Charles Robert Redford, Jr., better known to the public as Robert Redford, would go on to be one of Hollywood’s preeminent movie stars throughout the 1960s, ’70s and beyond. He made his acting debut in the film “War Hunt” in 1962 before later starring in the films “Jeremiah Johnson,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “All the President’s Men,” “Out of Africa,” “The Old Man & The Gun,” and more recently “Avengers: Endgame.”
He has received numerous accolades throughout his career. He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1973 for his role as Johnny “Kelly” Hooker in “The Sting.” He then won Best Director in 1980 for “Ordinary People.” He has also been nominated for seven Golden Globes, winning two for “Inside Daisy Clover” as New Star of the Year – Actor in 1965, and for Best Director for “Ordinary People” in 1980. He was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1995.
He was also the founder of the iconic Sundance Film Festival which has become a popular event to open films for independent filmmakers in the United States. With such a respected career in the entertainment industry, it’s no wonder that Robert’s children might want to follow in his footsteps.
Amy Redford has followed her father’s career into acting, directing and producing. Her famous dad, Robert, has a stellar repertoire behind him, so it’s no surprise his youngest daughter has also made a name for herself in the industry – she was able to learn from the best! Let’s take a look at Robert’s career and personal life and how that might have influenced Amy.
Robert Redford is one of Hollywood’s beloved all-American actors. With his quintessential good looks and charm, it’s to no surprise that he’s landed so many incredible roles. However, the actor’s life didn’t start out so glamorous.
Born Charles Robert Redford Jr. on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California. His mother Martha Hart had him with his father Charles Robert Redford, who was an accountant. According to IMDb, Robert’s mother, unfortunately, passed away in 1955, just one year after he graduated high school. After a rather rocky childhood, Robert eventually took the time to travel to Europe, and upon his return to America really got his acting career started. In an interview with Esquire, he talked about the motives behind his trip to Europe. He said:
“That’s all I ever wanted. I said, ‘I just want to get out of this country. I want to get to a new environment, new culture, and try to be an artist in new territory.’ That’s when my life really began. I had to live hand-to-mouth. I was hitch-hiking everywhere.”
He described in the same interview about having a breakdown when he showed his budding artwork to a teacher. He explained:
“That’s where the break came. I put too much faith in one voice, a teacher. That was a big mistake, until he reminded me. I had all these canvases I was anxious to show him, and his disappointment was devastating. He said, ‘You’re basically copying me.’ I wasn’t aware of that. That was so shattering, because I was only 19. I thought, That’s it. And then I came to New York.”
Like many Hollywood actors, his career started off in the theater. Robert made it to Broadway as a part of the 1963 stage production of “Barefoot in the Park.” However, it wasn’t until “Barefoot in the Park” became a film that Robert’s role as a newlywed with co-star Jane Fonda really stuck in the minds of viewers. The 1967 romantic comedy featured the love story between his and Fonda’s characters in New York with all of the passion and laughter that comes with a new marriage. The duo has gone on to do other movies together, such as “Our Souls at Night,” and Fonda was as ready as ever to play another love interest with Robert. She told USA Today:
“It was fun to kiss [Robert Redford] in my 20s and then to kiss him again in my almost-80s.”
In the meantime, Robert found himself playing guest roles on a host of television shows in the 1960s. These included “Maverick,” “The Untouchables,” “The Americans,” “Perry Mason,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Dr. Kildare,” “Route 66,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Captain Brassbound’s Conversion,” and “The Virginian.” He also began appearing in movies at the start of the decade, but it wasn’t until his Broadway success that he found himself playing larger roles.
He went on to play love interests after his big Hollywood start, but his real breakthrough role was in the 1969 western film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” with his role as the titular sundance kid. The film was loosely based on fact but took liberties that many other westerns during the time also did: an exaggeration of drama, romance and action.
Following the style of many great movies, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” had a particular song that helped to propel it to greatness. The ukelele-heavy song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” enhanced the narrative about the two 19th-century outlaws and one partner’s love interest. In an interview with USA Today, Robert admitted his reservations toward the hit song in the film. He said:
“When the film was released, I was highly critical – how did the song fit with the film? There was no rain. At the time, it seemed like a dumb idea. How wrong I was, as it turned out to be a giant hit.”
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” became so beloved that eventually, the Library of Congress selected it for the United States Film Registry because the film was so “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In his interview with Esquire in 2017, Robert talked about how he nearly wasn’t in the movie and it’s all thanks to his co-star and later dear friend Paul Newman that he got the part at all. He explained:
“I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve had wonderful relationships with people I’ve worked with. But nothing has sustained like Paul Newman. Nothing has sustained like our connection … He changed my life: he agreed to have me in the movie [“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”] that I shouldn’t have been in. He was that generous. The studio wanted Steve McQueen, they wanted Marlon Brando, they wanted big-name people. And I was not that.”
After playing America’s cowboy, Robert went on to play in another iconic American film, “The Great Gatsby” from 1974. The film featured Robert as Mr. Gatsby himself, placing him in the spotlight as a heartthrob character in a tragic romance with Daisy, played by Mia Farrow. At this point he was already established as a hot figure in Hollywood, his western film having given him a huge name. However, looking back on his career, Redford told Esquire specifically how he wants to be remembered in the industry, as he stated:
“For the work. What really matters is the work. And what matters to me is doing the work. I’m not looking at the back end: ‘What am I going to get out of this? What’s going to be the reward?’ I’m just looking at the work, the pleasure of being able to do the work. And that’s what the fun is: to climb up the mountain is the fun, not standing at the top. There’s nowhere to go. But climbing up, that struggle, that to me is where the fun is. That to me is the thrill. But once that’s over, that’s kind of it. I don’t look too much beyond that.”
Eventually, Robert settled down enough during his career to establish a family. He met his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen, shortly upon returning to the United States after a trip to Paris in the 1950s, and they were married in 1958. The couple would go on to have four children together before divorcing in 1985 after 27 years of marriage.
In an interview with The Guardian, Robert reflected on his marriage with Van Wagenen, as he said:
“I got married very young, at 21. Obviously I don’t want to denigrate the person I married, there were a lot of good reasons … But when you ask me a question, like why?, I have to say it was to save my life. That’s what it felt like at the time.”
Robert is currently married to Sibylle Szaggars, whom he met in 1996 as per Closer Weekly. Szaggars is an artist hailing from Germany, and her work has been shown in countries like Monaco, Peru, Singapore, Japan, and the United States. After being together for 13 years, the pair tied the knot in 2009 in Hamburg, Germany.
Of his children with Van Wagenen, only one has followed Robert into show business. Tragically, the couple’s first child, Scott Anthony Redford died from sudden infant death syndrome when he was just 2 1/2 months old.
Their next child, Shauna Redford has not followed in her father’s footsteps, choosing instead to follow the path of art. She is a successful painter and has been married to her husband Eric Schlosser since 1985. She has two children, Conor Schlosser and Mica Schlosser, according to Closer Weekly. David James Redford went on to become a documentary filmmaker and environmentalist, but sadly he passed away in Oct. 2020 after a long battle with liver cancer. Robert’s final child is a daughter named Amy Hart Redford, who was born on October 22, 1970. As the only child to follow her father into acting, she’s succeeded in having a thriving career of her own.
After studying Drama/Theater Arts at San Francisco State University, Amy went on to attend the University of Colorado Boulder and later studied theater in London. When speaking about what she has learned from her dad and what she admires in him, she told KPCW:
“I’ve always been influenced by the strategy, approach, and methodology that my dad uses in his filmmaking. I really admire the way he approaches not only the crew but the actors and the stories he likes to tell. Having that kind of mentorship for I think both my brother and I has been incredibly meaningful but of course we’re our own people. It’s kind of hard to compare.”
It is clear to see that Amy has picked up a lot of traits from her father — their charming smile is almost identical — but the similarities between Amy and her dad don’t just stop at their looks, they are both visionary artists in their own right.
Amy’s filmography includes films such as “Maid in Manhattan,” “This Revolution,” and “The Understudy,” and TV shows including “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “The Sopranos.” She also directed the film “The Guitar,” which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Then in 2019, Amy was honored with being a new artist-in-residence at the Utah Film Center. She told KSLTV:
“I’ve had the opportunity to reinvestigate what it is to be a filmmaker, and that’s been like a whole new lease on everything I want to do. The ability to have a space, a collaborative space with other filmmakers, where you get to discuss your projects with a community and not in isolation … and people are innovative and inspired and creative is really the kind of adrenaline shot I needed.”
Robert Redford (2018), (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Amy has lived in many different places — New York, Los Angeles, London, Arizona, and Colorado — but has spoken about returning to her Utah roots in order to better focus on her craft.
“My parents felt that with the encroaching pressures of celebrity and fame, it was important for all of us to have an experience outside the pressure-filled environment of New York. For my entire childhood, if my siblings and I weren’t in school in New York, we were at the Sundance (Mountain) Resort in Utah,” she told Zions Bank.
In her interview with KSLTV, she added:
“There are so many things right now that make Utah such a great place to give New York and LA. a run for their money. This is a less expensive place to live, the quality of life is really high, you have the tech industry all around you innovating and creating. There’s an unfussy attitude, there’s sort of a very, really impeccable work ethic. There are the Utah film incentives, which are critical to the state.”
In the same interview she praised her father for creating the Sundance Film Festival in the state, which gave a voice to those who didn’t have one in the industry, she said:
“Because he was in these big films and he had the spotlight and he could see all the people that were being left out of that conversation, he could see the stories that deserved to be told that weren’t getting told.”
Amy has certainly made a name for herself both within and outside of her family legacy and appears to have taken on a lot of her father’s positive qualities while still carving out a unique name for herself. We look forward to seeing how her career develops next!
Isn’t Amy Redford following in her father Robert Redford’s footsteps? Let us know what you think of the father-daughter similarities! Be sure to pass this article on to other Redford fans you know!