Perhaps Robert Redford is just getting revved up, if his upcoming recognition, AARP magazine cover and personal behavior are any indication.
The Sundance Film Festival opened January 20th, celebrating independent films and filmmakers. Sundance founder and Hollywood icon Robert Redford came out to open the 10-day event in Park City, Utah.
Usually somewhat reclusive, at least as far as paparazzi are concerned, the reticent Robert Redford seems to be coming out in 2011. The long-time movie star and film director will turn 75 on August 18th, but it hardly shows. Sure, his famous face bears character lines and a bit of weathering, but his spirit seems as youthful as ever.
Has Robert Redford discovered the legendary Fountain of Youth somewhere in Utah?
Not exactly. In fact, the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is honoring this senior statesman of the silver screen in February with its 2011 Movies for Grownups Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Robert Redford during a celebration in Beverly Hills, California, although he initially balked at the suggestion of a lifetime achievement honor.
“Does that mean I’m bronzed?” Robert Redford queried. “Whoa! It’s not over yet, folks.”
Also, “AARP The Magazine” will feature Robert Redford on the cover of its May/April 2011 issue, due to arrive on newsstands nationwide by January 24th.
What is the secret to Robert Redford’s stamina?
Robert Redford credits his much-younger wife, 55-year-old German artist Sibylle Szaggars, with the proverbial spring in his step. The pair married two years ago.
“She’s a very special person,” Robert Redford told reporters recently. “She’s younger than I am and European, which I like. So that’s a whole new life.”
An avid environmental activist and outdoorsman, Robert Redford also claims staying active keeps him going strong.
“I ride horses, ski, play pretty hard tennis,” the apparently age-proof actor explained. “I still have energy. When that starts to shut down, I might start to think about age.”
Of course, longevity brings learning, if a body is lucky.
“When you get older, you learn certain life lessons. You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go,” Robert Redford commented.
Last fall, Robert Redford made a surprise appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Still sporting his tousled dusty ginger-blond locks, the popular actor showed up on “Oprah” in November 2010, stunning his long-term chum and “The Way We Were” (1973) co-star Barbra Streisand. (CTRL-click here to view the video of Robert Redford’s interview with Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand in a new internet window.)
Robert Redford declares he has learned life lessons from experience.
The iconic actor has enjoyed both success and recognition. Robert Redford has won Academy Awards (for directing “Ordinary People” and for Lifetime Achievement). He has made his mark with such well-known movies as “All the President’s Men,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Indecent Proposal,” “Ordinary People,” “Out of Africa,” “Quiz Show,” “Sneakers,” “The Candidate,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “The Natural,” “A River Runs Through It,” “The Sting,” “Three Days of the Condor” and more.
However, Robert Redford has also faced tougher times. For starters, his mother died when he was still a teenager.
In 1959, the actor and his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen lost a five-month-old son to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The couple had three additional children, who have since produced seven grandchildren.
In 1981, Robert Redford founded the Sundance Institute, which annually sponsors the Sundance Film Festival.
Robert Redford is currently directing “The Conspirator,” starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy and scheduled for cinematic release in the spring of 2011.