Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding is a supporting character of Stephen King's The Shawshank Redemption and the narrator of the movie.
Red is first seen with his gang in 1947 where they take bets on who will crack first. While most of the gang chooses Fat Ass, Red chose Andy Dufresne and completely lost the bet with Heywood winning it.
When Red was a young adult he cut the brakes on his car, planning to kill his wife and collect her life insurance. However, what Red did not plan for was that his wife would stop down the road and pick up the neighbor woman and her infant child. The car crashed into a fountain and killed all three of them.
He explains that in the beginning, Andy was very quiet and didn't say two words. Finally, after a month hs gone by, Andy approaches him while Red is playing catch with Heywood and Floyd. Andy tells him he understood that Red was a guy that could get you something you wanted inside the prison. From that day on, Red became more curious of Andy.
Eventually, Red allows Andy to join his gang of long serving inmates. Over time they become even better and closer friends.
In 1955, Brooks Hatlen is to be released from prison. As he is, he finds it hard to flow into life so he commits suicide. Red states that after being in prison for 50 years (since 1905), he was institutionalized.
In 1957, Red is eligible for parole after the first time he was denied it. He says he is rehabilitated, however the jury doesn't feel so and once again Red is denied parole. Red states to Andy that he has now been inside prison walls for 30 years while Andy approaches the 10 year mark.
In 1966, Red allows another inmate into their group, Tommy. As Tommy is curious about Andy and why he is in prison, Red tells him he is in for murder.
After Tommy was murdered and Andy was released from the hole, Andy tells Red that he's going to get out of Shawshank one day. He then asks Red to make a promise. He says that in Buxton, Maine there is a stone wall where he asked his wife to marry him and that there is a rock that looks different then the others and he tells him to go to that location in which he promises.
Soon after on a stormy night, Andy escapes from Shawshank Prison after being there for nearly 20 years. As Andy is gone, Red and his gang discuss Andy's story, but also misses him.
Finally after 3 parole attempts in 1967, Red is released from prison. He finds it hard to adapt to life outside of prison much like Brooks, however he remembers he made a promise to Andy. He goes to Buxton to search for the stone wall Andy was talking about where he finds a message. In the message, written by Andy, he states that he is now living in Mexico. He is building a boat and says he could use a little help. He then tests Red to see if he remembers the name of the town. After which, he breaks his parole, leaves his mark next to Brooks and heads across the border where he reunites with Andy.