Robert Redford Once Had Nose Broken During Movie Fight Scene: Here’s How

by Katie Maloney
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American actor, comedian, and professional wrestler, Hank Garrett, broke Robert Redford’s nose while filming a fight scene for Three Days of the Condor.

Garrett’s Hollywood acting career spanned decades. Now, he’s revealing it all in his memoir,  From Harlem Hoodlum to Hollywood Heavyweight. Garrett, 89, says that one of his most memorable moments is accidentally breaking Robert Redford’s nose while on set.

“I played a CIA assassin disguised as a mailman… We had this fight where there was mineral oil all over the floor. I’m supposed to do this simple sweep over my knee. He slips all over the oil and came at me headfirst. And I came around with my elbow. The next thing you know, I end up hitting him right in the nose with my elbow. My reaction was ‘Oh dear God, no.’ There’s blood coming out of his nose. I’m thinking it’s all over for me,” says Garett.

Robert Redford (R) is a fugitive CIA agent battles Hank Garrett in a scene from the Paramount Pictures movie “Three Days of the Condor”, circa 1975. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Breaking Redford’s Nose Could Have Ruined Garrett’s Acting Career

However, Garrett says that Redford accepted the accident with grace and quickly forgave him. In fact, Redford called Garrett that night to tell him the news.

“This is probably the greatest fight scene anywhere. Oh, and by the way, you broke my nose,” Redford told Garrett.

Once Garrett realized that Redford wasn’t joking, he began panicking about the future of his career.

“I blurted out ‘Oh God, I’m never going to work again!” says Garrett. “Then he goes, ‘Oh don’t worry about it, my nose has been broken so many times, it doesn’t mean anything.’ We became pals from there…He’s just an incredible guy to work with and very humble. And how do I thank him? By breaking his nose!”

Robert Redford Dealt With Multiple Onset Injuries

The broken nose Redford sustained on the set of Three Days of the Condor isn’t the first time he’s had to deal with an injury while filming. Before filming The Sting, Redford broke his thumb in a skiing accident.

He was supposed to be wearing a cast but couldn’t while filming. Instead, he simply resorted to trying to avoid using his thumb on set. Numerous times throughout the film, you can see his right hand in odd positions including holding a fork with four fingers but not the thumb.

Robert Redford had to avoid using his right thumb while filming The Sting. (Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
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