James Redford, a filmmaker, activist and son of actor Robert Redford, has died. He was 58.
His wife, Kyle, confirmed in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune that her husband died Friday from bile-duct cancer in his liver. Robert Redford’s publicist, Cindi Berger, said 84-year-old Robert Redford is mourning with his family during this “difficult time.”
Kyle Redford said that her husband’s liver disease returned two years ago and that the cancer was discovered in November of last year while he waited for a liver transplant.
“We’re heartbroken,” she said. “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.”
Redford had battled liver disease for more than 30 years and received a transplant that saved his life, the Los Angeles Times reported. He expressed his gratitude in an HBO documentary, “The Kindness of Strangers,” in 1999. He produced the film and raised its $600,000 budget from foundations, corporations and individuals, including his parents.
“The experience made me realize how fortunate I was,” Redford said. “Think of the fact that, every day, 10 to 12 people die waiting (for a transplant.) … It had an impact on me, and I became committed to do something to help the cause of organ donation.”
Redford and his Oscar-winning father cofounded the Redford Center, a nonprofit organization focused on environmental filmmaking. He also established the James Redford Institute in 1995 for Transplant Awareness to increase awareness of the shortage of organ donors.
James Redford wrote the script for “Hearts and Bones,” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Daryl Hannah, and adapted Tony Hillerman*s “Skinwalkers” for North Fork Pictures.
At the time of his death, his wife said, according to The Times, he was finishing a documentary called “Where the Past Begins,” about “The Joy Luck Club” author Amy Tan for the PBS series “American Masters.”
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