Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding is the best friend of Andy Dufresne and the narrator of the story. He appears in the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and the film Shawshank Redemption, where he is played by Morgan Freeman.
Red has an ability to deliver contraband of almost any type (except, on his own principles, hard drugs and weapons) into Shawshank. This makes him an important man within the prison’s social structure — and it is also the reason that he first becomes acquainted with Andy. Red said he was the only guilty man in Shawshank because he murdered his wife for insurance money by cutting the brakes on her car.