Robert Redford Retires From Acting: 'I’ve Been Doing It Since I Was 21'

The Oscar-winner said he'll continue directing movies after his final film as an actor, "The Old Man & The Gun."

Misty, water-colored memories ... of the way he was. 

After nearly 60 years on screen, Robert Redford announced Monday that he’s retiring from acting following the release of what will be his final film.

Redford, 81, will star in upcoming crime comedy “The Old Man & The Gun” directed by David Lowery, which hits theaters in September, before hanging his hat up for good.

“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,” Redford told Entertainment Weekly exclusively in an article published Monday. “I thought, Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?” 

The film about real-life career criminal Forrest Tucker played by Redford also stars Elisabeth Moss, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck and Danny Glover.

“To me, that was a wonderful character to play at this point in my life,” Redford told the outlet.

Robert Redford says he's retiring from acting, after a six-decade career. 
Robert Redford says he's retiring from acting, after a six-decade career. 

The Hollywood legend revealed his designs on retirement two years ago in conversation with his grandson and fellow filmmaker, Dylan Redford. At the time, he was still at work on two films, including “The Old Man & The Gun” and Netflix’s “Our Souls At Night” co-starring Jane Fonda. 

Redford said he’d been impatient, which he blamed on “getting tired of acting,” citing the grueling schedule of working on a set. 

“It’s hard for me to sit around and do take after take after take,” he said. “At this point in my life, age 80, it’d give me more satisfaction because I’m not dependent on anybody. It’s just me, just the way it used to be, and so going back to sketching ― that’s sort of where my head is right now.”

He added: “I’m going to say, ‘OK, that’s goodbye to all that,’ and then just focus on directing.

Redford has, of course, directed a slew of films, including “Ordinary People,” “A River Runs Through It” and “The Horse Whisperer” over his decades-long career. When asked whether he would still direct films, he told EW, “We’ll see about that.”

The two-time Oscar winner leaves behind a storied legacy on screen, as one of the most famous movie stars of the 1970s and ’80s with roles in “All the President’s Men,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and “The Way We Were.” 

Redford is also the founder of the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival. 

In 2016, President Barack Obama honored him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contributions to the entertainment industry. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the number of Academy Awards Redford has been nominated for. He’s been nominated for five Oscars, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. 



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