Robert Redford’s heartbreaking note following untimely death of son: ‘Immeasurable grief’

The Old Man & the Gun: Robert Redford in last ever role

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Hollywood legend Robert Redford turns 86 today, with thousands of fans across the globe rushing to social media to express their goodwill. Among them was European film group DW Culture, which posted: “Happy 86th Birthday, #RobertRedford! The American actor was born #OnThisDay in 1936. He’s played billionaires, politicians, and sensitive charmers. Many considered him a sex symbol.

“In 2018, Redford announced his retirement after a 60-year career.”

Redford is one of Hollywood’s most enduring stars, and in 1980 his legacy was cemented as he claimed Best Director for his film Ordinary People at the Oscars.

Among his most cherished films include All the President’s Men, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which saw Redford star opposite fellow legend Paul Newman.

While Redford has now wound down his career, he will no doubt think of his son Jamie on his birthday, who sadly passed away in 2020.

Jamie was the second child Redford had tragically outlived, after his son Scott passed away at the age of just two months old in 1959.

Jamie, who was 58, died two years ago after being diagnosed with liver cancer.

In a statement, Redford’s publicist Cindi Berger described how the Hollywood star, then 84, had struggled to come to terms with the loss.

She said: “The grief is immeasurable with the loss of a child. Jamie was a loving son, husband and father.”

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In a statement, Berger added: “His legacy lives on through his children, art, filmmaking and devoted passion to conservation and the environment.

“Robert Redford is mourning with his family during this difficult time and asks for privacy.”

Redford initially confirmed his retirement from Hollywood in 2018, but has continued to be seen in films since, including Avengers: Endgame.

Its writer, Stephen McFeely, told The New York Times that while Redford had already announced The Old Man and the Gun would be his last film, the Marvel flick would in fact be his last.

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He said after the film’s release: “That whole time, they’re announcing Old Man With a Gun as Redford’s last appearance on film.

“It’s the last time you’re going to see Robert Redford. And we’re going—[shoots conspiratorial look] [Laughter].”

After The Old Man and the Gun, Redford spoke to Entertainment Weekly, and confirmed that he would no longer consider any acting roles.

He said: “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?”

It had previously been suggested two years earlier that Redford may draw a line under his career, with Our Souls at Night touted as a farewell flick.

He admitted at the time to “getting tired of acting” during an interview with his grandson Dylan Redford, for the Walker Art Centre.

He said: “I’ve got two acting projects in the works: Our Souls at Night, with Jane Fonda, a love story for older people who get a second chance in life, and Old Man with a Gun, a lighter piece with Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek.

“Once they’re done then I’m going to say, ‘Okay, that’s goodbye to all that,’ and then just focus on directing.”

However, after his interview with Entertainment Weekly was published four years ago, Redford admitted it was “a mistake” to claim he had retired.

He added when pressed by Variety: “If I’m going to retire, I should just slip quietly away from acting, but I shouldn’t be talking about it because I think it draws too much attention in the wrong way.

“I want to be focused on this film and the cast.”

When he was asked if The Old Man and the Gun would be his last, he concluded: “I’m not answering that. Keep the mystery alive.”

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