in 1952, people were still surprised by Grant’s official retirement. Even Alfred Hitchcock could not lure him back this time to star in the movie 'Torn Curtain'. Over the years, many important directors approached Grant and asked to work with him, including Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, and even Stanley Kubrick, but Grant said no to all of them.
The only time the actor appeared on screen for the remainder of his life was in the audience and backstage in the Elvis Presley concert documentary, 'Elvis: That’s the Way It is'.
His Final Curtain Call
In the final years of his life, Cary Grant toured America including some of his old vaudeville haunts with his one-man show, 'A Conversation with Cary Grant'. He would get up on stage, answer audience questions and screen clips from his films. Sadly, just before one of these performances, in November 1986, Grant suffered a stroke.
He passed away later that night and, per his wishes, his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean. His daughter, Jennifer, and his wife, Barbara, inherited most of his estate, which was worth between $60 and $80 million. The man was gone, but the legend remained.
Wives One, Two and Three
When Grant passed away, he was married to Barbara Harris, who was his fifth wife. Grant’s first marriage to Virginia Cherrill took place in 1934. She accused him of domestic abuse, and they called it quits. He married one of the richest women in the world, Barbara Hutton, in 1942.
They were married for three years before they separated. Grant’s next marriage was to a fellow actress by the name of Betsy Drake, and the pair actually stayed together for 12 and a half years, which for Hollywood is quite a good run.
Wives Four and Five
The third divorce was probably brought about by Grant’s affair with his 'The Pride and The Passion' and 'Houseboat' costar, Sophia Loren, ironically written by Betsy Drake, his wife at the time. He tied the knot again in 1965 with Dyan Cannon, another actress and the mother of his only child, daughter Jennifer, born in 1966.
The couple split in 1986, but Grant did not give up on love. He continued searching and in 1981, he married his fifth and last wife, Barbara Harris, a hotel public relations agent. They were married until his death in 1986.
A Sixth Proposal
Despite his five marriages and four divorces, there was at least one instance in which Grant proposed and was not accepted. While filming 'The Pride and the Passion', the actor had a love affair with his costar Sophia Loren. He was 30 years older than her and married at the time, and she was in a relationship with producer Carlo Ponti, who was also married.
None of this kept Grant from falling for her and asking her to marry him. Loren said no and later went on to marry Ponti. The spark between them rekindled years later when they were working together on 'Houseboat'.
“Each New Marriage Is More Difficult”
When asked about his marriages, Cary Grant would say this: “It seems that each new marriage is more difficult to survive than the last one,” and also added, “I’m rather a fool for punishment. I keep going back for more, don’t ask me why.”
Although some might say that getting married five times does seem foolish, in the end, it appears that Grant found the right match. His marriage to Barbara Harris which began in 1981, only ended due to the tragic circumstance of his stroke.
A Rocky Start
According to Grant’s friend, Prince Rainer of Monaco, he finally did manage to make it work. Rainer said that in his last marriage, Grant was the happiest he had ever seen him. This happiness was not easily won, it took a lifetime of trial and error.
The 2017 documentary, 'Becoming Cary', includes a segment in which Grant talks about his first marriage and why it was doomed. He says, “I doubt if either of us was relaxed enough to trust what we had,” he recalled. “My possessiveness and fear of losing her brought about the very thing I had feared: the loss of her.”
Dyan Cannon, Cary Grant’s fourth wife, published a memoir about their marriage and life, titled 'Dear Cary'. In the book, she talks about how much she liked Grant when they began dating, but that over time she began to see a dark side to him. She states that he was demanding and controlling, going so far as to ask her to alter her appearance and to give up on her acting career.
Following their divorce, Cannon’s career picked up and despite her ex-husband's criticism, she ended up being nominated for three Academy Awards.
A Different Man
Cannon talks in her book about the changes that took place in Grant’s behavior and attitude towards her following their engagement. She wrote, “He’d started criticizing my appearance and was agitated on our wedding day,” and added, “The following day, my ring finger started to swell up and we had to find a plumber to blowtorch my wedding ring off. If that wasn’t a sign, I don’t know what was.”
That does seem quite telling and makes you wonder if similar personality changes and bad omens occurred with any of his other wives.
A Difficult Pregnancy
Grant and Cannon’s problems did not end once they were married, and additional issues came up when Cannon was pregnant with the couple’s daughter, Jennifer. She talks about the changes in their relationship in her memoir, “By the time I was pregnant, [Grant] had also withdrawn from me physically – which is hard because, before that, we had been all over each other. Things became polite, almost cold, between us.”
Although Grant was ecstatic about being a father and doted on Jennifer, that was still not enough for the couple to make their marriage work.
Always with Him
Although Grant’s marriages didn’t typically last long, he carried the memories of all of his ex-wives with him. There was always a gold chain around his neck which held three charms.
Each one represented the religion of his previous wives: a St. Christopher medallion for Virginia Cherrill who was Roman Catholic, a small cross for Barbara Hutton and Betsy Drake who were Protestants, and a Star of David for Dyan Cannon who was Jewish. The necklace can even be seen in some of his films.
Grant met Barbara Harris when he was on a business trip to London. She was 47 years younger than him and they had a long-distance relationship for several years. In 1978, she finally agreed to move to California to be with him.
They lived together for three years before Grant decided to ask her to marry her, but first, he asked for 15-year-old Jennifer’s permission. The couple had a small wedding on the terrace of their Beverly Hills house and then had lunch inside, which the bride had prepared that morning.
Despite his public persona, Cary Grant was often unhappy and suffered from depression. He tried many experimental therapies to help with his condition and discovered a popular, and at the time legal, psychedelic compound. He claimed that the compound helped him find inner peace and urged Cannon to also partake in order to save their marriage, even though she told him she disliked taking it.
Looking back, she says, “When we split up, I was terribly depressed. I had a breakdown and ended up in a psychiatric hospital – the doctors said it had contributed to my mental state.”
His Road to Stardom
Cary Grant came from humble beginnings. He was born in Bristol, England under the name Archibald Leach. He began performing and moved to the U.S., where he made a name for himself as a performer. It took him a few years, but he eventually went on to become one of Tinseltown's brightest stars. He acted side by side with some of the biggest names in an era that has since become known as the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Despite being nominated, Grant never won an Academy Award for any of his roles, but he did receive an honorary Oscar for his lifetime achievements. Although Grant has the ultimate rags to riches story, his life behind the camera was not exactly a fairytale.
Living in the Past
To the public, the legendary actor always seemed on top of the world, but for Grant, acting was his way to escape the problems that he had faced when he was a child and was still dealing with as an adult. At the age of 31, Grant found out that his mother, whom he believed dead for over twenty years, was actually alive and had been in a psychiatric hospital in England the entire time.
After his third wife, Betsy Drake, broke things off, Grant sought help from a psychiatrist who encouraged him to take recreational drugs. He felt that the drugs were beneficial, and thanks to them, he “went through rebirth” and confronted his issues. The actor even left the doctor who was treating him $10,000 in his will.
Loving but Strict
Cary Grant’s fourth wife is not the only one to have published a book about her time with the actor. His daughter Jennifer, who was with Grant for the last twenty years of his life, also wrote about their relationship in her 2011 memoir, 'Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father'.
She speaks freely about his loving nature but also about his strict stands on certain things, specifically makeup. Grant believed that women should not wear makeup and she recalls that she once got into big trouble when her father found eyeshadow in her room.
Trick or Treat
Jennifer recalls a story that shows just how committed Grant was to being in her life. On one Halloween when she was growing up, her father rented a house in the neighborhood where she was trick-or-treating so that he could see her in her costume and hand her some candy.
She says, "At the time ... I was embarrassed, I think, by the extent of his love and devotion to me. So I just sort of ran up and got the candy and gave him a hug and left. It's moments like that that I look back on — and I regret those moments. I wish I'd just sat down and said, 'Oh, thank you Dad!'"
After Cannon and Grant were divorced, he was dedicated to not missing anything in his daughter’s life. Grant then began meticulously keeping a literal fireproof vault that held photographs, audiotapes, letters and Super 8 films, all carefully labeled.
It was important for him to keep this archive because all of his records were destroyed in the bombings of WWII. He left this collection to his daughter and she believes that it has helped her understand him better as a father.
The Value of Money
Although the rumors claim that Grant was famously cheap, his daughter refutes the claim. She says, “I always found him generous to a fault but he wasn’t reckless with his money, which was rather rare in Hollywood. He’d grown up with nothing and he wasn’t about to fritter it all away".
"His attitude was he knew he could walk into any shop and buy whatever he wanted. He just didn’t have to. That taught me the proper value of money.”
People who worked with Grant, however, tell a different story about his thrifty nature. There was even a rumor that he removed the buttons from his old shirts before getting rid of them. Grant did not deny the rumor.
He actually told the interviewer that he thought it was a good idea to keep the extra buttons around and that he gave the shirts to the maid so that she could polish the furniture without scratches. Stating, “I think it’s a very sensible procedure and should be adopted as a household tip.”
Despite his caution with money, Grant could be surprisingly generous at times. He bought his friends gifts suddenly and unexpectedly, and even gave Cannon a sable coat after their bitter divorce.
He explained that he felt his mean image was undeserved, saying, “I’m sure I have that reputation because I don’t gamble or go to nightclubs or give huge parties, and because I don’t believe in giving gifts at Christmas. I give presents when I feel like it.”
A Tale of Two Muffins
An incident that took place at the Plaza Hotel in New York perfectly exemplifies the duality of Grant’s nature regarding money. He ordered coffee and English muffins sent to his room for breakfast. When the food arrived, there were only three half slices on the plate. Grant could not understand why the menu said muffins in plural if he only received a muffin and a half.
No one knew why, so he eventually called Conrad Hilton in Istanbul only to discover that an efficiency expert had found that most people leave the last half muffin and decided not to serve it. He summarized the experience by saying, “It cost me several hundred dollars in phone calls, but ever since, I have always gotten four slices of muffin at the Plaza.”
Grant did not have an easy time growing up. His father had his mother committed to a psychiatric hospital when he was only nine, due to her manic episodes and severe depression. His father was drinking heavily and made a decision to tell his son that she had passed away.
It was only at the age of 31, two decades later, that Grant found out that his mother was still alive. In the meantime, his father had moved on, married again and started a new family.
Missing Front Tooth
Can you spot what’s wrong with this Hollywood leading man’s smile? It is hard to see, but he only has one front incisor. Apparently, he chipped the other one while playing on the ice as a small child. He didn’t want to get in trouble, so he went by himself to a nearby dental college and they removed the tooth entirely.
His father was none the wiser and over the course of several years, Grant’s other teeth compensated for the loss by shifting and covering the gap. The only person who ever reportedly noticed was a sharp-eyed cinematographer.
The Basis for Superman’s Alter Ego
Cary Grant’s influence on Hollywood cannot be denied, but in one case he gave inspiration not to the hero, but to his bumbling alter ego. Christopher Reeve, who is remembered for his iconic portrayal of Superman, claimed that he based Clark Kent’s behavior on Grant’s goofball character in 'Bringing Up Baby'.
Ironically, when the movie was released, it did not do very well in the box office, but it is now considered a comedy classic.
Rumors abounded that Cary Grant was, in fact, gay or bi-sexual, but neither his daughter nor his fourth wife believed this to be true. Jennifer actually stated that “Perhaps he had what Virginia Woolf described as ‘an androgynous mind’.”
As for her mother’s assertions that Grant had a “dark side”, Jennifer responded that “She was his wife. I was his daughter. The relationships are quite different.”
Chevy Chase Allegations
Grant seemed glib about the rumors regarding his homosexuality, claiming that they actually helped him pick up women who were interested in proving them wrong. However, he was not happy when comedian Chevy chase implied that he was gay during an interview.
It didn’t seem that Chase made the comment with any real intent and that he was just trying to be funny, but Grant wasn’t laughing and sued the comedian for $10 million! They ended up settling out of court and it is believed that Chase paid him a whopping $1 million for his unfortunate joke.
Cannon and Grant - The Musical
Dyan Cannon, who is now in her eighties, is working on a Broadway musical that she will also star in. She has been writing it for years, and it focuses on insatiable cravings. She explains, “It’s about all the things we need in life until we get them and then think, ‘There’s something else I need…’ All those things that we need in life.”
The play has received the support of Tony Award-winning director, John Doyle, and Cannon has written a special part which is based on the life of Cary Grant.
Cannon sums up the relationship she had with Grant by saying, “As much as I loved him then – and how could I not as he was kind and funny and charming – I’d have to say I’d also fallen in love with his image and expected that image to make me happy, which was impossible.”
Following his death, she stated, “I felt so much love for him. I love him more now than when we were together — I understand him much better.”
Being Cary Grant
Grant was the perfect leading man and offered audiences an escape from their ordinary lives in the movie theater. However, for years he dealt with inner turmoil and his difficult past. It seems that by the end of his life, he had come to terms with his demons and had found some peace, although he never quite bought the dream he was selling.
He said, “I have spent the greater part of my life fluctuating between Archie Leach and Cary Grant, unsure of each, suspecting each.” When an interviewer once told him, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant replied, "So would I."
Still an Icon
Although Grant passed away more than 30 years ago, his status as a movie star has not diminished. He was ranked the #1 Movie Star of All Time by Premiere magazine in 2005. The American Film Institute named him the second Greatest Male Star of All Time of American cinema, after Humphrey Bogart, in 1999.
He was voted the sixth Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly and was chosen by Empire (UK) magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.
Commemorated in Art
Grant has also been immortalized in art. A life-sized bronze statue of the actor is on display in his native town of Bristol in Millennium Square. It was unveiled in 2001, by his widow, Barbara Jaynes, to commemorate 70 years since his Hollywood debut.
Grant was also commemorated in the form of street art. Graffiti artist Stewy added him to his library of hand-cut, life-size stencils of British icons and animals, which can be found in the streets of the city of Bristol.
Read on to learn about Robert Redford's family secrets and untold facts about the Hollywood legend
Robert Redford is best known for the distinguished Sundance Film Festival and a shortlist of landmark American cinema. His illustrious career as an actor, producer, and director spans six decades. The Library of Congress honored his work thrice, though few would know this fact directly from the unpretentious moviemaker.
Most do not know about the adversities the great filmmaker and widely recognized Hollywood lead man overcame. Redford survived polio as a child, to start. From humble beginnings, he endured one heart-wrenching setback after another on the road to stardom. As a teenager, he rumbled through a stint of run-ins with the law! We go into depth with little-known facts about the film icon.
The Original Hollywood Heartthrob
Robert Redford galloped into the hall of Hollywood legends when he starred as the Sundance Kid in the classic 1969 film, 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', a modern twist on an old western tale. The film featured Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, and it signaled the start of a long friendship between the two actors.
The original Hollywood heartthrob was born on August 18, 1939, to Irish-Scottish parents in Santa Monica, California. His father worked as a milkman until he became an accountant and the family moved to Van Nuys. Unfortunately, his mother passes away in 1955, and after his father remarried, stepbrother William Redford joined the family. He was also close with his uncle David, who lost his life in 1945 during his military service.
A Tribute to Childhood Polio with ‘Cathedrals of Culture’
In 2014, Redford directed an installment of a documentary film about architectural wonders. The building he featured, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla designed by Louis Kahn, was chosen for a very sentimental reason. In Cathedrals of Culture, Redford paid respect to Jonas Salk, the groundbreaking scientist who developed the world’s first vaccine for polio. The vaccine effectively eliminated the disease. It is one of the most significant medical achievements of all time.
Most people do not know that Redford, as a child, became afflicted with the illness. He told NPR he became stricken with the disease after overexerting himself by swimming in the ocean on a cold day. He was lucky. His case was mild, and he survived relatively unscathed.
School Was Not His Favorite Place
“All I could think about was how to get myself out, once I was in, without relying on a bell ringing,” Redford told Rolling Stone, recalling the days he was trapped at a desk in the classroom. He used every excuse he could think of—stomach aches, bathroom breaks, needing to call home—just to get outside and wander around for a few minutes.
“I was not a good student,” Redford said. “My mind was out the window. I drew underneath the desk. I drew pictures.” The classroom was not the place where he learned. In 2013, he revealed to NPR, “I wasn’t learning the way I was supposed to learn, and I think I realized that my education was going to happen when I got out in the world and engaged with other cultures, other places, other languages and had the adventure of exploration. And I felt, ‘That’s my education.’”
The Fabled Actor was a Teenage Hooligan
“I was a failure at everything I tried,” Redford told Success magazine. He got in trouble with the law. He couldn’t hold down a job. Redford even said he used to work at a supermarket as a box boy and got fired. And then his dad found him a job at Standard Oil, and he got fired from that too!
The worst of it was his brushes with the law. He didn’t say how many times he was arrested, but he did tell Success that it was nothing a street kid in New York wouldn’t recognize. Shrugging it off, he added, it was “just stealing hubcaps and breaking into people’s backyards to use the pool when they were away.” The magazine interviewed the actor when he was 43 years old. Redford said his shenanigans and irresponsible behavior sprouted from not being happy in his environment.
Redford Won a Sports Scholarship to the University of Colorado
Redford went to college in Colorado, looking to escape L.A. and be more close to nature. Though he loved L.A. as a kid, “When the war ended . . . suddenly Los Angeles . . . it felt like the city was being pushed into the sea. . . . Suddenly there were skyscrapers and freeways and smog.”
Colorado was an escape, and he wanted out. Redford’s unmistakable athleticism in high school earned him a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado. In high school, he also excelled in tennis and football. In college, he pitched for the team and even joined a fraternity. Alas, having lost his mother just several years earlier, he was not quite out of his hooligan stage. Drinking became an issue and he ended up losing his scholarship and having to drop out of the university.
Falling in Love and Finding His Way
At university, Redford fell in love with Lola Van Wagenen. After he dropped out, so did she. The girl was from a Mormon family. The rollicking romance burned strong surviving a year’s absence when the young man went off to Europe to find his way as an artist. After studying art in Paris for a year, he returned to Lola.
Everything worked out. In 1987, the University of Colorado awarded Redford an honorary degree, and his quest to be an artist led him to develop his acting career.
The couple longed to be wed. Perhaps Lola Van Wagenen did not have the support of her parents, seeing how it was her beau’s fault she dropped out of the university, because the lovebirds decided to elope.
In September of 1958, they stowed off to Las Vegas and were quietly married. Five weeks later, a respectable public ceremony was held in Provo for family, friends, and loved ones.
Love and Children
Almost a year later, the couple welcomed the birth of their first son. Two and a half months later, tragedy struck. “It was really hard,” Redford recalled. The couple was very young, and Redford had just closed his first theater job. Neither of them had heard of 'sudden infant death syndrome, which is how their first son passed away. Two years later, the young couple gave birth to their first daughter. Shauna was followed by Jaimie, born in 1962, and Amy, another daughter, was born in 1970.
Their worries hardly came to an end. Jaimie, their second son, was born seven weeks premature with severe medical conditions. His teen years brought more concern. The boy developed a medical condition that transferred Jaimie and his parents in and out of the hospital.
The End of an Era
After 28 years of marriage, the Redfords went their separate ways. The divorce was final in 1985. Robert Redford has said that the passing of two-month-old Scott caused a rift that never healed between the couple. They blamed each other and they blamed themselves. It was Redford who kissed the baby goodnight when they found him lifeless in the crib the next morning.
Following the divorce, the now-famous actor began dating Sibylle Szaggars, with who he moved in during the 1990s, and then married, finally, in 2009.
The Beginning of a Television Career
Redford fell in love with stage acting. His very first role was in Tall Story on Broadway. He had one line in the 1959 production, but it saved his family during a tight stretch. He went on to perform countless Broadway shows and other theater productions.
About the time his second child was born, the actor decided to move his acting ambitions to television. His career took off like wildfire. He scored roles in 'The Twilight Zone', 'Maverick', 'The Untouchables' and 'Perry Mason'. The 24-year-old was well on his way to an incredible profession, and to being one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
A Fish Tale
Just to get gigs, Redford often worked for nothing, or near nothing. One such time was when he was offered $75 to appear on a TV game show. It would be his television debut. The only problem was that when payday came, the naturalist and budding actor did not see a single penny. The producers insisted he takes an expensive fishing rod and calls it even.
In the end, it gave him an entertaining story to tell and also some inspiration for his well-known film 'A River Runs Through It'.
The Roots of Sundance Institute and Arts Center
Redford was practically penniless when he took off to Europe to try his hand as an artist. When he was ready to make his first real estate investment, he pulled together $500 for a down payment on two acres of land in the Provo Canyon, just outside of Park City, Utah. It was the perfect retreat from Hollywood. He and Lola built their first house on the property, an eco-friendly design powered by solar energy. The area included a ski resort at the bottom of Mt. Timpanogos, named Timp Haven, which he would eventually rename 'Sundance'.
As years went on, he expanded the property to include 7,000 acres with quarter horses, farmland, and a fishing pond. From two small acres to thousands, this is where the first Sundance Film Festival in 1978 was located, becoming, as we all know by now, one of the world’s most prestigious festivals for independent films. The overwhelming success of the event would later require the Sundance Film Festival to be relocated to Park City.
Redford Debuts on the Silver Screen
Robert Redford’s first role on the big screen was a minor part in the film version of 'Tall Story' (1960), but he got to rub elbows with stars Jane Fonda and Anthony Perkins.
His first major role in a motion picture found him starring in the Korean War drama 'War Hunt', which tells a story about a war-ravaged lieutenant and his platoon trapped on the enemy’s side. This film led to a lead role starring Alex Guinness in another movie, this time a comedy. It was called, 'Situation Hopeless''. Soon enough, he starred in the 1965 film 'Inside Daisy Clover', which won him a Golden Globe award for the best new star.
Too Handsome to Cast
As Redford’s career hummed along, he came across a role the director would not cast him in. Looking for an actor to portray the awkward Benjamin Braddock in the 1967 film 'The Graduate', director Mike Nichols screened Redford but eventually turned him down for Dustin Hoffman, who turned out to be the perfect fit.
As Nichols tells it, “Robert wanted the part. I said, ‘You can’t play it. You can never play a loser.’ And Redford said, ‘What do you mean? Of course I can play a loser.’ And I said, ‘O.K., have you ever struck out with a girl?’ and he said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he wasn’t joking.” The director simply could not envision Redford playing a young college graduate, and a virgin, struggling to get a girl.
The Blonde Stereotype
One thing Redford tried desperately to avoid was being typecast as the good-looking blonde guy. “This constant reference to me being the way I looked made me crazy like I was being put into a cage", Redford lamented. But it’s also true that Hollywood is a magnet for the prettiest people. Observe, that one of the differences between a modern Hollywood heartthrob and Redford is he doesn’t pose or flex or try to look good. It’s like he can’t help it.
Nevertheless, Redford wanted to be cast for his acting skills—for his craft, instead of his face. “The notion is that you’re not so much of an actor, you’re just somebody that looks well,” he said. Adding, “That was always hard for me because I always took pride in whatever role I was playing.” Later in life, the actor found a bit of an escape from the stereotyping, “The nice thing about getting older is you don’t have that so much anymore.”
Too Blonde to be Michael Corleone
Redford’s performance as the Sundance Kid locked him in as a good-looking, intelligent actor with an edge. Studios desired him, whether or not he fit the part. Paramount execs insisted someone like Robert Redford play 'The Godfather's Michael Corleone, but the notoriously stubborn director, Francis Ford Coppola, would not have it. He tenaciously stood by his choice—Al Pacino. It was a bitter fight. Pacino recalled, “The studio didn’t want me after they hired me.” (They said he was too short to play Corleone.)
When Paramount studio executives made clear to Coppola their choice to cast Redford, Coppola dismissed it saying he could not picture a blonde Sicilian. He preferred an unknown actor who looked Italian-American to play the heir-apparent to the Godfather’s throne. Others considered for the role by the studio for the 1972 movie were Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, and Martin Sheen. The rest is history.
Too Attractive to Ravish an Actress
Robert Redford debuted in a spy role in the conspiracy thriller 'Three Days of Condor'. But he had to sit one of the parts out. It wasn’t a stunt scene—as the athletic actor is always proud to mention he does most of his own stunts—it was a violent scene that was too much for Redford to handle. Actress Faye Dunaway, who starred opposite, playing a kidnap victim, later wrote in her memoir that the idea of being kidnapped and violated by Robert Redford was not at all terrifying.
To achieve an authentic-looking take, director Sydney Pollack took charge, furtively stepping in as the spy, and with cameras rolling, Dunaway recalls the fear. “He scared the hell out of me.” Dunaway said, during the take, the director lunged at her shouting, ‘I AM GOING TO GET YOU.’ She recalls, that he kept moving closer, “his eyes glaring at me as he went on detailing all the horrible things he was going to do to me, and let me tell you, Sydney has an inventive mind. He is also a great actor.” She called him relentless.
The Sundance Kid
Despite the bumpy start with the studio, 'The Sundance Kid' was the role Robert Redford was made to play. “When I read it, I thought, ‘This is perfect for me,’” Redford informed the Salt Lake City Tribune. He told them, looking back at the film 50 years later, he always related to the “outlaw sensibility,” ever since he was a kid. The studio, on the other hand, wanted him to play Butch in the 1969 Oscar-winning film 'Butch Cassidy' and the 'Sundance Kid'.
“The studio did not want me,” Redford explained, “and they tried everything to keep me out of the film.” But Paul Newman and writer William Goldman stood up to the studio until they kept him in. Paul Newman basically said he would only be in the movie if Redford played The Kid. Redford responded, “I never forgot that.” The two remained friends and developed a very close, decades-long bond since that shoot. In the end, The Academy passed Redford by, he missed a Golden Globe nomination, but the 'Sundance Kid' was granted a BAFTA from across the pond.
Reuniting with Paul Newman, Redford starred in 'The Sting', the top-grossing film of 1974 and the magnum opus of Redford’s career, earning him an Oscar nomination. Playing a two-bit swindler, he teamed up with revered con man Henry Gondorff (Newman). Redford, as Johnny Hooker, does his part to set the silver screen ablaze in this revenge crime caper set in 1936. The movie was beyond popular in the seventies, identified by a brilliantly catchy ragtime soundtrack.
Prior to its many accolades and being preserved by the Library of Congress, Redford was concerned about his part and felt that his character may be running around so much that there would be little acting involved. For his consternation, he was awarded a “Looney Tunes” Road Runner sculpture as a gag gift when filming wrapped up. And, fun fact, despite the great success, ironically, Redford did not view the film until 2004. He went to see it with his grandson during Christmastime at a movie theater in Utah.
Another Box Office Smash Hit
'The Way We Were' is one of Redford’s political movies, but it showcased his comedic side. Sydney Pollack’s romantic drama, taking place during the investigations by the 'House Un-American Activities Committee', portrayed Redford’s character as complicit with the Republicans’ corrupt witch hunt. His complicity drives a wedge into his marriage. The film premiered on October 16, 1973, two years before the committee was abolished.
The movie, based on the novel and screenplay by Arthur Laurents, costarred Barbara Streisand. The diva contributed a song to the soundtrack, which, of course, saturated the airwaves. Her immense draw as a performer, combined with Redford’s appeal—who played her love interest—helped make Pollack’s six-time Oscar-nominated work an amazing success at the box office. 'The Way We Were' grossed $50 million.
All the President’s Men
In 'All the President’s Men', Redford played investigative journalist Bob Woodward, with Dustin Hoffman, who played fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. The movie follows the pair as they unravel a string of corruption that eventually brought President Nixon down. It’s Redford’s most political movie and it was another huge triumph. The 1976 film won the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. In all, it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards.
Redford missed a nomination, but he dove into the role. He haunted the backrooms and news desks of The Post for weeks, studying and observing reporters and getting into the headspace of an investigative reporter, and of the man who uncovered the Watergate Scandal that ultimately forced Nixon’s resignation. He met Nixon when he was 13. Redford was receiving an athletics award. “When I went up [to the stage] and Nixon handed me the ribbon and shook my hand, I got just a bad vibe,” Redford recalled, “And that stuck with me.”
Redford was Obsessed with Watergate
A couple of years before starring in 'All the President’s Men', Redford would be completely captivated by the impeachment hearings of the president. The entire nation was fixated on the daily broadcasts which were aired live on television. Redford was no different.
At the time, however, he was on location filming Francis Ford Coppola’s 'The Great Gatsby' (1974). The movie, based on Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, starred Robert Redford as Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy Buchanan. Farrow, frustrated as the very-distracted Redford’s love interest, blamed his Watergate-watching obsession for their lack of cinematic chemistry. The movie was not received well. The New York Times called it “frivolous without being much fun.”
Redford’s First Flop
Not even Robert Redford and a virtual catalog of A-listers on the billing could save 'A Bridge Too Far'. The WWII film was a far cry from the monster success of his previous films, but the colossal project with a cast list including James Caan, Laurence Olivier, and Sean Connery was a big score for Redford’s bank account. In 1977, $2 million was top pay for actors. Redford was paid $2 million for two weeks of work!
The epic war film’s heavy production costs and cool critical response left the studio with take-home pay of about $50 million, but it cost half that amount to make. On top of that, the Academy shunned it for having the audacity to reveal fatal inadequacies of the Allied forces, resulting in zero nominations. Critics agreed that the massive undertaking created impressive staging and amazing scenes, but they complained it was too slow and may have contained historical inaccuracies.
‘Out of Africa’: Another Epic
Teaming up with Sydney Pollack once more, Redford played opposite the brilliant Meryl Streep in the screening of Isak Dinesen’s novel 'Out of Africa'. The love triangle story takes place out in the farmlands and hills of the African bush, allowing Redford to fully exploit his rough and rugged side. To this end, he kept his American accent. Pollack felt an English accent would be distracting to viewers. Redford went into the project thinking he had to produce an English accent. Some of those scenes had to be re-filmed.
The 1985 film was hugely successful. Redford went all out to get the role of Denys Finch Hatton and play it as an Englishman, but that could have made it a very different movie. Streep shone in the lead role as Karen Blixen and secured a Best Actress Oscar nomination. The film won an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. With two Academy Awards under Pollack’s belt, Out of Africa is, arguably, his most successful film.
Box Office Bank: Indecent Proposal
Three reasons the intriguingly titled 'Indecent Proposal' was an instant smash hit: Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, and Robert Redford. Because, clearly, its success was not tied to a complex storyline. The movie is about a moral dilemma presented by a dashing billionaire (Redford, obviously) who offers one million bucks to an adoring hubby, played by Harrelson, to have one night with his loving wife. Deal. (They’re in Vegas, after all).
The movie, based on Jack Engelhard’s novel, reignited the too-handsome-to-screen controversy. The billionaire character in the novel is an average-looking Arab, Redford’s a far stretch, even at age 60. Even more controversial was the fact that the screenwriter left out other significant details, namely, the husband in the story is Jewish and the cultural ramifications of Arab/Jew conflicts were replaced with Hollywood glitz. The movie got two thumbs down and three Razzies, but it was a box office hit.
‘The Horse Whisperer’
In yet another epic cinematic release, Redford stepped up his game by producing, directing, and starring in a film for the first time. He had already tried his hand at getting behind the camera in 1980 with his directorial debut, Oscar-winning 'Ordinary People'. The film was a huge success, and so was 'The Horse Whisperer'.
Redford is the horse whisperer, healing horses by working his magic and miraculously training even the most difficult gelding. He is credited for welcoming Scarlet Johansson to the big screen. She played a girl whose horse needed the healing hands of the whisperer. Fun fact: Redford and Johansson reunited many years later on the set of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'.
‘All Is Lost’
'All is Lost' is a one-man show. Redford plays a man stranded on a yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and he is the only character in the 2014 film. “I liked the idea there were no special effects,” Redford points out. “It was a very low-budget film, very independent in its spirit and budget,” he said, adding, “It was more of a pure cinematic experience—the way films used to be, maybe even going back to silent films.”
'All is Lost' is practically a silent film. The script, barely 30 pages, gives the actor very little to say, but it was one of his most demanding roles ever; a lesson to his younger self who won a Road Runner gag gift for worrying about not having enough lines to call it acting. After screening at Cannes, it brought Redford a Golden Globe nomination, and Alex Ebert a Golden Globe win for Best Original Score. It was recognized by the Academy with a nomination for Best Sound Editing.
Behind the Scenes on the Shipwrecked Yacht
By the time he worked on this project, he was 77. Nevertheless, he performed all his own stunts under somewhat brutal conditions. Filmed out at sea in Mexico, whipped by waves and wind, the man who we would call elderly, save for his athleticism, braved sun, sea, and a script with zero special effects. For two months, he faced fire hoses dousing him relentlessly for storms created by wind and rain machines.
In the movie, a wayward shipping container rams his yacht, tearing a gaping hole into the ship’s hull and his character must repair the damage. Some hailed his performance as his lifetime achievement. And it’s true. he sacrificed a lot in his commitment to independent film. The physically demanding role under harsh maritime conditions caused him to lose 60 percent of his hearing in one of his ears.
Redford Joined the Cast of ‘Captain America’ Because...
“I like the idea of stepping into new territory,” Redford told the Los Angeles Times of his interest in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'. The 2014 Marvel film raked in $96.2 million on its first weekend, April’s biggest opening of all time, easily absorbing his salary. It became his most lucrative project. The veteran actor played Alexander Pierce, an old comrade of Nick Fury. The role paid homage to Redford’s 1970s thrillers. “I’m doing [the film] because it’s different. It’s a new thing for me. I think these films are really powerful. I think they’re great,” Redford said. “This is the kind of film I would have loved to see as a kid.”
The 77-year-old also said, “One of the reasons that I did the movie was I wanted to experience this new form of filmmaking that’s taken over where you have kind of cartoon characters brought to life through high technology.” Just the opposite of All is Lost, which was made without CGI or any special effects at all.
A Lifetime of Achievement in Cinema
Redford has been acting since he was 21 years old. He has performed in 80 films throughout his almost 60-year career. In 2016, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, and in 2002, the Academy presented him with the Lifetime Achievement honor.
He was also honored by the Directors Guild of America. Additionally, three of his films were significant enough to be chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation. Finally, he received the highest French honor, the Légion d’Honneur, in 2010.
The Elusive Oscar
Redford has no doubt enjoyed a stupendous career, but you might be surprised to learn he never won a Best Actor Academy Award. In fact, out of the many epic films he’s starred in, Redford has only been nominated for an Oscar for his acting one time. His performance in 'The Sting' earned him his sole Academy Award nomination. 'Out of Africa' was up for seven Oscars, but none in his name.
As for his directing efforts, he’s had more luck. 'Ordinary People' earned him an Oscar in 1980. Likewise, 'All the President’s Men', in which Redford directed, produced, and starred, was nominated for eight however it only won Best Screenplay.
Achievement in Directing
'Ordinary People' serves as Redford’s directorial debut. He is one of only five other directors in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Oscar for a first-time production. He’s in the company of Kevin Costner, Delbert Mann, Jerome Robbins, Sam Mendes, and James L. Brooks. It led to an impressive career in directing, starting with an Oscar for Ordinary People. It was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the decade. It won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In 1994, Redford’s movie was nominated for two Oscars! 'Quiz Show', a historical movie about a television game show scandal, was in the running for Best Picture and Best Director, but the film missed both. 'Forrest Gump' took the gold.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom
One of Redford’s most glorious moments came when President Obama honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. After receiving the award from a president who he very much admired, the actor was so grateful, that he responded, “I wished my parents were alive.”
Another honor he is proud of is shared with a person he also deeply respects, Laurence Olivier. Both directors won a Best Picture Oscar and also acted in the film. In Redford’s case, he acted in not just one, but two Best Picture winners. 'The Sting' and 'Out of Africa' both took home the Oscar. Incidentally, Redford co-starred with Olivier in the epic war movie, 'A Bridge Too Far'.
A Director Respected by His Colleagues
Redford has a great reputation as a director. Actors jockey for a chance to get a part in his films. And it’s not just the working environment they are attracted to—his films win accolades from the Academy and the Industry. Actors Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, and Paul Scofield have all been nominated for an Oscar.
And he even looks out for the little guys in production. Notably, Redford makes sure stuntmen are paid well, even if they sit on the sidelines while actors like himself perform their own stunts.
Redford Made Ed Burns a Filmmaker...By Chance
Ed Burns was struggling to make 'The Brothers McMullen', a comedy about three Irish Catholic brothers in N.Y.C. After sinking his last $28,000 into the production and fearing the end of it, he happened to run into Robert Redford. Hopping into the elevator together at the Entertainment Tonight studios, the two men discussed Burns’ project.
Redford looked at a copy of the film and liked it so much that he told Burns he would screen it at Sundance. For Burns, this was huge, it meant a distribution deal and enough funding to wrap up the project. The independent film brought in $10 million at the box office.
The Newman/Redford Bromance
Robert Redford first met Paul Newman at the screening of 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. Newman legendarily secured Redford in his role as the Kid, and they developed a special lifelong friendship. One story Redford likes to share of his lively friendship with Newman is the Porsche gag. For Newman’s 50th birthday, Redford found a beat-up Porsche, wrapped a bow around it, and sent it to Newman’s house. The sportscar did not even have an engine!
Newman sent the Porsche back, but not before he crushed it into a cube. Redford responded to Newman’s prank by having an artist fashion it into garden décor, and back it went to Newman’s yard.“We Played these tricks on each other and the idea was you would never acknowledge the trick played on you,” Redford said. Unfortunately, Newman passed away tragically in 2008.
Collaborating is the Name of His Game
Redford worked with Newman on several projects, but he liked to collaborate with many others in the industry too. He is known for being loyal to film professionals who have garnered success in the past.
Screenwriter William Goldman is one person Redford relied on for excellence and worked well with. Redford starred in five of Goldman’s films, starting with 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. The others are 'A Bridge Too Far', 'All the President’s Men', 'The Great Waldo Pepper', and 'The Hot Rock'.
Collaborating with Sydney Pollack
Sydney Pollack was one of Redford’s best friends in the film industry. They worked together often and made many spectacular movies. The two actors first met while filming 'War Hunt' in 1962. As Pollack moved his efforts toward being a director, Redford was his first pick for lead roles. Redford starred in seven of Pollack’s films. Besides 'Out of Africa', he also starred in 'This Property is Condemned', 'Jeremiah Johnson', 'The Way We Were', 'The Days of the Condor', 'The electric Horseman', and 'Havana'.
When asked at the 2019 Marrakesh Film Festival which director most impacted him, Redford responded, Sydney Pollack, because they shared a “deep and lasting friendship.” Sadly, in 2008 he lost another friend, Sydney Pollack.
A Friend to the Environment
Before most people heard of global warming, Redford was talking about the ramifications. By 1989, he was already voicing his concern about the effects on the environment. As a trustee for the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), he went on television with an ad that asked for President Obama’s help with reducing carbon pollution from power plants.
Redford has been an advocate for the environment and a leader of the cause longer than most Hollywood activists have been saving the world.
The Roots of an Environmentalist
His love of nature started at age 11 when his mother took him to a national park as a reward for surviving a two-week bout with polio. Living in the L.A. area, he loved the ocean and surfing. To escape the freeways and skyscrapers of Los Angeles, he “went into the mountains, into the Sierras and worked at Yosemite National Park and fell in love with nature.”
When he met and fell in love with his first wife Lola, whose family was from Utah, he fell in love with the area too. After purchasing land near Salt Lake City, he saved the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and he helped save old-growth redwood in California.
What Is Robert Redford’s Favorite Film?
Redford's favorite movie is 'Jeremiah Johnson', a western by Sydney Pollack based, in part, on the titular legendary mountain man, played by Redford. The film opened at Cannes Film Festival in 1972. Though 'Jeremiah Johnson' was his favorite role to play, Redford considers 'The Sting' to be his best performance.
When asked what his favorite film by any moviemaker is, he lists John Huston’s 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'. Hands down, no contest.
With a role in the crime thriller 'The Old Man & the Gun', Redford announced his retirement. The movie was released in September 2018. At the time, he told Entertainment Weekly it was his last project. “Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I will] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21.” But in 2019, he showed up in Marvel Studios’ 'Avengers: Endgame', revisiting superhero junction with a cameo appearance of Alexander Pierce.
He also commented about art and society. Redford said, “Art criticizes society, that’s its role, it draws attention to what the truth is. It keeps us honest. Art is a critic of society.” Redford’s contribution to film and independent filmmaking is incredible. The Sundance Institute, a nonprofit he founded that dedicates itself to supporting independent filmmakers, is world-renowned. After six decades of commitment to his craft, the actor-director not only built a stellar reputation in the industry but also a net worth of $170 million. For many years to come, his immense influence and contribution to film will continue to live on.
He Is Always Late
Ann Hornaday a journalist for The Washington Post was asked back in 2005, what would be the best adjective, to sum up, Redford's personality. With no hesitation, she said, late. He is always late. He was once late for an interview by almost an hour, however, she was told that he has been late all of his life.
Redford was once confronted with his reputation for tardiness. He jokingly said that it was all rumors and a myth. He obviously later on admitted to living by his own clock and has never been able to keep track of time.
The Cuban Touch
In the industry, it's all a give-and-take situation. Redford invited Gabriel García Márquez to manage the Spanish lab at the Sundance Institute. García agreed on one condition — that Redford joins him on a trip to Cuba. The Cuban trip ended with Redfors meeting Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's widowed wife and buying the rights to his life memoir.
In 2004, the film adaptation "The Motorcycle Diaries" was released. It was directed by Walter Salles and produced by Redford. The theme song in the movie 'Al Otro Lado del Rio' was magnificently performed and grasped an Oscar for Best Original Song.
Never Say Never
The talk about Redford retiring, well it's just a talk. The guy just can't get enough. Recently Redford and George RR Martin, the author of "Game of Thrones", co-produced a number of episodes in the TV series "Dark Winds", based on Tony Hillerman’s book series.
Redford has also been involved in the production of "The Dark Wind" movie, starring Fred Ward and Lou Diamond Phillips. James Redford, Robert's son, wrote the movie "Skinwalkers", which Robert produced too.