A national symbol of romance since the 1970s, Redford's stardom has often eclipsed the life and trials of the man himself. In this biography -- written with Redford's personal papers, journals, script notes, correspondence, and hundreds of hours of taped interviews -- Michael Feeney Callan strips away the Hollywood façade, exposing the complicated, surprising man beneath. The life of Robert Redford is a series of contradictions: descended from impoverished East Coast barbers on his father's side and once-wealthy Texans on his mother's side,the young Redford suffered from aimlessness and semi-poverty, dropping out of college and briefly spending time in jail before launching a career in theatre. Redford has contributed more -- and more widely -- to entertainment than most stars of his calibre. As an actor, he's appeared on Broadway and film, with an Oscar-nominated performance in 1973's The Sting. As a director, he's earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director and has received three Golden Globe nominations for Best Director.He won the Academy Award for Best Director in 1980 for Ordinary People.And as a producer of independent films -- including the patronage of his Sundance Institute -- he's worked on films including All the President's Men and 2004's The Motorcycle Diaries. This is a fascinating exploration of one of our most celebrated and least understood public figures, and an essential read for anyone interested in the rocky road to Hollywood.