James Redford, Documentary Filmmaker and Son of Robert Redford, Dies at 58

Ellise Shafer
·2-min read

James “Jamie” Redford, a documentary filmmaker, activist and the son of actor Robert Redford, died of cancer on Oct. 16. He was 58.

His wife of 32 years, Kyle Redford, announced his death on Twitter, writing: “He lived a beautiful, impactful life and was loved by many. He will be deeply missed. As his wife of 32 years, I’m most grateful for the two spectacular children we raised together. I don’t know what we would’ve done without them over the past two years.”

In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, his wife confirmed that James Redford died from bile-duct cancer in his liver. He had battled primary sclerosing cholangitis, for nearly thirty years, receiving two liver transplants in 1993. He became a tireless advocate for organ transplants, launching the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness and producing “The Kindness of Strangers,” a documentary that highlights the life-changing effects organ donors can have on patients and their families.

James Redford directed and produced documentaries tackling a spectrum of important issues, including the environment and education. “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” was inspired by his son Dylan’s struggles in school, and 2017’s “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” explored the benefits of clean energy.

Beyond the world of documentaries, he also wrote the screenplay for 2001’s “Cowboy Up” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Daryl Hannah and directed “Spin” on Showtime in 2003, featuring Stanley Tucci and Dana Delaney. In 2005, he and his father founded The Redford Center, a non-profit organization that produces films and provides grant money to environmental filmmakers. He was currently in production on “The Amy Tan Documentary.”

James Redford is survived by his wife, Kyle Redford; their two children, Dylan and Lena Redford; his sisters, Amy Redford and Shauna Redford Schlosser; and his parents, Robert Redford and Lola Van Wagenen.

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