James Redford, the son of legendary actor Robert Redford and a filmmaker himself, died on Friday. His wife, Kyle Redford, shared a collection of family photos on Twitter, including pictures with their two children, Dylan and Lena. Redford died at his home in Marin County, California at 58.
"Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken," Kyle wrote on Friday, alongside the collage of photos. "He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. He will be deeply missed. 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 [two years]." Kyle told The Salt Lake Tribute her husband died from bile-duct cancer in his liver. The cancer was discovered in November 2019 and he was awaiting a liver transplant.
Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken. He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. He will be deeply missed. 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. pic.twitter.com/ynDN2jSZ04— kyle redford (@kyleredford) October 16, 2020
The Redford Center, which Redford co-founded with his father in 2005, also shared a statement on Twitter Monday, calling Redford "our inspiration and our friend." In her statement, Redford Center Executive Director Jill Tidman wrote, "As a filmmaker, writer, and activist, Jamie was intentional and inspirational. As a father, husband, brother, son, and a friend to so many - he was a devout supporter, always full of hope."
Although Redford made films like his father, he blazed his own trail as a documentarian. His first documentary, 2012's The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, was inspired by Dylan's own struggles with dyslexia in high school. In 2013, his film Toxic Hot Seat shined a light on the health problems caused by flame-retardant chemicals in furniture. It led to California banning the use of the chemicals and states enacted similar bands across the country.
Redford's other films include Paper Tigers, a 2013 film about a Washington state high school principal who sought to change the way students were disciplined; Resilience, which looked at the link between addiction and stress; and Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, which focused on renewable energy pioneers. At the time of his death, Redford was working on Where The Past Begins, a documentary on The Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan for PBS' American Masters series, Kyle said.
It is with profound sadness that we grieve the loss of James Redford, our Co-Founder, our inspiration and our friend.
With Jamie came love and contagious joy. He approached everything he did with kindness and warmth, and an openness that spread itself easily among others. (1/5) pic.twitter.com/N3hbOh0ELr— The Redford Center (@redfordcenter) October 19, 2020
Redford and Kyle married in June 1988 after meeting at the University of Colorado, where he earned a degree in film and creative writing. He also earned a master's in literature while living in Denver. He struggled with liver disease in the early 1990s and founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness. Aside from his father, wife, and two children, Redford is survived by his mother, Lola Van Wagenen; sisters Shauna Redford Schlosser and Amy Redford; stepmother Sibylle Szaggs Redford; and stepfather, George Burrill.