Robert Redford announced his low-key retirement from acting at the age of 81


I’ve actually been thinking a lot lately about Robert Redford, his career, his beauty and his legacy. I even mentioned Redford when I saw those photos of Brad Pitt looking stupid in late ‘60s clothes on the set of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. You would think that Pitt + vintage clothing would equal “Redford flavor.” But you would be wrong. Redford was and is an American classic, and his beauty back then was just… otherworldly. Every film from that era, the ‘60s, ‘70s and well into the ‘80s too, he was just gorgeous and amazing, and he could actually act too. Well, no more. Redford says his new film is going to be the last one of his illustrious career.

One last job. It’s a theme that’s powered many Hollywood crime stories. For Robert Redford, “one last job” isn’t just one of the loose themes in his forthcoming movie The Old Man & The Gun: The film is quite literally his final acting gig. In an interview with EW, the 81-year-old actor confirmed he was making good on his 2016 claim that he was retiring from acting. The Old Man & The Gun is the last film in which he’ll act.

“Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since I was 21. I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?” Redford said.

He noted that the “framework” and the story in Old Man helped shepherd him to this conclusion. In the David Lowery-directed film, Redford plays Forrest Tucker, the real-life career criminal in love with his self-appointed job of robbing banks and breaking out of prison. “To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” the Oscar winner said of Tucker, whose stickups spanned over 60 years. “The thing that really got me about him — which I hope the film shows — is he robbed 17 banks and he got caught 17 times and went to prison 17 times. But he also escaped 17 times. So it made me wonder: I wonder if he was not averse to getting caught so he that could enjoy the real thrill of his life, which is to escape?”

When it comes committing to or escaping future directing projects, Redford indicated “we’ll see about that.”

[From EW]

I think he’ll probably still direct, don’t you? And if he doesn’t, that’s fine too. Redford gave us 60 YEARS worth of incredible performances. Yes, some of them are dumb, some of them are in bad movies. But seriously, check out his filmography – Redford truly had a legendary career, and I don’t hate the fact that he can go out on his own terms. Bless him. I really need to own some DVDs of some of my favorite Redford films, like Legal Eagles and Three Days of the Condor. Damn. GAH and I forgot that he directed Quiz Show, one of my favorite films!!!



Photos courtesy of WENN and vintage promotional images & posters..

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55 Responses to “Robert Redford announced his low-key retirement from acting at the age of 81”

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  1. Anon says:

    One of the greats. I remember the first time I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with my mum and dad, who loved his films. “Them days is over.” Go well, RR.

  2. Jane says:

    Butch Cassidy, The Sting and All the President’s Men (my absolute favorite movie ever) are hands down some of the greatest movies ever made. You seriously will not get an argument out me in regards to how gorgeous he was in Out of Africa and The Way We Were.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    Pitt gives off the Redford vibe in A River Runs Through It, directed by Robert Redford

    I attended a forum at the JFK Library a few years ago where Maureen Dowd interviewed Redford. She’s a horrible interviewer and he pretty much politely told her so. The questions from the audience were a lot more fun. Even into his 80s, he is a stunning man.

    If you haven’t seen it, watch All Is Lost. He should have received an Oscar nomination for that one.

  4. Anne says:

    I never got his appeal. :/

  5. damejudi says:

    He directed Ordinary People, which came out when I was in high school. Heartbreaking, amazing performances from the entire cast: Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, and Judd Hirsch.

    Thank you, RR, for that gift.

    • Mariposa says:

      Oh yes, thank you for reminding me of that! Wonderful movie (and book). He gave a NYT interview a few years ago where he talked about casting Mary Tyler Moore in that movie. He said he saw her walking down the beach by herself one winter’s day, and she had a certain lonely, bleak look about her that jumped out at him. At the time, she was just known as being bubbly and zany, so everyone thought he was crazy when he wanted to cast her as the mother in Ordinary People! But she was, of course, perfect.

  6. Mia4s says:

    Good for him for going out on his terms. I must say while Ordinary People was incredible I always liked the highly underrated Quiz Show. But he’ll always be Johnny Hooker and Sundance for me. 😁

    Sigh…too bad Casey Affleck is in this film. I might have liked to see it. 🙄

  7. chrissyms says:

    I recently watched a movie called This Property is Condemned with RR and Natalie Woods. Redford was SOOOOOO DARN SEXY in that movie. Like crazy. I also enjoyed one called The Candidate. Hope retirement treats you well RR.

    • Fhmom says:

      Oh, yes. I saw that on Tv I was in high school, so maybe 35 years ago, and I still remember the scene where he burst in on her taking a shower. They were both gorgeous and sexy.

  8. Rescue Cat says:

    Brubaker is my favourite Redford film.

  9. boredblond says:

    I love watching old b/w tv, and recently re-watched a Twilight Zone episode from the early 60s..gorgeous Redford as the grim reaper!..he was terrific.

  10. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    I love him 😍 I’ve had a crush on him since I was 2 years old.

    Okay. Got that out of the way. Now on to read the article. Thanks for posting about Robert Redford!

  11. damejudi says:

    Anyone see the movie Sneakers?

    I think it’s another little gem of a movie: Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Sidney Poitier, Ben Kingsley (!!!), River Phoenix, and my girl-crush, Mary McDonnell. Don’t know if it’s on Netflix or Prime, but it’s one of my favorites.

    • jessamine says:

      OMG, I loooove Sneakers. It just popped onto Prime and I watched it three days in a row last week. I don’t care that it’s ridiculous and dated as heck — I would watch that cast sit around a table and riff all. day. long.

      • detta says:

        I rewatch Sneakers on a regular basis, so yeah, three days in a row, I’m with you!
        But it is not really dated at all, if you look past the ‘look’ of things: Regarding the dawn of the digital era and data/information being the treasure of the future, it was actually way ahead of its time. “No more secrets.” That was some nice foreboding right there, if you consider stuff like Wikileaks and Russian hacking and everyone and their dog sharing everything on social media nowadays. As a film it also showcases perfect comedic timing and a wonderful score, and I think it has aged very well (and I am not the only one). Many computer nerds and hackers still love that film, not necessarily for its tech realism but for the mood and prophetic bits.

        Anyway, yeah… Redford is just one of the biggies. Funny thing is, I never really considered him one of my top crushes from the olden days (like e.g. Newman or Mitchum), but many of his films and characters are absolute benchmarks for me, from Sundance Kid and The Sting to Out Of Africa and Quiz Show. I also love Spy Game, a regular rewatch for me, too.
        Edit: And of course All The President’s Men, above all else!

    • Lightpurple says:

      And James Earl Jones! Sneakers is so much fun!

    • Jane says:

      That movie was awesome!

    • Trashaddict says:

      Especially when James Earl Jones asks them what they want as a payoff and one of them says “world peace”. Jones’ reaction is priceless. I think the world peace dude ends up settling for a date with a girl he likes.

      • detta says:

        “We are the US government, we don’t do that sort of thing.” So light and funny and makes you smile, yet comes from a true place, doesn’t it…? And wouldn’t we all wish the GOP would go bankrupt and their money would miraculously appear in the accounts of Amnesty, Greenpeace and college funds – now more than ever?!

    • Deering says:

      Sneakers was excellent. Just the James Earl Jones finale alone was worth the price of admission.

  12. Naddie says:

    Anyone who can show acting skills in a secondary character on a Marvel film is nothing less than outstanding. His performance was so on point in Winter Soldier.

    • Lightpurple says:

      His performance lifted that film out of the realm of just being a comic book movie. Winter Soldier is hands down the best of the 19 MCU films and his performance is the reason why. Well, that and Sebastien Stan being smoking hot as a deranged, mind-controlled, masked assassin.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Good comment. It was electrifying to have him on the screen.

    • ichsi says:

      PREACH! He was one of the very, oh so very few interesting Marvel villains and it’s all because of his performance.

  13. T.Fanty says:

    Let’s hope he retires the wig, too. That thing is looking beat.

    • Lightpurple says:

      That’s his actual hair. Above, I mentioned he did a forum at the JFK Library and took audience questions and one of the questions was about his hair. ETA, He even offered to let the woman touch it but she declined. He doesn’t color it either. He said it went redder instead of gray (my uncle’s did too) and that his kids complain about it all the time.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      Definitely dyed and potentially a wig let at least

  14. Mamunia says:

    I have always loved Robert Redford. He has a very low key, highly intelligent honest approach to life.

  15. Amelie says:

    I googled young Robert Redford since I’m not that familiar with his career apart from the fact he’s a Hollywood legend. I just find him to be generically good-looking. He just has this generic all-American face to me… I dunno if I’m alone in thinking this. Maybe it doesn’t help that Google Images keeps putting his face next to young Brad Pitt who I also think looks very generic. I also don’t tend to be attracted to the All-American look in general. In fact I kid you not when I googled “All-American” Robert Redford was mentioned in the very second link that popped up in the search results so I rest my case lol.

    But I will say in the pictures where he is grinning, that’s where I see how devastatingly handsome he can look. But otherwise his face isn’t that memorable to me. Still doesn’t take away from his amazing career though.

  16. Elena says:

    He will always be Gatsby to me. I think I read they wanted Jack Nicholason but he turned it down!

  17. JRenee says:

    I’ve enjoyed him in front of the camera since childhood, enjoying him behind the camera as an adult.

  18. Who ARE These People? says:

    Check out two fine works with Jane Fonda – Barefoot in the Park (dated and a little sexist, but weren’t they adorable), and Netflix’s current, quietly moving “Our Souls at Night.” To think of their long and remarkable careers and then see them in action, still…what pros.

    I didn’t see The Electric Horseman (also Redford-Fonda).

    • Jerusha says:

      They were also in The Chase(1966). He was a prison escapee, she was his wife. That overlooked movie was loaded with talent-Brando, Fonda, Redford, Angie Dickinson, Janice Rule, Miriam Hopkins, Robert Duvall and Brando’s sister, Jocelyn. Directed by Arthur Penn, written by Horton Foote and Lillian Hellman. Good movie.

    • H says:

      You have to see The Electric Horseman. Love that film.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      She said, after their last movie together, that he should definitely retire. She wasn’t kidding around

  19. babco says:

    Brubaker, All the President’s Men, Three days of the Condor, lots of other great movies

    And so breathtakingly beautiful (Brad Pitt pales in comparison)

  20. manta says:

    Well I’ll add some of my favorites : The Chase (Brando still at his prime+Jane Fonda+Redford), Jeremiah Johnson, and Brubaker. And from a cinephilic point of view, it’s always interesting when an actor and a director seem to develop a type of muse/mentor relationship (Redford Pollack)
    Also apppreciated he chose subjects with political meaning in his directorial efforts, particularly The Milagro beanfield war. I was surprised The conspirator wasn’t more of a success, Robin Wright delivered a riveting performance in this one.

  21. OriginalMe says:

    Starting with his appearances on Hitchcock presents, I’ve seen RR in everything he’s ever done…. including The Great Waldo Pepper, The Natural, Jeremiah Johnson, All is Lost, etc. One of a kind. Beautiful and deeply intelligent and a very big proponent of freedom of speech and press. That’s why he fought tooth and nail to create All the President’s Men. I imagine that, as determined as he is, he’s a difficult man but boy, would I want him to abduct me Three Days of the Condor style?!?! Lol.

  22. Tallia says:

    The Natural. *Sigh. Are there any left like him?

  23. Trashaddict says:

    This is a little gem that is worth watching – Paul Newman and Robert Redford at the Westport Country Playhouse benefit. They showed what a wonderful relationship they had, and that they are both mensches.
    Found it after Paul Newman died. Makes me very wistful.

    • Jane says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I am putting it on my You Tube favorites list and will cherish it. <3