Redford stars in Three Days of the Condor

On this day in 1975, Three Days of the Condor, a political thriller directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, opens in New York City. In the film, Redford, one of the biggest movie stars of the 1970s, played a low-level C.I.A. employee being stalked by an assassin. Based on a novel titled Six Days of the Condor by James Grady, the film, which co-stars Faye Dunaway, Cliff Robertson and Max Von Sydow, was a box-office success. Prior to Three Days of the Condor, Pollack and Redford teamed up for Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and The Way We Were (1973), co-starring Barbra Streisand. The two men later collaborated on The Electric Horseman (1979); Out of Africa (1986), which co-starred Meryl Streep and won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture; and Havana (1990). Pollack, who died on May 26, 2008, at the age of 73, also directed such hit movies as Absence of Malice (1981), Tootsie (1982) and The Firm (1993). His producing credits include The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Cold Mountain (2003) and Michael Clayton (2007).

Redford, who was born on August 18, 1936, acted in theater and television before his 1963 breakthrough performance on Broadway in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, which co-starred Jane Fonda. In 1969, Redford teamed with Paul Newman in the box-office smash Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. During the 1970s, the ruggedly handsome Redford starred in such films as The Candidate (1972); The Sting (1973), which reunited him with Newman and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture; The Great Gatsby (1974), in which he played the title role; and All the President’s Men (1976), in which he portrayed the Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, half of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that helped uncover the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s. (Dustin Hoffman played Woodward’s fellow journalist, Carl Bernstein.) Among Redford’s later hit movies as an actor were The Natural (1984) and Indecent Proposal (1993), with Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson.

In 1980, Redford made his directorial debut with Ordinary People. The film, which starred Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch, won four Academy Awards, including Best Director, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Hutton). Redford went on to helm such films as The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), A River Runs Through It (1992) and Quiz Show (1994), which earned Best Director and Best Picture Oscar nominations. His more recent directorial efforts include The Horse Whisperer (1998), in which he also starred; The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000); and Lions for Lambs (2007), in which he co-starred with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep.

Also in 1980, Redford founded the Sundance Institute, aimed at helping aspiring artists in film and theater. The group runs the Sundance Film Festival, now a major festival for independent filmmakers from around the world.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


Muhammad completes Hegira

On this day in 622, the prophet Muhammad completes his Hegira, or “flight,” from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. In Medina, Muhammad set about building the followers of his religion–Islam–into an organized community and Arabian power. The Hegira would later mark the more

The First Supreme Court

The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. That day, President Washington nominated more

Ben Johnson wins gold, temporarily

On this day in 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Johnson’s triumph, however, was temporary: He tested positive for steroids three days later and was stripped of the medal. Ben more

Hurricane Inez batters Caribbean

Hurricane Inez slams into the islands of the Caribbean, killing hundreds of people, on this day in 1966. The storm left death and destruction in its wake from Guadeloupe to Mexico over the course of its nearly three-week run. Inez was the most destructive hurricane of the 1966 more

The “Chicago Seven” go on trial

The trial of the “Chicago Seven” begins before Judge Julius Hoffman. The defendants, including David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE); Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden of MOBE and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS);and Jerry Rubin more

A game warden is reported missing

Neil LaFeve, the game warden at Sensiba Wildlife Area in Wisconsin, is reported missing. When LaFeve, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday, did not show up to his own party, his wife called the police. The next morning, authorities found LaFeve’s truck. A pool of blood and two more

Union General Henry Slocum is born

Union General Henry Slocum is born in Delphi, New York. In 1852, Slocum graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, seventh in his class of 42. He remained in the military for just four years, serving in Florida and South Carolina. In 1856, he left the service to study law, and by more