On Friday, October 16, actor Robert Redford and his family suffered an absolute tragedy. The legendary screen star, 84, lost his son, James “Jamie” Redford at the age of 58 following an arduous battle with cancer. Understandably, Robert, his daughter-in-law and James’ wife, Kyle Redford, and James’ mother, Robert’s ex-wife Lola Van Wagenen, are privately mourning their unimaginable loss. Following James’ tragic death, learn five facts about the filmmaker, husband, and son.
1) James Redford died after a roughly two-year battle with bile-duct cancer. After confirming the news that her husband had passed away, James’ widow, Kyle, shared some details of her husband’s cancer battle. In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, published on Monday, October 19, Kyle shared that her husband’s liver disease had returned two years ago, and while awaiting a liver transplant, the cancer was discovered this past November 2019.
2) His wife confirmed his death with a moving tribute to her husband. On Friday, October 16, Kyle took to Twitter to share with fans and followers that her husband had, indeed, lost his battle with cancer. “Jamie died today,” she began her emotional post, which included a number of candid photos of James with his family. “We’re heartbroken. He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. 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.”
3) James was plagued by health issues throughout his life. In 1993, James underwent two liver transplants years after he was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease affecting the liver called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis during his youth, per IMDb. After his 1993 surgeries, he founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, a nonprofit with a mission to educate the general public on organ and tissue donation.4) He was a filmmaker. James devoted his career to mostly directing documentaries. He directed a total of eight films, with another still in production at the time of his death. His first film came out in 2003 — Spin. The film starred Stanley Tucci and Dana Delany and followed the story of a young boy named Eddie following the loss of his parents. In 2012, James began getting into documentary filmmaking with is first non-narrative film The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia. He earned a number of honors at various film festivals throughout his career.
5) He is survived by his beloved family. James, who is the third child of Robert Redford and his first wife Lola Van Wagenen, is survived by his parents, two siblings — Shauna, 59, and Amy, 49 — and his children, Dylan and Lena Redford. Robert and Lola also lost their first son, Scott, when he was merely a few months old in 1959.