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Film Icon Robert Redford Poses for the Cover of AARP The Magazine and in a Rare, Exclusive Interview, Candidly Discusses the Loss of His First Son, His Path to Stardom and Handling Fame

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:

Melissa Bach, Coburn Communication, 212.382.4454,

AARP Media Relations,

Film Icon Robert Redford Poses for the Cover of AARP The Magazine and in a Rare, Exclusive Interview, Candidly Discusses the Loss of His First Son, His Path to Stardom and Handling Fame

WASHINGTON (January 20, 2011) – Esteemed actor and filmmaker Robert Redford, whose passion for privacy throughout the years has left much to be discovered about this Hollywood legend, graces the cover of the March/April issue of AARP The Magazine, in homes January 24th. This rare interview gives readers an intimate glimpse at truths about his childhood, his transition from artist to actor, family, marriages and career goals for the future. Redford will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from AARP The Magazine at its tenth annual Movies for Grownups® Awards gala in February.

Sometimes considered a media recluse, Redford, who turns 75 this year, opens up to the magazine about being a troubled child who challenged conformity. He also reflects on the losses of his mother when he was still a teen and his first son to SIDS, his artistic talents and his surprising transition into an icon best known for films such as The Way We Were, All the President’s Men and The Natural. Today, Redford is married to his second wife and focusing on his career as a filmmaker, an environmental activist, and the driver behind the Sundance Film Festival. His latest directorial project is the soon-to-be-released Conspirator, which tells the story of Mary Surratt, the only female co-conspirator charged in the Abraham Lincoln assassination. Redford doesn’t plan to stop there. On his future in film, Redford says, “There are movies I want to make. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a thriller…And I want to keep acting, though I think the business has concluded that I don’t want to act anymore.”

The following are excerpts from the upcoming AARP The Magazine cover story featuring Robert Redford, available online NOW at

On Aging

“When Jane Fonda, whom I’m very close to, turned 40, she sent me a note: ‘Please come to my 40th birthday celebration.’ I wrote her back and said, ‘When I turned 40, I went into hiding!’ We’re very different in how we celebrate ourselves.”

“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.’”

On Being Known as a “Living Legend”

“That really bothers me. Does that mean I’m bronzed? Whoa! It’s not over yet, folks!”

On the Death of his Five-Month Old Son from SIDS in 1959

“It was really hard. We were very young. I had my first theater job, which didn’t pay much. We didn’t know anything about SIDS, so the only thing you think is that you’ve done something wrong. As a parent, you tend to blame yourself. That creates a scar that probably never completely heals.”

On Becoming an Actor

“I never imagined being an actor. I wanted to get a formal education in art so I could go back to Europe and paint.”

On Staying Private Throughout His Career

“When I got into the business, I had this naïve idea that I’d let my work speak for me. I just was never interested in talking about myself.”

“However, we’re in such a different time and celebrity is so much in the mainstream. I thought, ‘I might as well enter this zone, but go a toe at a time.’”

On Handling Fame

“I dealt with it the way I wanted to. I felt that if you were fortunate enough to have success, you should shadowbox with it but never embrace it, because it has a demon side.”

On his Second Wife of Two Years, Sibylle Szaggars

“She’s a very special person. She’s younger than I am, and European, which I like, so that’s a whole new life.”

On Staying Active at 74

“I ride horses, ski, play pretty hard tennis. I still have energy. When that starts to shut down, I might start to think about age.”

On Continuing his Career

“There are movies I want to make. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a thriller… And I want to keep acting, though I think the business has concluded that I don’t want to act anymore.”

“The other movie I want to make is about people who rediscover themselves in older love. They got together out of passion years earlier, but it flamed out and they went their separate ways. They get to be older and somehow come back into each other’s lives and regain their relationship with a more mature love. That’s an interesting story—and I’m qualified to write it!”

On his Latest Directorial Project, The Conspirator

“We don’t seem to learn from our own history. But whatever parallels exist are up to the audience to find; it won’t be a needle in a haystack. My focus is on the emotional arc of the characters. What I loved about this story was the two characters who start off at opposite sides and move together and across each other.”

On School and Adolescence

 “I was never a good student. I had to be dragged into kindergarten. It was hard to sit and listen to somebody talk. I wanted to be out, educated by experience and adventure, and I didn’t know how to express that.”

“Messing around with friends, pushing the envelope, stealing Cadillac hubcaps for $16, was a release.”

“I was seen in earlier years by family members and people of authority as somebody wasting his time. I had trouble with the restrictions of conformity. It made me edgy.”

On the Importance of His Family

“I was considered irresponsible as a kid, so I developed a strong sense of proving I could be responsible. I had that old fashioned sense of providing for your family.”

On Living in Paris in the Mid-1950s Among Politically Active Art and Medical Students

“I gained most of my maturity.”

“They challenged me about my politics, which didn’t exist. They were always running in the streets to protest, so I joined them. It broadened my view of country. When I went back, I questioned things, which led me into a certain amount of activism.”

An image of the March/April cover of AARP The Magazine featuring Robert Redford is available upon request. Exclusive photographs from the photo shoot are available at

About AARP The Magazine

With nearly 35 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine ( is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 22 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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