Where have you gone, Robert Redford? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you -- and Warren Beatty and Gene Hackman.

Redford-Beatty-HackmanImage Credit: Andrew Wilson/PR Photos; David Gabber/PR Photos; Evan Agostini/Getty ImagesRobert Redford, Duke of Sundance, tells ABC that many people erroneously think he doesn’t want to act in movies anymore. “Something is happening over the years that makes a lot of people think that I don’t do this anymore, when the truth is, it’s what I enjoy most,” he said to Peter Travers.

Redford, 74, directed and co-starred in Lions for Lambs (2007), but it’s true that the 1970s heart-throb has been less active in front of the camera in the last 10 years, making only three films. As someone who grew up watching — and re-watching — The Natural, who reveres All the President’s Men, and who considers Spy Game one of the most underrated films of the young century, I hope the film projects he discussed with Travers come to fruition.

Redford isn’t the only beloved living legend who has quietly disappeared from multiplexes. Gene Hackman, 81 on Sunday, has publicly announced he’s finished with film and seems content writing historical fiction instead. (His Payback at Morning Peak arrives this June.) A Newsweek writer lauded Hackman’s legacy last year on his 80th birthday with the ulterior motive of luring him back into the game, but it didn’t seem to have any effect. Warren Beatty, 73, was the ultimate multi-hyphenate Hollywood player, but he hasn’t been officially involved with a film since 2001 (Town & Country).

Now I can’t imagine that this hallowed trio isn’t making movies just because people don’t ask, as Redford hinted. In fact, they’ve earned their right to play golf, write fiction, and just relax. But just to be safe, I feel compelled to remind them how important their work was to several generations of movie buffs — and how much great work still remains a possibility. I know there’s a Road to Perdition out there for Beatty. Redford would make a great Branch Rickey. And Hackman could return for the new Superman film. Heck, I’m even settle for a Muppets movie cameo, Mr. Hackman. We miss ya.

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  • Annie

    Can we add Sean Connery to the list also. Also, I would love to see Gene Hackman back on the screen.

  • G.R.

    I had to pick Warren Beatty, if only because I *really* don’t want his last starring role to have been in ‘Town & Country’!

  • Marie

    Hackman did retire from acting a few years ago, so I think he is going to stay that way. It must be nice for him though, just being able to stay out of all the publicity and such and live a normal life…with millions of dollars, of course!!

  • Monty

    With a face as aged as his, does Robert Redford think he’s fooling anyone with that red hair?

  • tracy bluth

    Robert Redford adapted my favorite book, Ordinary People, into a film perfectly. He is also one of my all time favorite actors.
    I miss Gene Hackman too.

  • Stacie

    HACKMAN!!! I luuuurve Gene Hackman. From The Conversation to Royal Tenenbaums, he’s always superb. I miss him in movies terribly. This may be an overshare, but I would love for Gene Hackkman to give me away at my wedding.

  • Alicia

    Gene Hackman, for sure. But not in a “Superman” movie – he was terrible as Lex Luthor. And people don’t look at Hackman and notice that he’s gotten old, while I’m sure audiences would always compare the young and beautiful Beatty and Redford with their current state as “oldsters.”

  • scorpio9094

    Too bad the new generation of actors will never be looked upon in the same way as these legends of the screen.

  • Ryan

    I am 23 years old so here’s how I stand.
    Robert Redford is my favorite. I’m catching up on all his films. I just bought “The Last Castle” and “The Natural” recently and plan to watch the latter for the first time Sunday night. I went to “Lions for Lambs” in theaters just to say I’d seen him on the big screen. I love everything he’s done from the first film of his I saw, “The Horse Whisperer”, to “Butch Cassidy…”, “Spy Game”, and the terribly underrated “Sneakers” (Sort of my favorite film of his so far). I wish he’d make one or two more films. Maybe even an action one. He did well in the ‘old mentor’ role in “Spy Game”. Or even a Sneakers sequel. lol

    Gene Hackman deserves to retire but it irks me to no end that his final film was “Welcome to Mooseport”. That’s what we’re going to hear about when he dies. Depressing. Same with Connery and “LXG” and I like that movie for the brainless fluff it is.

    Beatty I was never a big fan of but have only seen like 2 or 3 of his films.

    I also miss Sidney Poitier, but his final theatrical film, “The Jackal” he was great in, as well as his final work, the TV pic “The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn”.

    Now tell me I don’t have better taste than most 23 year old guys :)

  • iggy

    Wasn’t Robert Redford planning on making a movie based on Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods”? Whatever happened to that project? It’s very good material and would make an excellent movie.

    • bj

      “A Walk in the Woods” was Bill Bryson’s book about hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was not fiction at all. In fact, I enjoyed the book. I don’t know how they could make a movie out of that.

  • talkin’

    You know, I still think it has to do with some just regular everyday artistic vanity. These guys – except Hackman – were not character actors; they were romantic leading men.
    I loved the crazy good looking young Redford and really admire the mature Robert Redford but I haven’t really wanted to see his face change on the big screen since Out of Africa. Brutal? Ask any actress how much looks count.

    • googie

      Hate to admit it, but you’re right. He was beautiful!

  • randall

    honestly of all 3 i miss hackman the most he was in my fave movie ever hoosiers which i still watch from time to time the only thing he has done lately at least on tv was doing narration on those americas game docs on the nfl network which he did a fantastic job btw

  • Sue1

    I voted for Hackman, but I respect his choice to retire. They’ve all earned the right to do whatever they want.

  • Laura

    On “The View” today they showed a picture of Robert Redford from 1973 and 2011. Whoopi Goldberg wanted to know what happened to his face. It’s called AGING. Unless you die young, it happens to everyone. Hollywood is so youth-obsessed no one over 60 need apply for lead roles in films anymore. I would like to see Redford in a film once in awhile – too bad he can’t build a role for himself, since he can direct and produce as well as act.

    • sue

      Whoopi can be so tactless while thinking she’s so PC.

  • Ana

    I remember Gregory Peck once complaining about the lack of movie roles for him. He never did retire but people assumed he did and the parts dried up. I suspect that’s similar to what’s happening with Robert Redford.

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