My style icon

My good friend, Jordan from Because you’re bored…,  recently posted all-but a command to celebrate Oscar weekend:  Watch a classic.  In his post he goes on to detail why James Dean is his style icon.

In good fashion and retort, as well as in celebration of tonight’s Academy Awards, this has inspired me to rebut with a style icon of my own – someone who’s life and look provide me a continual source of inspiration.

Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born in August 1936.  Redford’s career began to take shape in the 1950s, when he began acting on stage and screen (tv) while living in New York.  After experiencing some early successes (Emmy nomination in 1962), Redford landed a career changing role in 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Newman/Redford

Paired with Paul Newman, the film gave Redford the chance to be a leading man and a bankable star, escalating him into the upper echelon of stars in the 1970s.

Redford starred in 11 movies in the 70s, including The Candidate, The Hot Rock, The Sting, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, All the President’s Men and A Bridge Too Far.

Redford was nominated for an Oscar for The Sting in 1973 (won that year by Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger).  He was again nominated for an Oscar in 1980, this time for Best Director.  His victory that year propelled him into another top level – from bankable star to legitimate director.  His directorial credits include Ordinary People, A River Runs Through It, Quiz Show and more.

This speaks nothing of his creation of the Sundance movement, including the Sundance Institute, Film Festival, Cinemas and Sundance Channel (named all in part for his role as the Sundance Kid).

By far, my most favorite Redford movie is The Great Gatsby (1974).  It’s not only a perfect visualization of the novel (one of my favorites), but also shows the brilliant dual efforts of Truman Capote (original screenwriter) and Francis Ford Coppola (finishing screenwriter).  It also paints a picture of impeccable style:  a time when men were chilvarous and well-kempt.

Redford and Darrow in 1974's The Great Gatsby

Redford will celebrate his 74th birthday this August.  At 74, the man still has one of the best heads of hair that’s every been.

Effortlessly killing it with Scotch-Irish locks

He knows how to put together a formal look.

But he also knows how to, and when to, wear workwear.

Pics of Redford from the 70s and 80s are more relevant than many style pics we see today – a nod to timelessness and a proper fit.

Redford has made a lasting impact on the world through his career and personal contributions, dedication to his craft and the environment, and looked damn good while doing it (something we should aspire for).

“Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.” – Robert Redford

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