Robert Redford is one the most celebrated names in Hollywood, having established a successful career that has spanned multiple decades. But before the director of “The Legend of Bagger Vance” and the actor in “Jeremiah Johnson” succeeded in Hollywood, he was a troubled kid living in Los Angeles. He stole beer for all-night drinking parties, and was a member of a high school gang. However, the “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” star said it was his mother, who encouraged him to change his life for the better.
Redford loves woman and has always felt a close connection to them because of his relationship with his own mom [Martha Hart]-his greatest influence. Redford said, ” The one person who stood behind me was my mother. She believed that all things considered, she just had faith that I had something in me that was going to turn out OK.” Redford described his mother as “the strong member of the family” who “always had a smile [and] was very, very adventurous.” “She came from Texas, and she carried that kind of robust, jocular goodwill,” he said. “She saw things in a positive light.”
“She had a hemorrhage tied to a blood disorder she got after losing twin girls at birth 10 years after I was born,” explained Redford. He went on to reveal that while his mother was warned by doctors about the dangers of another pregnancy after his own difficult birth, she was determined to pursue her own dreams.
“She wanted a family so badly, she got pregnant again,” said Redford, adding his mother’s death “seemed so unfair.”
“[My family] feared that I was going to go off the deep end, or that I would never amount to anything, or die at an early age,” said Redford. “I wanted to prove them wrong,” Redford told Fox News.
“I took [her] for granted because that’s the way kids were at that age,” Redford admitted. “My regret is that she passed away before I could thank her.”
Still mourning the loss of his mom, Robert married Lola Van Wagenen in 1958, when he was 22 and she was still a teenager. Why did he wed so young? “Obviously, I don’t want to denigrate the person I married, there were a lot of good reasons,” he says. “But I have to say it was to save my life. That’s what it felt like at the time.”
Robert and Lola remained married for 27 years, through bad times (firstborn son Scott died of sudden infant death syndrome in 1959) and good (they had three more children, while Robert became a star opposite Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and won an Oscar for directing Ordinary People). Through the years, Robert, 81, remembered what his mom taught him about the importance of women.
Somewhere, we know his mom must be smiling down on him.
Photo courtesy of Bing.com