James Redford, filmmaker and activist, and son of actor Robert Redford has passed away. He was 58 years old.
Robert Redford publicist Cindy Berger said in a statement Monday that the 84-year-old father is in mourning with his family during this “difficult time”. His wife, Kyle, confirmed in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune that her husband died Friday from liver bile duct cancer.
Kyle said her husband’s liver disease came back two years ago and discovered cancer in November last year while he was awaiting a liver transplant.
She posted a message and a large batch of photos on Twitter that featured James and her family.
“We’re heartbroken,” his wife wrote about her husband, Jimmy. “He lived a beautiful, touching life and was loved by many. We will miss him deeply. As his 32 year old wife (32 years old), I am very grateful for the two wonderful children who have taken care of them together. I don’t know what we would have done (without) for the past two years.” .
James has struggled with liver disease for over 30 years. But he continued with his life, marrying his wife, Kyle, who was studying eighth grade history in Marin County. The couple had two children together.
He expressed gratitude for the life-saving liver transplant in an HBO documentary entitled “The Kindness of Strangers” in 1999. He produced the film and collected his $ 600,000 budget from foundations, corporations and individuals, including his parents.
“The experience made me realize how lucky I was,” Redford said. “Think about the fact that 10-12 people die every day waiting for a transplant. It had an effect on me, and I became committed to doing something to help the cause of organ donation.”
James Redford was an environmental activist and philanthropist, as well as a filmmaker. He majored in documentaries, with his first directorial effort, “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” for 2012, inspired by his son Dylan, who struggled with dyslexia in high school, according to Tribune.
James and his father co-found the Redford Center, a non-profit organization focused on making environmental films. He also founded the James Redford Institute for Agricultural Outreach in 1995 to raise funds and distribute tools to raise awareness about the shortage of organ donors.
“With Jimmy came love and contagious joy,” said Jill Tedman, executive director of the Redford Center, Jill Tidman in an Instagram post. “Treat everything he does with kindness, warmth, and openness that spreads easily among others.”
We are deeply saddened by the loss of James Redford, our co-founder, our inspiration, and our friend.
With Jimmy came love and joy contagious. Treat everything he does with kindness, warmth, and openness that is easy for others. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/N3hbOh0ELr
Redford center October 19, 2020
The institute has produced films including “Flow,” a 16-minute movie aimed at a teen audience distributed for educational reasons, and “Person to Person,” an hour-long movie that looks at those who have undergone an organ transplant and those awaiting them at the University of Nebraska System Hospital Healthy.
“The best way to reach people is on a personal level,” said Redford. “There are a lot of films to be made.”
James wrote the script for “Hearts and Bones” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Daryl Hannah, and filmed Tony Hellerman’s “Skinwalkers” for North Fork Pictures.
At the time of his death, his wife said he was finishing a documentary called “Where the Past Begins,” which was about “Joy Luck Club” author Amy Tan on PBS’s American Masters.
According to People, James Redford had health issues dating back to his childhood and received two liver transplants in 1993.
Born in 1962, James is the third of four children born to Robert Redford and his ex-wife, Lula Van Wagon.
Alongside his wife, James Redford is escaped by their two children, Dylan and Lena.
Contribution: Bill Kiffeni, USA Today
Jimmy died today. We are heartbroken. He lived a beautiful, touching life and was loved by many. We will miss him badly. As his 32-year-old wife, I am so grateful for the two wonderful children we raised together. I don’t know what we would have done without them for the past two years. pic.twitter.com/ynDN2jSZ04
– Kyle Redford (@kyleredford) October 16, 2020
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