How Robert Redford Rose From A Troublemaker To A Hollywood Legend

Famous as he is, Robert Redford has still had many untold joys and sorrows in his long life. Let’s go back to when he was born and meet the boy who would rise from a common thug to an A-list star.

1. Unlucky But Lucky

Born in August 1936, Redford was the only child of Charles Redford Sr. and Martha Hart. His father remarried and had one more kid after Martha had passed away in 1955. Though he looks masculine, he was diagnosed with polio when he was a little boy. Luckily, he recovered with no long-term effects.

2. “A Wandering Mind” At School

Undoubtedly, Robert Redford has artistic talents, but he is less academically inclined. He said that he always had “a wandering mind” at school, and his education began when he “got out in the world.”

3. A Young Offender

Rebellious young Robert didn’t observe school rules and even ignored laws on occasion. He admitted in an interview that he had stolen car hubcaps, intruded into people’s backyards, and lazed in their swimming pools. He got caught several times for these misdemeanors but never went to prison. But his character did.

4. A University Dropout

Robert didn’t have a passion for learning at school, but he still went to the University of Colorado on an athletics scholarship. However, his college life seemed full of tragedies—his mother’s death, alcohol addiction, and scholarship loss. And he finally dropped out of university. Thankfully, he met his future wife at this time. 

5. Elopement With Lola Van Wagenen

Robert Redford and Lola Wagenen were in love when Robert dropped out and decided to travel through Europe for a year, which was a test for the pair. But when Robert came back, their relationship was still stable, and they planned to get married. As a dropout with no apparent future, Robert could hardly get Lola parents’ permission, so they eloped to Vegas to get hitched.

6. Divorce And Remarriage

The couple had four children and had been together for almost three decades. But they parted in 1985. According to Redford, it was still hard for them to go through their two-year-old son’s death. Later on, his romance with Sibylle Szaggars healed those scars, and the two finally married in 2009.

7. An Iconic Actor

Redford started acting in Broadway and later in some TV series, but he skyrocketed to fame for his performance in films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, and Out of Africa. However, although he was accomplished as an actor, he still wanted to pursue another path.

8. A Distinguished Director

We rarely find actors who can also perform exceptionally well as directors. To his credit, he has a sharp eye for selecting performers. The fifth film he directed was The Horse Whisperer, which featured a young and unknown Scarlett Johansson. They performed in the same movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, again in 2014.

9. Retirement From Acting

Redford declared his retirement after his movie The Old Man & the Gun in 2018. Later, he played some supporting roles in Avengers: Endgame and the Watchmen series. Now he leads a peaceful life, living in nature with his grandchildren.

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