James Redford, Filmmaker and Son of Robert Redford, Dead at 58

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Rest in peace, James Redford. The filmmaker and activist — and son of Robert Redford — died on Friday, his wife, Kyle, confirmed on Twitter. He was 58. 

“Jamie died today,” Kyle wrote alongside a collage of photos showing James with family over the years. “We’re heartbroken.”

“He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. He will be deeply missed,” she continued. “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.”

Kyle told The Salt Lake Tribune that James died from bile-duct cancer in his liver. According to Kyle, James’ liver disease returned two years ago; the cancer was discovered last November while he was waiting for a liver transplant.

James was Robert’s third child with ex-wife Lola Van Wagenen. They had four children together, son Scott, who died just two months after his birth in 1959; daughter Shauna, 59, James, and Amy, 49. 

James, who experienced health struggles as a child, received two liver transplants in 1993. He later founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, an organization aiming to spread awareness about organ and tissue donation.

He also founded The Redford Center with his father in 2005, which focused on producing films and providing grants to filmmakers that directed films centering on the environment and providing solutions to climate change.

Over the years, James worked on films such as Paper Tigers, Resilience, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, Toxic Hot Seat and Playing for Keeps. He also took inspiration from his own life. His 1999 documentary, The Kindness of Strangers, was inspired by his experience receiving two liver transplants from strangers.

His 2012 documentary, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, was inspired by his son Dylan’s struggles with the learning disorder in high school. According to his wife, Kyle, James was finalizing his directing on a PBS documentary called Where the Past Begins, which focuses on the immigrant journey of The Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan.

See more on stars we’ve recently lost in the video below. 

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