Robert De Niro is a prominent American actor, winner of several «Oscars». He became famous for his acting in the movies by Martin Scorsese, whom he regards as his good friend and godfather in the cinema.
His Childhood and Youth
The future actor was born on August 17, 1943, in the bohemian New York family. His father, Robert De Niro Sr., an Italian immigrant in the second generation, was a talented abstract artist and sculptor. His mother, Virginia Admiral, an American with German, Dutch and French roots, was interested in painting and poetry.
Robert De Niro as a child
When the little Robert was two years old, his parents divorced because of the sexual orientation of his father. The boy was living with his mother in Greenwich Village, Little Italy in Manhattan, and his father settled in the next quarter.
The young Robert De Niro with his father
After the divorce, De Niro Sr. continued being interested in the fate of his son and often helped him in difficult situations that were many in Robert’s life. The mother did not have enough time to raise her son; the boy was on his own for a lot of time. At that time the street homeless children were his friends, who called him «Bobby Milk» for his being pale and puny. But, despite the thinness and small complexion, Robert was always able to stand up for himself, having earned a reputation in his street company.
The young Robert De Niro with his mother
In the first class, the boy went to the elementary school in Lower Manhattan. There, for the first time, he acted in the children's play «The Wizard of Oz». His acting debut was successful, and Robert gradually became interested in acting. As a teenager, he attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, and in high school, he studied acting with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. Here he became acquainted with the system of Stanislavsky and finally chose his future profession.
His Acting Career
In 1963, Robert first played the role of a bridegroom’s friend in the funny comedy «The Wedding Party». The audience watched this movie only six years later, as the film company went bankrupt and money for the release of the comedy was not found immediately. So, in many official sources, the first work of De Niro is considered the episode, played in the drama «Three Rooms in Manhattan» (1965).
Robert De Niro in his youth
Over the next eight years, the young actor starred in seven movies but still remained unknown to the general public. The situation changed with the release of the sports drama «Bang the Drum Slowly» (1973), in which De Niro played one of the lead roles. This work was awarded by the prestigious New York Film Critics and attracted the famous directors.
Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese
In the same year, the famous Martin Scorsese invited the young actor to play a lead role in the action movie «Mean Streets». According to the director, the events take place in Little Italy, the native quarter of De Niro, so the actor has not made any efforts to become a criminal character in a masterful way. This work initiated a creative collaboration between Robert and Martin, who became not only his guiding star in the world of cinema but also a good and loyal friend.
Robert De Niro in «The Godfather Part II»
In 1974, it was the release of the second part of the cult trilogy «The Godfather» by Francis Ford Coppola, in which Robert De Niro played the role of Don Corleone in his youth. This work brought Robert the worldwide success and recognition and was deservedly awarded the main prize of the American Academy Awards - «Oscar» for Best Actor.
Robert De Niro in «Taxi Driver»
The second half of the 1970s was the prosperity of the creative tandem of De Niro and Scorsese. The actor starred in four movies of this master: «Taxi Driver» (1976), «New York, New York» (1977), «The Deer Hunter» (1978) and «The Raging Bull» (1980). For the role in the last one, Robert had to put on twenty-seven kilograms and learn professional boxing in the ring. His efforts were not in vain, and De Niro’s creative box gained another «Oscar».
Robert De Niro at the Oscar award ceremony (1981)
In 1984, the gangster movie «Once Upon a Time in America» was released. It finally turned Robert in the protagonist of crime action movies. The directors were willing to use the usual image, but the actor wanted to try himself in other genres. He played a comedy role in the next Scorsese's movie «The King of Comedy» (1983), starred with Meryl Streep in the romantic movie «Falling in Love» (1984), appeared in the historical drama «The Mission» (1986) and turned into a patient of the mental hospital in «Awakenings» (1990).
Robert De Niro in the movie «Once Upon a Time in America»
However, he did not forget about his special role: to the beginning of the 2000s, such successful movies as «The Untouchables» (1987), «Goodfellas» (1990), «Casino» (1995), «Heat» (1995), «The Fan» (1996), «Ronin» (1998) were added to the list of Robert De Niro’s action movies.
At this time, the popularity of the actor peaked; he became well-known outside the USA and more than once headed the jury of the prestigious film festivals.
In 1993, it was released «A Bronx Tale», the directorial debut of Robert De Niro, in memory of his father who died of cancer.
Robert De Niro in the movie «A Bronx Tale»
In 2001, after the terrorist attack in New York, Robert co-founded the Tribeca festival, designed to draw attention to the affected areas of Manhattan and return them to full economic and cultural life.
Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando in the action movie «The Score»
His second directorial work was the action movie «The Score» (2001) with the legendary Marlon Brando. In 2006, Robert presented to the audience the fascinating detective story «The Good Shepherd» with many leading Hollywood actors, such as Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon, but this movie did not impress the audience very much.
Robert De Niro, Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie on the set of the movie «The Good Shepherd»
In 2011, the actor was awarded the «Golden Globe» for his invaluable contribution to the development of world cinema. Many people had remembered the testimonial speech of deeply moved De Niro. It was later recognized as the best public speech in the history of this award.
Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci in the movie «The Ages of Love»
In the same year, the audience was pleased with the melodrama «The Ages of Love», in which Robert starred with the brilliant actress Monica Bellucci. It is impossible to ignore the comedy «Last Vegas», where Robert’s partners are Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, and the melodrama «Silver Linings Playbook», nominated for «Oscar» eight times.
In 2013, it was released «Grudge Match», in which Robert had met Sylvester Stallone in the boxing ring. By the way, according to the audience, the physical form of the 70-year-old De Niro impressed them no less than the iron biceps of famous Sylvester Stallone.
Robert De Niro in the comedy «Dirty Grandpa» (a trailer)
The outstanding event of 2015 was the elderly actor’s acting in the hilarious comedy «Dirty Grandpa», in which De Niro was not afraid to appear in a rather ridiculous image before the audience.
It is worth noting that De Niro has made impressive progress not only in the cinema. A strong entrepreneurial spirit has helped him to properly dispose of millions of fees. He has profitably invested his money in the restaurant and hotel business. The actor always likes to eat well, so, as a great lover of Japanese cuisine, he has opened a chain of «NOBY» restaurants.
Robert De Niro owns a chain of «NOBY» restaurants of Japanese cuisine
De Niro and Francis Ford Coppola have their cooperative restaurant. The interior is decorated with paintings of Robert's father that he has chosen for this institution himself.
Robert De Niro at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Personal Life of Robert De Niro
De Niro married his first wife, an African-American singer and actress, Diahnne Abbott in 1976. She starred with her husband in several movies and gave birth to their firstborn son Robert, named after his father. The actor also officially adopted Diahnne's daughter Drena from her first marriage. Growing up, Robert and Drena tried to become actors, but they did not achieve any significant progress in this sphere. Robert was engaged in business with his father.
Robert De Niro and his first wife Diahnne Abbott
Having lived in the first marriage for eight years, in 1988, the actor divorced with his wife and had an affair with model Toukie Smith. The couple did not officially register their relationship. They attempted to have a child, but it ended in a miscarriage. Their feeling gradually faded, but it did not prevent Toukie from using Robert’s biomaterial. With the help of a surrogate mother, there were born two children - Julian Henry and Aaron Kendrick, who De Niro officially adopted.
Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower
In 1997, Robert married Grace Hightower, a former model, stewardess and actress. This couple had been dating for about ten years, before Grace, despite the constant faithlessness of Robert, decided to formalize their relationship. Their son Elliot was born in 1998. In December 2011, the girl Helena was born of a surrogate mother.
Robert De Niro Now!
His 75th anniversary De Niro has celebrated on the set of new Scorsese's movie «Joker», which premiere is planned for fall 2019. The actor will play the presenter of a television show. The other actors in the movie will be Alec Baldwin and Joaquin Phoenix.