Robert De Niro. biography
Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943, in New York City to Virginia Admiral, a well-known painter, and Robert De Niro Sr., a highly regarded poet. After his parents divorced when he was only two, Robert’s mother stepped in as the main provider, taking on a new career as a typist where she was compensated with free acting classes for Robert. Robert’s interest in acting was further revealed as he and his father bonded over movies featuring his favorite actress Greta Garbo when they hung out. At the mere age of 10, Robert made his acting debut in Wizard of Oz, which resulted in him receiving a scholarship to the renowned High School of Music and Art and officially ignited his path to acting prominence.
Although a great opportunity, Robert dropped out after a couple weeks to attend a public school where he later began hanging out with the wrong crowd – a setting that would help him tremendously in playing a criminal onscreen. After dropping out of high school and studying acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory, Robert went on to attend the Actor’s Studio in New York City and later landed his first substantial role in Greetings (1968). It only took Robert five more years to catch the attention of Hollywood with two critically praised performances as a terminally ill baseball player in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) and a thug in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973).
A year later, Robert was considered one of the world’s most sought-after actors stemming from his portrayal of Vito Corleone in The God Father Part II for which he earned his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1976, Robert turned even more heads playing the vigilante cabbie Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver opposite Jodie Foster. The rising star, once again, found himself on the Academy Award podium in part of his accurate portrayal of middleweight boxer Jake La Mottaub Raging Bull (1980) for which he put on an extra 60 pounds, but this time holding the Oscar for Best Actor.
Robert then returned to his gangster roots in the critically acclaimed crime thriller Goodfellas (1990) followed by his directorial debut in A Bronx Tale (1993) prior to making his comedic debut in Analyze This (1999) as a crime boss who’s in need of some professional help from a therapist, played by Billy Crystal. His performance was well received, leading to another appearance in Analyze That (2002) and a hit portrayal of a future father-in-law of Ben Stiller in the box office powerhouses Meet the Parents (2000) and Little Fockers (2011).
Around this time, Robert continued playing off both his comedic and dramatic sides in several films, including in the spy thriller The Good Shepherd (2006) alongside Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon and the drama Everybody’s Fine (2009). Three years later, Robert’s work was again honored for his Oscar-nominated performance in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
Robert’s most recent projects include, the comedy The Big Wedding (2013) with Katherine Heigl and Diane Keaton, the thriller Killing Season (2013) alongside John Travolta, the crime thriller Motel (2013) opposite John Cusack, the mafia drama Malavita (2013) alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer, the comedy Las Vegas (2013) with Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, the sport comedy Grudge Match (2014) alongside Kevin Hart and Sylvester Stallone, the historical thriller American Hustle (2014) with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale, and the biopic drama Hands of Stone (2014) alongside Ryan Kwanten.
Robert De Niro Wife, Girlfriend & Dating History Timeline
1970 – 1974
Robert and actress Leigh Taylor-Young carried on a four-year relationship during the early ‘70s prior to parting ways.
1974 – 1988
Robert married Diahnne Abbott in 1976 and went on to welcome their son Raphael in 1976. He also adopted Diahnne’s daughter, Drena, from a previous relationship before divorcing in 1988.
1990 – 1993
Robert dated Toukie Smith for three years and later welcomed their two boys Julian and Aaron via a surrogate in 1995. That same year, the two split ways and have yet to talk about their decision to have kids while separated.
1990 – 1990
Robert and model Veronica Webb briefly dated in 1990.
1991 – 1992
No one ever fathomed the thought of Robert landing a supermodel like Naomi Campbell, but when the media got wind of their romance, everybody was watching. Soon after, however, the two parted ways with rumors that Naomi wanted Robert to be her baby daddy.
1992 – 1992
Rumors that Robert and Uma Thruman were hooking up began circulating around the time the two were co-starring in Mad Dog and Glory (1992).
1995 – 1995
The dating rumors surrounding Robert and Ashley Judd started popping up while they were filming Heat together in 1995.
1996 – Present
Robert and actress Grace Hightower dated for a year before tying the knot in 1997 at their Marbletown, New York estate. The couple’s son, Elliot, later took his first breath in 1998 prior to the actors splitting ways the following year. The divorce, however, was never finalized and the two later renewed their vows in 2004. They went on to welcome their daughter Helen Grace in December 2011.