April 14, 1994
Vol. 13, No. 16

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    Robert Redford to visit as Kovler Fellow this month

    Actor, director and producer Robert Redford will visit the University late in April as a Marjorie Kovler Fellow.

    While at the University, Redford will meet informally with students and faculty. He also plans to screen his newest film, "Quiz Show" -- still a work in progress -- which illuminates the broad questions of ethics and media surrounding the quiz-show scandals of the 1950s. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Redford. Admission, which is free, is limited to University students, faculty and staff. University IDs must be shown at the door. Details of Redford's visit will be released as soon as they are confirmed.

    Redford is one of the most influential and popular individuals in the American film industry. Prior to "Quiz Show," Redford most recently directed "A River Runs Through It," a film based on the novel by Norman Maclean, who was the William Rainey Harper Professor Emeritus in the College at the time of his death in 1990. In 1992, Redford came to Chicago for a benefit premiere of the movie to support the University's Norman Maclean Scholarship Fund.

    In 1980, Redford won an Oscar for his directorial debut, "Ordinary People," an adaptation of a novel by Judith Guest. In 1988, he directed "The Milagro Beanfield War," a screen version of a novel by John Nichols.

    Redford has appeared in more than 30 films, including "The Candidate" (1972), "All the President's Men" (1976), "Out of Africa" (1985), "Sneakers" (1993) and "Indecent Proposal" (1994).

    Redford attended the University of Colorado on a baseball scholarship, but he left the university in 1957 to spend a year traveling and painting in Europe. He later studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and theatrical design and acting in New York City.

    He made his film debut in 1962 in "War Hunt," an anti-war film set during the Korean conflict. He first gained public recognition and acclaim in 1963 as an actor in the Broadway production of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." The success of the play led to four more films, but Redford's career took a major leap when he reprised his stage role in the film version of "Barefoot in the Park" (1967) opposite Jane Fonda. The phenomenal success of his pairing with Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) made him an international star.

    As well as continuing his acting and directing careers, Redford is an activist in support of environmental issues and a philanthropist who supports new and younger filmmakers through the not-for-profit Sundance Institute, which he founded in 1981 in Park City, Utah. Through its various workshops, the Sundance Institute has provided support for independent film production, and its popular film festival has become the premier showcase for new American independent films.

    The Marjorie Kovler Visiting Fellows program is designed to encourage interaction between students at the University and prominent individuals in the arts and public affairs. Marjorie Kovler was founder and president of Kovler Galleries and a prominent figure in the Chicago art world.