James Redford, filmmaker and son of Robert Redford, dies at 58
James Redford, a filmmaker, activist, and the son of Robert Redford, died Friday at the age of 58 from cancer.
His wife, Kyle Redford, announced the news on Twitter.
"Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken. He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many," she wrote. "He will be deeply missed. As his wife of 32 yrs, I’m most grateful for the two spectacular children we raised together. I don’t know what we would’ve done w/o them over the past 2yrs."
Through his representative, Robert Redford released a statement about his son's passing.
"The grief is immeasurable with the loss of a child. Jamie was a loving son, husband and father," the statement read. "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.”
In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Kyle confirmed that her husband died from bile-duct cancer in his liver. His past liver disease had returned 2 years ago, and the cancer was found in his bile duct in November as he was awaiting a liver transplant.
The filmmaker often focused on the environment, science, and education, in documentaries he directed and produced, like The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, Paper Tigers, Resilience, and 2017's Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution. Redford's 1999 documentary, The Kindness of Strangers, which he produced, was inspired by his own experience receiving two liver transplants from strangers.
He directed his only narrative feature, 2003's Spin, which starred Ryan Merriman, Paula Garcés, Rubén Blades, Dana Delany, and Stanley Tucci.
Redford was also near completion on directing “Where the Past Begins,” a documentary for PBS’s American Masters series that traces the immigrant journey of The Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan.
In 2005, Redford and his father founded The Redford Center, a nonprofit that produces films and provides grant money to filmmakers to “accelerate environmental and climate justice, solutions and repair."
The Redford Center's executive director Jill Tidman shared a tribute to the late filmmaker on Monday.
"With Jamie came love and contagious joy. He approached everything he did with kindness and warmth, and an openness that spread itself easily among others," the post read. "Jamie worked tirelessly to build a healthier world for us all, and particularly for those most in need of support. He always led with his enormous heart and was guided by his curiosity and creative spirit. He was a fierce protector of the natural world and believed that everyone deserved a healthy environment in which they could thrive and play."
According to Robert Redford’s biography, his son's health issues at a young age was a reason he put down roots in Utah, where he later established the Sundance Film Festival and the Sundance Institute.
James Redford is survived by his wife and their two children, his two sisters, and his parents, Robert Redford and the historian Lola Van Wagenen.