Robert Redford

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Robert Redford (2012)

Charles Robert Redford, Jr. ( Listen ? / I ) (born August 18, 1936 in Santa Monica , California ) is an American actor , film director and film producer . Redford has been one of the most popular Hollywood actors since the late 1960s and was the grossing film star between 1973 and 1976. He has directed nine feature films and received an Oscar in 1981 for his directorial debut A Completely Normal Family . Redford is also active as an environmentalist and supports the Natural Resources Defense Council , among others . Audio file / audio sample


Robert Redford is the son of Martha and Charles Robert Redford and grew up with his half-brother William in simple circumstances. He attended Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles. In 1955 he received a scholarship from the University of Colorado Boulder for his talent in baseball . In the same year his mother died, as a result of which his athletic and school performance declined sharply, which - in addition to alcohol abuse - led to the loss of his scholarship. Redford initially kept himself afloat with smaller jobs in the oil fields around Los Angeles , then went to Europe, where he briefly studied at several art academies in Paris and Florence . In Florence he tried his hand at the art of painting and at times also worked as a street painter.

In 1958 Redford moved back to the USA. He now studied theater design at New York's Pratt Institute and, following the advice of a teacher, also attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts from 1959 , where he discovered his passion for acting. He had his first roles in the Broadway productions Tall Story and Little Moon of Alban . His first time in front of the camera was an episode of the television series Maverick , which starred James Garner , Jack Kelly and Roger Moore . In 1962 he made his screen debut in Behind Enemy Lines . While he was enjoying great success at the theater, his film career had difficulty getting off the ground - by 1966 he landed one flop after another. Joyce Selznick, a cousin of producer David O. Selznick and head of Columbia's junior scouts, tried to accommodate Redford - but at the time the studios didn't want him. Increasingly, he withdrew with his family to Spain or Crete to escape the stress that Hollywood meant for him.

In 1967, Redford first drew the attention of a large cinema audience in Barefoot in the Park . Two years later, he became a superstar with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . Robert Redford has also been working as a film producer since 1976 and as a film director since 1980. He later founded the production company Wildwood Enterprises with Richard Gregson , with which he will henceforth produce films.

The actor has always been skeptical of the Hollywood film establishment and leads a secluded private life. He lives mostly in Napa Valley near San Francisco and in Utah and has never been part of the Hollywood crowd. The left-liberal Redford is known as a nature lover and has often lamented the decline of the old American West. He is committed to environmental protection and the rights of the indigenous people .


Redford and Lola Van Wagenen were married on September 21, 1958, and the couple divorced in 1985. The marriage had four children: Scott (* / † 1959), Shauna Redford (* 1960), David James Redford (* 1962) and Amy Heart Redford (* 1970). Robert Redford has been in a relationship with the German painter Sibylle Szaggars (* 1957) since 1996, and on July 11, 2009 the couple married in the "Louis C. Jacob" hotel in Hamburg . Redford has four grandchildren.



Robert Redford in Reckless Airmen , 1975

Robert Redford was in front of the camera as a TV actor from 1960 and played numerous roles in series such as Maverick , Perry Mason , Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The People of Shiloh Ranch until 1964 . In 1962 he started his film career with the artistically ambitious (anti) war film Behind Enemy Lines , in which he played a soldier of the Korean War. This film couldn't make it to the box office. During the shooting, Redford befriended the later director Sydney Pollack , who also made his debut here as a film actor.

After several cinema projects failed , Redford shot the war comedy Situation Hopelessly But Not Seriously in 1965 , in which he played an American soldier who was hidden in the basement by a German nerd ( Alec Guinness ) during the Second World War . This film, shot in Germany, was not well received by either the critics or the audience. The film drama A Man Is Chased (1966), in which Redford was seen as a fugitive convict, fell far short of commercial expectations , despite the high profile cast (including Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda ).

Damn Sweet World (1965) was the first of two films Redford made with the then very popular Natalie Wood , a former schoolmate from Van Nuys High School. At 27, she portrays a 15-year-old who dreams of a Hollywood career. In 1966, the two actors wereagain in front of the camerain This Girl Is For Everyone , the adaptation of a Tennessee Williams drama. With this film, Redford began his decades-long collaboration with director Sydney Pollack. He remained close friends with Natalie Wood until her death in 1981. Neither of the two films was able to prevail at the box office.

After Redford's first films flopped and he was initially unable to establish himself as a film actor, he achieved his breakthrough to cinema star in 1967 with the adaptation of the play Barefoot in the Park . In this popular Neil Simon comedy, the actor had already enjoyed great success as a Broadway actor. In the Hollywood adaptation, the 31-year-old actor was seen at the side of Jane Fonda and was able to establish himself in Hollywood through his appearance as a bourgeois lawyer who “walks barefoot in the park”.

Redford was also under discussion for the lead role in The Graduation Exam in 1967 . However, director Mike Nichols believed he was the wrong person to portray an uptight young man who has problems with the opposite sex. In this role, Dustin Hoffman finally made his breakthrough. In 1969 Redford made three films, of which Bloody Trace and Schußfahrt , two dramatically ambitious dramas, flopped at the box office. His appearance in the western comedy Two Bandits, however, made Redford one of the leading Hollywood stars. His fee had risen to $ 150,000 for the film.

Directed by George Roy Hill , he played the silent gunslinger Sundance Kid in Two Bandits at the side of Paul Newman , who played the actual leading role of the gang leader Butch Cassidy . Initially, an established star like Steve McQueen , Warren Beatty or Jack Lemmon was intended for the role of the Sundance Kid. Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid met the liberal zeitgeist of the late 1960s and showed the two train and bank robbers Butch and Sundance as likable, almost hippie-like anti-heroes who are ultimately shot down by a huge police force. This film became one of the biggest box office hits of the late 1960s and cemented Redford's image as a heartthrob and romantic hero with global audiences. He remained a close friend of his life with Paul Newman.

Since 1970

In 1973 the two actors, again directed by George Roy Hill, shot the crook comedy The Clou , which became one of the most successful films of the 1970s. Redford received his only Academy Award nomination as an actor for portraying con artist Hooker. Redford and Newman wanted to continue their successful collaboration after Der Clou , but could no longer find a suitable project.

In 1972, Robert Redford starred in Bill McKay - The Candidate, an idealistic young lawyer turned politician. From the early 1970s, Redford worked increasingly with director Sydney Pollack , with whom he was able to celebrate several big box office hits. In the 1972 Western Jeremiah Johnson (estimated budget: $ 3.5 million) produced by Pollack , he was seen as a civilization-weary trapper who got to know the beauty and cruelty of the Rocky Mountains . The film, which was shot at Redford's property in Utah, among other places, was not a box-office hit, but it became a classic of its genre. In 1973, Pollack, Redford and Barbra Streisand were able to cash in with the epic love story The Way We Were . Pollack's political thriller The Three Days of the Condor alongside Faye Dunaway from 1975 also became a box-office hit.

The great Gatsby (1974, directed by Jack Clayton ) and Reckless Fliers (1975, directed by George Roy Hill) could not meet the high expectations in commercial terms. Even so, after several top hits in quick succession, Redford was at the height of its popularity and between 1973 and 1976 the highest grossing film star. The red-blonde, blue-eyed actor with the radiant smile was considered a sex symbol around the world. In 1976 he workedas a film producerfor Die Unbrechlichen for the first time. The political thriller describes the work of newspaper reporters Bob Woodward (Redford) and Carl Bernstein ( Dustin Hoffman ), whouncoveredthe Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. Thefilm, directedby Alan J. Pakula , was a huge hit with both critics and audiences.

Redford starred in the star-studded war film The Arnhem Bridge in 1977 and stopped appearing in front of a movie camera for two years. In 1979, Sydney Pollack staged The Electric Rider with him , in which he kidnapped a valuable horse from Las Vegas as a broken rodeo rider . In 1980 Redford made his debut as a film director and directed the social drama A Completely Normal Family , in which he did not appear as an actor. For his directorial debut, Redford received his first Oscar .

In 1980, Robert Redford founded the Sundance Institute in his native Utah , named for his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid . The aim of the institute is to promote independent filmmakers and their works. The annual Sundance Film Festival has been held since 1984 and over the years has become the most important meeting place for American independent directors (filmmakers who do not want to serve the masses, but are interested in artistically demanding films).

In the 1980s, Redford only appeared in four films. In 1980 he played an idealistic prison director in Brubaker . In 1984 he was seen in The Unbending as a baseball player. In 1985, again under the direction of Sydney Pollack, he had a great success in the epic love film Out of Africa with Meryl Streep . In 1986 he was seen in the romantic film Prosecutors don't kiss you . In 1990 the sixth and last collaboration with Pollack took place. But Havana , a love story against the backdrop of the Cuban Revolution, was a commercial flop.

Even in the 1990s, Redford only appeared sporadically in front of the camera and only appeared in five films. In Sneakers (1992), he was the head of a gang of high-tech burglars. In 1993 he made the eponymous Immoral Offer to Demi Moore . In 1996 he starred as a television journalist with Michelle Pfeiffer in Up Close and in 1998 in the successful bestseller film Der Pferdeflüsterer for the first time under his own direction. Since 2000 he has appeared in the films The Last Fortress (2001) and in the spy film Spy Game (2001), in which he was seen as the teacher of Brad Pitt .

Robert Redford has directed nine feature films so far: A perfectly normal family (1980), Milagro - Der Krieg im Bohnenfeld (1988), A river springs from the middle (1992), Quiz Show (1994), The Horse Whisperer (1998), The Legend by Bagger Vance (2000), The Lions and Lambs (2007), The Lincoln Conspiracy (2010) and The Company You Keep - The Grant Files (2012).

In 2002 Redford received an honorary Oscar for his life's work as an actor, director and producer, and as the founder of the Sundance Institute.

Commitment to environmental protection

In 2013 he took part in television spots for the environmental protection organization Natural Resources Defense Council , in which US President Barack Obama was asked to take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions . He is also committed to taking action against global warming on his blog at the Huffington Post .


In 1969, Redford bought a valley at the foot of the Timpanogos mountain range in the Rocky Mountains . There he runs a luxury hostel called Sundance Resort.

Redford spoke out against the Hopi auctioning of sacred objects in 2013 . He described the auction, which Hopi and the human rights organization Survival International had tried to prevent, as " sacrilege " and a "criminal act".

German dubbing voices

Since 1969 Robert Redford has been dubbed in almost all of his films by Rolf Schult (1927-2013). In the 1970s, Christian Brückner also acted as the actor's German spokesman. Although Rolf Schult had largely withdrawn from dubbing for reasons of age, he was still active as a spokesman for Redford until the 2000s (exclusive from 1979).

In 2007 , after Schult had already dubbed the trailer for Redford's latest film , an American supervisor thought his voice was too deep, so that Rolf Schult was replaced by Kaspar Eichel in Von Löwen und Lammern . Schult can therefore only be heard in the first trailer. In his film The Company You Keep - The Grant Files from 2013, Redford is dubbed by Jürgen Heinrich ; In 2014 and 2015 he was spoken again by Kaspar Eichel in the films The Return of the First Avenger and Picnic with Bears , in 2016 and 2017 he again lent him his voice and is now to be regarded as the new regular speaker of Redford.

Filmography (selection)

As an actor

As a speaker

  • 1973: The Language And Music Of The Wolves - Narrator
  • 1992: Incident At Oglala - Narrator
  • 2004: Scare Planet - Narrator
  • 2006: Piggy Wilbur and his friends (Charlotte's Web) - here only the original voice of Ike, the horse
  • 2012: The Movement (Make A Hero) - Narrator

As a producer

As a director



  • Daniel Kothenschulte : Improvements to the American Dream. The director Robert Redford. Schüren, Marburg 2001, 191 pages, ISBN 3-89472-326-2 . (Translations from the American by Markus Kothenschulte and Daniela Stein.) 2nd, expanded and revised edition.
  • Michael Feeney Callan : Robert Redford. The biography. German edition: Droemer Verlag, 720 pages, 2011, ISBN 978-3-426-27531-3 . (Translated from the English by Charlotte Breuer and Norbert Möllemann.)
  • "I felt lost". With his new film, Robert Redford experienced a late, great triumph. But the 77-year-old went to his limits while shooting. Encounters with a man for whom carrying on means everything. In: Welt am Sonntag , January 5, 2014, p. 18. (Interview with Robert Redford by Hanns-Georg Rodek and Martin Scholz )

Film documentaries

  • Robert Redford - An Independent Spirit . Documentary by Herbert Krill , Germany 2003, 77 minutes

Web links

Commons : Robert Redford  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ California Birth Index, 1905-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: State of California. California Birth Index, 1905-1995. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics.
  2. Robert Redford and his Sibylle: They were blessed in the Louis C. Jacob, of July 15, 2009
  4. Jeremiah Johnson Publication, In the Internet Archive ( Memento from January 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Juliet Eilperin: Robert Redford stars in ad calling on Obama to move faster on curbing global warming. . In: The Washington Post , June 11, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  6. ^ Robert Redford's blog ( memento October 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) at the Huffington Post . Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  7. Celebrity Hotel “Sundance Resort”: In the realm of the horse whisperer . In: Merian , accessed October 26, 2010.
  8. Paris judge rejects stop of auction of sacred Hopi objects. Robert Redford among the many people who wanted to stop the action . In: Survival International , accessed April 15, 2013.
  9. Robert Redford. In: German dubbing file , accessed on March 2, 2017 .
  10. ^ The White House: President Obama Names Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. November 16, 2016, accessed November 22, 2016 .
  11. "After the judgment" was awarded to Cesar for best film . Article dated February 23, 2019, accessed February 23, 2019.