Robert Redford’s stunning plan to hang up his legendary Hollywood acting career has sparked fears the movie legend is dying!
Friends, a source reveals to RadarOnline.com, are worried he is “fading fast” and has lost interest in performing after 56 years, saying he’s “tired” of the profession.
The world-renowned actor has two last projects — Our Souls at Night, which co-stars Jane Fonda, and Old Man and the Gun, co-starring Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek.
Once these roles are complete, “I’m going to say, ‘OK, that’s goodbye to all that,’” says Redford, who concedes that at age 80, time is not on his side.
“There’s a great line by T.S. Eliot: ‘There’s only the trying. The rest is not our business,’” said Redford, quoting “Four Quartets,” Eliot’s popular philosophy on life and death.
Even more disturbing is the Academy Award-winning director’s lack of enthusiasm for his beloved Sundance Film Festival, an outlet for independent films he personally founded in 1978.
Though his rep denied the star is retiring, Redford himself said: “Sometimes you have to change the guard, and that includes me.”
Throughout his long life he’s suffered in silence through incredible grief, keeping the worst heartbreaks in his life to himself.
“There have been so many hits on our family that no one knows about,” noted Redford. “And I don’t want them to.”
Blessed with rugged, all-American good looks and an athletic physique, the first serious tragedy he endured was at 19 when his amazing mother, Martha, died in 1955. She had been by her son’s side while helping him overcome a crippling bout of polio he contracted at the age of 10. He recalls her patience, sitting by his bedside every day and swabbing his eyes to keep them open.
Completely crushed by Martha’s death, Redford secured a baseball scholarship at the University of Colorado, but lost it “because of drunkenness,” confided an insider.
Just one year after marrying his first wife, Lola Van Wagenen, in 1958, their joy morphed into tragedy when baby boy Scott died of sudden infant death syndrome.
“It was very traumatic and hard to deal with because it was so unexpected,” he said. “As a parent, you tend to blame yourself. That creates a scar that probably never heals.”
His daughter, Shauna, now 56, nearly died in 1983 after losing control of her car on a slick road in Salt Lake City. The vehicle plunged into an icy river and she had to be rescued by passers-by who mercifully were in the vicinity.
Months earlier, Shauna’s boyfriend, Sid Wells, was shot to death by his roommate.
Redford halted production on The Natural so he and his family could attend the funeral.
Then in 1985, his 27-year marriage to Lola crumbled. For decades, she had been the steady rock he desperately sought at the height of his Hollywood career, and their divorce left him guilt-ridden, dishes a spy.
But in 2009, he wed artist Sibylle Szaggars.
Now, mounting health woes are piling up for the creaky star. Just three years ago, Redford lost 60 percent of hearing in his left ear while filming All Is Lost due to the constant splashing of cold water during the grueling shoot. The intense exposure also put him in a sickbed for weeks with a nasty bug.
Shockingly, Redford is one of the most beloved actors in history and yet has said there have been times when he has felt “completely alone.”
“People think it’s been easy for me,” said the legend. “It’s so untrue.”
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