SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor and other top officials honored Robert Redford on Saturday night for his on-camera and off-camera contributions to the state as owner of the Sundance ski resort and founder of the Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Institute.
Some of the 77-year-old Redford’s movies, including “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Jeremiah Johnson,” were filmed in Utah.
“I think we take him for granted,” said Gov. Gary Herbert. “He’s been here for so long, and he’s been so successful. It’s really quite remarkable, and yet he calls Utah home. I’m appreciative of that. I think Utah is a better place because Robert Redford does call Utah home.”
Redford noted that he and elected officials in the audience, many of them on the opposite end of the political spectrum from him, share common ground.
“Whatever differences may exist, we can all come together and agree on one thing, and that’s our love of this state and our country and the people,” the environmental activist said.
Herbert said it was no easy task to get Redford to accept the recognition. “I’ve been trying to do it for about three years,” he said. “(He) likes his privacy so he’s been a little reluctant to let us honor him, but I’ve been working hard and I think I wore him down.”
Redford told the crowd, “I think it makes me shy, to be honest.”