Filmmaker and activist James Redford has died. A son of Hollywood icon Robert Redford, a family member confirmed the passing of the documentarian last week. In a Twitter thread, James' wife Kyle announced the filmmaker's passing, attributing it to complications from bile-duct cancer doctors discovered last November. He was 58.
“Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken,” Kyle Redford wrote. “He lived a beautiful, impactful life & 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. I don’t know what we would’ve done [without] them over the past 2 [years].”
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
Following the footsteps of his father to Hollywood, James' first big project came with 2012's The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia. Inspired by his son Dylan, James used the documentary to look at the struggles America's youth face when it comes to combatting dyslexia.
Other documentaries he ended up creating include Toxic Hot Seat, Paper Tigers, Resilience, and Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution. At the time of his death, Redford was working on Where the Past Begins, a documentary about author Amy Tan.
James and his father founded The Redford Center in 2005, a nonprofit that grants money to filmmakers working on projects that "accelerate environmental and climate justice, solutions, and repair. Redford Center director Jill Tidman remembered the filmmaker in a heartfelt Facebook post.
"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. He will be greatly and intensely missed," Tidman wrote. "The Redford Center extends our deepest sympathy and love to Jamie’s family. We ask that you hold them close in your heart as we move forward in Jamie’s name and walk proudly in his footsteps."1comments
Redford is survived by wife Kyle, children Dylan and Lena, parents Robert and Lola Van Wagenen, stepmother Sibylle Szaggars Redford, stepfather George Burrill, and sisters Shauna Redford Schlosser and Amy Redford.
Cover photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images