Robert Redford Has Months To Live?

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Robert Redford Dying Polio

By Andrew Shuster |

Robert Redford Dying Polio

(Getty Images)

One of this week’s tabloids alleges Robert Redford has “just nine months to live” because he’s suffering from a relapse of childhood polio. The sensational claim is completely false. Gossip Cop can debunk it.

The legendary movie star recently announced he’s retiring from acting and dialing down his involvement in the Sundance Film Festival, which he founded in 1981. An article in the latest issue of the Globe claims the real reason the actor is stepping away from the spotlight is because he’s dying. “I think Bob is looking at the end of his life and he’s tying up loose ends,” an alleged insider tells the magazine.

Redford suffered a bout of polio when he was a child, and according to the outlet, the 82-year-old is now experiencing post-polio syndrome all these years later. A doctor who hasn’t treated the actor says PPS symptoms include “decreased strength, breathing and swallowing difficulties, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue.” There’s no reason to believe Redford is afflicted by any of these ailments.

In fact, Redford clarified in an NPR interview a few months ago that he didn’t have a “severe case” of polio. “I want to make sure we get this straight. It wasn’t an iron lung case. It was a case of mild polio,” said the actor. “It was alarming, but it wasn’t serious enough to go much further.”

As for the actor’s retirement, he’s not leaving show business altogether, but simply stepping away from appearing on the big screen. Redford recently told the New York Times that he’s plans to direct a film about physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who helped create the first atomic bomb. At the September 2018 premiere of The Old Man and the Gun, which marked his final onscreen role, Redford told “Extra,” “I will move now into directing and producing.” The idea that the iconic star is quitting Hollywood simply isn’t accurate.

Meanwhile, the outlet’s story is coming from an anonymous “source,” but Redford’s spokesperson says on the record “there is absolutely no truth” to the claims he’s in poor health. Gossip Cop also checked in with a source close to the actor, who confirms the tabloid’s outrageous report is completely untrue.

A few months ago, Gossip Cop busted the Globe’s sister publication, OK!, for wrongly reporting that Redford was writing a tell-all memoir in which he’d reveal all the secrets of his past romances. No such book is in the works. This latest article about the actor having “months to live” is flat out wrong.


Gross, Terry. "Robert Redford: The 'Fresh Air' Interview." NPR, 28 Sep. 2018.

Shattuck, Kathryn. "Robert Redford Isn’t Going Anywhere, for Now." The New York Times, 28 Sep. 2018.

"Robert Redford Speaks Out on His Retirement." Extra, 20 Sep. 2018.

Shuster, Andrew. "Robert Redford Writing Tell-All Memoir?" Gossip Cop, 15 Nov. 2018.

Jodi Magid, Spokesperson for Robert Redford. 7 Feb. 2019.