Tragedy has struck legendary actor Robert Redford's family. On Monday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that James Redford, the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid actor's son, has died after a battle with liver cancer. His wife, Kyle Redford, confirmed the news on Twitter.
James, who was referred to as Jamie by those closest to him, reportedly died from bile-duct cancer in his liver. He was 58. James' past liver disease returned two years ago. In November, the cancer was discovered in his bile-duct while he was awaiting a transplant. James dealt with a number of health issues throughout his life. When James and his then-girlfriend and future wife Kyle Smith moved to Chicago for graduate studies, he was diagnosed with both colitis and sclerosis cholangitis, an autoimmune disease that damaged his liver. He reportedly got his first liver transplant in early 1993, but it later proved to be unsuccessful due to a faulty valve in the replacement organ. Another liver was located for James on the July 4th weekend in 1993.
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
After his surgeries, James founded the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate the public about organ and tissue donation. Through his work with the institute, James, who followed in his father's footsteps by engaging in a career in the entertainment industry, produced his first documentary The Kindness of Strangers, which was released in 1999. James has worked on and directed a number of documentary films over the years including Toxic Hot Seat, Paper Tigers, and The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, the latter of which was inspired by his son Dylan and his struggles with dyslexia during high school.
James worked on multiple features and opened up his own institute to raise transplant awareness, but he and Robert also founded The Redford Center in 2005. The center, which is based in San Francisco, produces films and provides grants to filmmakers so that they can "accelerate environmental and climate justice, solutions, and repair." James was the co-chair of the center's board of directors until the time of his passing.