Kyle said her husband’s liver disease returned two years ago and the cancer was discovered in November of last year while he was awaiting a liver transplant.She posted a message and a slew of photos on Twitter that included James, herself and their family.
“We are heartbroken,” his wife wrote of her husband, who was called Jamie. “He lived a wonderful, impactful life and was loved by many. He will be sorely missed. As a 32 year old wife, I am very grateful for the two spectacular children we raised together. I don’t know what we would have done them (without) over the past 2 (years).
James battled liver disease for over 30 years. But he moved on with his life, marrying his wife Kyle who once taught eighth grade history in Marin County. The couple had two children together.
He expressed his gratitude for a life-saving liver transplant in an HBO documentary “The Kindness of Strangers” in 1999. He produced the film and raised his budget of $ 600,000 from foundations, businesses and individuals, including his parents.
“This experience made me realize how lucky I was,” said Redford. “Think about the fact that every day 10 to 12 people die while waiting for a transplant. It had an impact on me, and I made a commitment to do something to help the cause of organ donation. ”
James and his father co-founded the Redford Center, a non-profit organization focused on environmental cinema. He also established the James Redford Institute in 1995 for Transplant Awareness to raise funds and distribute tools to raise awareness of the organ donor shortage.
“With Jamie came contagious love and joy,” Redford Center executive director Jill Tidman said in an Instagram post. “He approached everything he did with kindness and warmth, and an openness that spread easily among others.
The institute has produced films including “Flow,” a 16-minute film aimed at teenage audiences that was distributed for educational purposes, and “From One to Another,” a one-hour film that watches those who have. received organ transplants and those waiting for them at the Nebraska Health System Teaching Hospital.
“The best way to reach people is on a personal level,” Redford said. “There are so many films to make. ”
James wrote the screenplay for “Hearts and Bones,” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Daryl Hannah, and adapted Tony Hillerman’s “Skinwalkers” for North Fork Pictures.
At the time of his death, his wife said he was finishing a documentary called “Where the Past Begins,” which featured “Joy Luck Club” writer Amy Tan for PBS’s “American Masters.”