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Robert De Niro

Real name: Robert De Niro
Birthdate: August 17, 1943
Status: Married
Partner: Grace Hightower

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Biography

Robert De Niro (born August 17, 1943) is a two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning American film actor, director, and producer.

He gained popular attention with his role as a dying Major League baseball player in Bang the the Drum Slowly (1973). The same year he began his fruitful collaboration with Scorsese when he played his memorable role as the smalltime Mafia hood "Johnny Boy" alongside Harvey Keitel's "Charlie" in Mean Streets (1973). In 1974, De Niro played a pivotal role in Francis Coppola's The Godfather Part II playing young Don Vito Corleone. His performance earned him his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

After working with him in Mean Streets he had a very successful working relationship with Scorsese in films such as Taxi Driver (1976), New York, New York (1977), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), and Casino (1995). (They also acted together in Guilty by Suspicion and Shark Tale.)

Although unmistakably better known for his roles in Scorsese's films, he starred in Sergio Leone's last film: a four hour gangster movie titled Once Upon a Time in America. Leone had spent almost ten years of his life trying to obtain the rights to get the film, which unfortunately underplayed both with critics and audiences alike. Leone still found it better then his previous films (i.e. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly). He even said that Robert de Niro was a real actor, unlike Clint Eastwood.

De Niro has been married twice. He has a son, Raphael, with first wife Diahnne Abbott. He also adopted Abbott's daughter from a previous relationship, Drena. He also has twin sons, Julian Henry and Aaron Kendrick, (conceived by in vitro fertilization) from a long-term live-in relationship with former model Toukie Smith. Raphael, a former actor, now works in New York real estate.

In 2003, De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The prognosis for De Niro, who was 60 at the time, was good, according to his publicist, Stan Rosenfield. "Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups," Rosenfield says. "Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery." Rosenfield declined to give further details about the actor's condition or course of treatment. De Niro's father, painter Robert De Niro Sr., died of cancer in 1993 at age 71.

De Niro was due to be bestowed with honorary Italian citizenship at the Venice Film Festival in September 2004. However, the Sons of Italy lodged a protest with Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, claiming De Niro had damaged the image of Italians and Italian-Americans by frequently portraying them in criminal roles. Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani dismissed the objections and the ceremony was rescheduled to go forward in Rome in October. Controversy flared again when De Niro failed to show for two media appearances in Italy that month, which De Niro blamed on "serious communication problems" that weren't "handled properly" on his end, and stating, "The last thing I would want to do is offend anyone. I love Italy." The citizenship was conferred to De Niro on October 21, 2006, during the Rome Film Festival finale.



 


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