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Portrait of a Hollywood icon
Robert Redford, The Biography by Michael Feeney Callan (Simon and Schuster).
For me the golden age of film was in the late 1960s and 1970s when so many iconic movies were made – films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting and All The President’s Men.
Starring in all three films was one of the Hollywood greats – Robert Redford.
Michael Feeney Callan’s book charts Redford’s life from his early rebellious years to superstardom as a film star and acclaimed director.
The book reveals Redford as a singular and determined character, someone very much of his own mind.
He would study scripts for hours, mulling over the character he was to portray and often deciding on his own interpretations.
Between 1969 and the end of the seventies, Redford’s star continued to rise and he acted in great films like the three already mentioned plus Jeremiah Johnson, A Bridge Too Far, The Great Gatsby and The Electric Horseman.
In the 1980s he turned to directing and scored a major hit with Ordinary People and then starred with Meryl Streep in the hugely popular Out Of Africa.
At the same time he pursued projects like the Sundance Film Festival, which brought many new filmmakers to international attention and was also politically active, campaigning in particular on green issues.
At the end of this biography you are left with the feeling that Redford is a deep thinker, something of a loner, someone with great vision and enormous drive.
He has achieved much in his life – and that always makes for a good biography.