Charles Robert Redford, Jr
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (February 2008)
Born: 18 August 1936, Santa Monica, California
Redford struggled in school but learned to draw well and played baseball at Van Nuys High School at Los Angeles, classmate and teammate of Don Drysdale. He graduated in 1954, and on the strength of his pitching earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado. He had long been known for his drinking, with a part-time job at a bar and the death of his mother he started drinking enough to get expelled. He found his way to New York and studied painting at the Pratt Institute at Brooklyn and acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at Manhattan. He appeared on a wide range of TV shows, then landed a role in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park that ran for nine months, causing him to lose interest in theatre. Moving into films he had a series of bland blond leading roles before taking on more challenging parts, Sundance Kid (1969) being the first of many. His first film as director was 1980's Ordinary People, he didn't direct again until 1988 but has directed six more times since then, three of them working on both sides of the camera. In 1981 he founded the non-profit Sundance Institute and associated film festival to assist and promote independent motion picture production. He is an active advocate for environmental issues and Native American rights.
Robert Redford quotes:
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- A lot of what acting is is paying attention. permalink
- All my life I've been dogged by guilt because I feel there is this difference between the way I look and the way I feel inside. permalink
- As a director, I wouldn't like me as an actor. As an actor, I wouldn't like me as a director. permalink
- As an artist I just can't think of a better life than the one I've been blessed with. It's just a great ride. permalink
- Filmgoers are starved for new ideas, voices and visions. permalink
- Golf has become so manicured, so perfect. The greens, the fairways. I don't like golf carts. I like walking. Some clubs won't let you in unless you have a caddy and a cart. permalink
- Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better. permalink
- I am a cynical optimist. Big opening weekends are like cotton candy. The films you will remember over time are the films that stick in the consciousness of the audience in a good way. permalink
- I am perhaps the best-looking grandfather around, apart from Marlon Brando, of course! permalink
- I believe in mythology. I guess I share Joseph Campbell's notion that a culture or society without mythology would die, and we're close to that. permalink
- I came to a place where I realised what true value was. It wasn't money. Money is a means to achieving an end, but it's not the end. permalink
- I can't think of anything outside of having the gift yourself and creating yourself. I can't think of the next better thing to do than being able to put it back. Creative expression, I think, is vital to the success of any society.... A society without art will die. permalink
- I don't know what your childhood was like, but we didn't have much money. We'd go to a movie on a Saturday night, then on Wednesday night my parents would walk us over to the library. It was such a big deal, to go in and get my own book. permalink
- I got a review when I was starting in live television. This guy Jack O'Brian called me "hammy and overwrought". Now I'm looking back on it, I'd like to hold on to those reviews. It keeps you in perspective. It really does. Part of you says, "You know, I never ever really got over that." And what I think you learn very early on is not to believe your own press clippings, one way or another, just do your work. Because you're your own tough critic. If you focus on doing the work, you'll get to a place of refinement where those reviews which are often hyped up too much to the negative or the positive fall away. permalink
- I had just arrived in New York from California. I was nineteen years old and excited beyond belief. I was an art student and an acting student and behaved as most young actors did - meaning that there was no such thing as a good actor, 'cause you yourself hadn't shown up yet. permalink
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