Did Redford Know Deep Throat's True Identity?
June 21, 2005

The great Robert Redford gave "Extra" a personal sneak peek at his latest surprising incarnation -- as a TV personality.

The legendary superstar and founding father of the Sundance Film Festival is venturing onto the small screen to host a new PBS documentary series called "The New Heroes," which Redford described as a personal labor of love honoring the unheralded angels of mercy who devote their lives to helping underprivileged people around the globe.

"Their stories are so dramatic and have such impact," Redford revealed. "But they don't do it with any idea of being recognized. They just do it out of the conviction of their own heart and the passion that follows through."

The idea for the series grew out of a meeting of hearts and minds with former eBay president and tech tycoon Jeff Skoll, who is now the show's sponsor.

"Well, Bob [Redford] is a social entrepreneur," Skoll said. "He's somebody who sees a problem in society, and he takes action and no matter what the obstacle, he finds a way to get it done."

Redford also unexpectedly appeared back in the news recently after the unmasking of former FBI agent Mark Felt as Watergate's infamous Deep Throat. The phantom whistleblower was immortalized in "All the President's Men," which was Redford's Oscar-winning movie about the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.

But did Redford have any idea who Deep Throat really was? "I had an idea it had to do with the FBI," he admitted. "It didn't go much further."

But Redford revealed he's glad the secret is finally out of the bag after more than 30 years. "I think it's great that he does it, and I hope it's been for his soul's benefit," he said.

And Tom Hanks has already bought the movie rights to the story, of which Redford said, "Well, it's great."

Redford makes his debut as a TV host when "The New Heroes" premieres on PBS Tuesday, June 28.

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