Charles Robert Redford, Jr

portrait of Robert Redford
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (February 2008)
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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.

Biography from Wikipedia and The Times

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