Robert Redford: His Career
Robert Redford is more than just an acclaimed actor. He’s a man with strong convictions who has devoted his life to the arts.
After dropping out of college in 1956, Redford traveled to Europe to become an artist. For the next year and a half, he lived in a bohemian community, learning about art, culture, and international affairs. The experience was life-changing. After leaving Europe, Redford returned home to study at the Pratt Institute and later the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Redford’s film career didn’t take off until 1967, and it wasn’t until Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that he really made a name for himself. His success continued through the 1970s with some of his most famous films, like The Way We Were and The Sting.
Throughout, Redford stayed true to his artistry. He was very particular about the projects he took, and he tried to maintain a private personal life, out of the Hollywood scene.
It was not until 1980 that Redford received his first Academy Award for Ordinary People. However, the Oscar wasn’t for best actor—it was for best director. That success led him to establish the Sundance Institute, which supports independent filmmakers through workshops and other outlets. From this spurred the Sundance Film Festival, a platform for independent filmmakers to showcase and promote their works.
Robert Redford: His Watch
Throughout his impressive career, Redford has been a one-watch man. His watch of choice—a Single Red Rolex Submariner. This particular model was the first Submariner with a date window and was produced from 1967 to 1976. There is a rumor that someone once offered Redford a yellow-gold Submariner as a gift. He refused, saying, “I’m not a gold kind of guy.”
It’s clear that Redford is decisive and selective not only about his films but also about the watch he wears. He sported his own Single Red Submariner in a number of films, like The Candidate and All the President’s Men, proving that both on and off screen, he keeps to a particular aesthetic. Even today, over 40 years later, Redford continues to act and direct wearing the same Rolex.
For more stories like Robert Redford’s, check out our “Profiles in Time” series.