Utah’s leaders laud Redford for efforts on behalf of state

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Utah’s leaders laud Redford for efforts on behalf of state

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Utah’s governor and other top officials have honored Robert Redford 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. About 500 people, including U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, attended the Saturday night event billed as “The Governor’s Salute to Robert Redford: A Utah Tribute to an American Icon.’’

Utah Governor Gary Herbert praised the 77-year-old Redford for his celebrated movie career. Some of Redford’s movies, including “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’’ and “Jeremiah Johnson,’’ were filmed in Utah.

“I think we take him for granted,’’ the governor said. “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 said he and elected officials in the audience 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.

The sold-out, $200-a-plate gala featured a Native American dance and invocation, singing by Tony-winning actress Audra McDonald and a video presentation highlighting Redford’s cultural and economic contributions to Utah. AP
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