WESTON, Conn. -- Happy birthday to Weston’s Charles Robert Redford Jr.!
Redford, who has owned a home in Weston, turns 78 on Monday. The actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist was born Aug. 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Redford's started his career in 1959, appearing as a guest star on numerous television programs, including "Naked City," "The Untouchables," "The Americans," "Whispering Smith," "Perry Mason," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Route 66," "Dr. Kildare," "Playhouse 90," "Tate," "The Twilight Zone," and "Captain Brassbound's Conversion."
He earned an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "The Voice of Charlie Pont" (ABC, 1962).
His Broadway debut was in a small role in "Tall Story" (1959), followed by parts in "The Highest Tree" (1959) and "Sunday in New York" (1961). His biggest Broadway success was as the stuffy newlywed husband of Elizabeth Ashley in "Barefoot in the Park" (1963).
Redford made his screen debut in "War Hunt" (1962). He won a Golden Globe for best new star in "Inside Daisy Clover" (1965).
Redford became a star after making George Roy Hill's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), scripted by William Goldman and co-starring his lifelong friend, Paul Newman of Westport. The film was a huge success and cemented his screen image.
The blockbuster crime caper "The Sting" (1973) became the biggest hit of his career and was one of the top 20 highest grossing movies of all time when adjusted for inflation. He was also nominated for an Oscar for the film, which also co-starred Newman.
Between 1974 and 1976, exhibitors voted Redford as Hollywood's top box-office name. His hits included "The Great Gatsby" (1974), "The Great Waldo Pepper" (1975), and "Three Days of the Condor" (1975). The popular and acclaimed "All the President's Men" (1976). He also appeared in a segment of the war film "A Bridge Too Far" (1977).
In 1989, the National Audubon Society awarded Redford its highest honor, the Audubon Medal.
He has received two Academy Awards: one in 1981 for directing "Ordinary People," and one for Lifetime Achievement in 2002. In 2010, he was awarded French Knighthood in the Legion d'Honneur.
He continued as a major star throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He released his third film as a director, "A River Runs Through It," in 1992.
He also continued work in films with political context, such as "Havana" (1990) and "Sneakers" (1992).
He appeared in the 2011 documentary "Buck." In 2012, he directed and starred in "The Company You Keep," in 2013, he starred in "All Is Lost," in April 2014, he appeared in the Marvel Studios superhero film "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
In April 2014, Time magazine included Redford in its annual TIME 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World" declaring him the "Godfather of Indie Film."
He founded the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalog, and the Sundance Channel, all in and around Park City, Utah.
He supports environmentalism, Native American rights, LGBT rights, and the arts. He has also supported advocacy groups, such as the Political Action Committee of the Directors Guild of America.