Hollywood star with charm and depth - Robert Redford turns 85:

A charming crook, Robert Redford became a leading Hollywood star in 1969. In the western comedy "Zwei Banditen" (Original title: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) he attacked railways and banks together with Paul Newman.

Grizzled, but still with the charismatic, stunning smile, Redford politely pulled out his gun as the old bank robber Forrest Tucker in "A crook & gentleman" (2018). Today he turns 85.

"I thought it would be wonderful if my last film was quirky, upbeat and funny," said Redford in 2018 after the premiere at the film festival in Toronto, Canada.

Tucker had fun in his rascal life. He himself had a rebellious side from an early age and always felt like an outsider, the star said at the time.

Retired Redford? Not quite yet. The actor and director, who turns 85 today, showed himself in 2019 in the superhero spectacle "Avengers: Endgame" as agent Alexander Pierce from an unfamiliar villain side.

But now the Hollywood star is serious. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Redford said he didn't miss working in front of or behind the camera. He is now leaving this job to others.

At 81, he was still in the limelight with Jane Fonda. The Venice Film Festival awarded the two-screen veterans the Golden Lion for life's work in 2017.

There they also presented the love drama "Our Souls at Night", in which they play old neighbours who are slowly getting closer.

Redford was born in Santa Monica, California. As the son of a milkman, he grew up in simple circumstances. An athletic scholarship gave him entry to the University of Colorado.

The young Redford hitchhiked through Europe, sold self-painted pictures and finally made it via detours to a New York drama school.

After films like "Barefoot in the Park" with Jane Fonda and "Zwei Banditen", the handsome guy with steel-blue eyes and blonde hair quickly became a screen idol at the end of the 1960s.

In the cinema, he shone as a lover, for example with Mia Farrow in "The Great Gatsby" (1974) or alongside Meryl Streep in the award-winning melodrama "Jenseits von Afrika" (1985).

He received an Oscar nomination for his appearance in the crook comedy "Der Clou" (1973) alongside Paul Newman.

Redford has lived in a country house in Utah, far from Hollywood, for decades. In 1980 he founded the Sundance Institute in the Rocky Mountains, which is now the largest US film festival for independent productions.

Redford sees it as its mission to encourage young, critical voices. He is also a committed environmental activist and conservationist. As a model liberal, he liked to take a position on the screen or in the director's chair.

As the leading actor in the election satire "Bill McKay - The Candidate" he became political as early as 1972, then in the drama "Die Unbrechlichen" (1976) together with Dustin Hoffman as "Watergate" - sniffer dogs of the "Washington Post", the Richard Nixon brought down.

In his verbose drama "Von Löwen und Lantern" (2007), Redford addressed incompetence in Washington, uncritical journalism and television dulling.

As an actor, he was in top form at the age of 77 in the survival drama "All Is Lost". In it, he plays a sailor who drifts alone on his leaky yacht in the ocean.

During the filming, he went to his physical limits. The hoped-for Oscar nomination for "All Is Lost" surprisingly failed to materialize in 2014.

The star won his only Oscar trophy in 1981 as the director of "A Completely Normal Family". In 2002 the Film Academy awarded him an honorary Oscar for his life's work.

Looking back, he would hardly want to change anything in his life. "I would do everything again, including the mistakes that go with it, it's part of the life process," said Redford when he presented his ninth directorial work in 2013, the political thriller "The Company you keep - The Grant Files".


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