It’s the end of an era. Legendary actor Robert Redford is retiring after nearly 60 years in the business. All good things must come to an end and Redford has confirmed suspicions that he’s finally taking a well-deserved break from the acting game. Redford has graced the big screen in memorable roles in films such as The Sting and Out Of Africa, after his breakthrough role in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
He’s also well-known for running the independent Sundance movie festival to celebrate and help emerging directors with their film projects.
Despite his fame, Redford has managed to keep a surprisingly low profile, keeping his life fairly private.
His friend and acting partner in two of his films, the late Paul Newman, once remarked about Redford: “I have known the man for over 40 years and I don’t know him, not really.”
Redford, now 82 years old, said he will retire after his latest movie, The Old Man And The Gun, telling Entertainment Weekly: “Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21.”
He added: “I thought, ‘Well, that’s enough.’ And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?”
Interestingly, the role of Sundance, which made Redford a household name, almost went to Newman, as actor Steve McQueen was invited to play the role of Butch Cassidy. When the director decided to then swap the roles, McQueen refused to be a part of the film and Newman urged the studio to hire Redford.
The pairing of Newman and Redford proved to be a hit, as the two had immense on-screen chemistry. Newman and Redford starred together again in The Sting in 1973.
Redford fell in love and married Lola van Wagenen in 1957. Just a year later, he appeared in his first Broadway play and welcomed a son, Scott. Sadly, their child died at ten weeks old. He once remarked: “We didn’t know anything about sudden infant death syndrome, so as a parent you blame yourself. It creates a scar that never completely heals.”
Their second son, James, was born in 1962, seven weeks premature. They are also parents of two daughters, Shauna and Amy and another son, David.
In 1985, the couple ended their marriage after 28 years.
Of his personal life, Redford once noted: “There have been so many hits on our family that no one knows about. I don’t want them to, for my family’s sake.’”
On the matter of his divorce, he shared: “I never wanted to be one of those divorced showbusiness casualties. I wanted to prove a marriage could last. But I couldn’t.”
He went on to marry his longtime partner, Sibylle Szaggars, in 2009.
Despite his remarkable acting talent, Redford has only won an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2002 and one for directing 1980s Ordinary People.
Among the many people who weighed in with comments on the Daily Mail’s coverage of Redford’s retirement were those who thanked him for the years of entertainment. One person noted: “Thank you Robert Redford for the enormous pleasure you have given us over the years. Have loved all your films and will enjoy watching them all over again. Enjoy your retirement… we will miss you!”
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