Robert de Niro was born on 17 August, 1943, in Manhattan, New York, United States. He is the son of Robert de Niro, Sr. and Virginia Admiral. His birth name is Robert Anthony De Niro. His parents divorced when he was three because his father was gay. During his parents’ divorce he stayed with his grandparents who secretly baptized him as a Catholic (considering that none of his parents shared the religion).
As part of his education he went to PS 41, Elisabeth Irwin High School, Little Red School House and High School of Music and Art. Later he attended McBurney School and Rhodes Preparatory School. At the age of 16 he dropped school and started to learn acting at Stella Adler Conservatory and Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio.
His first movie part was by the age of 20 when he starred in The Wedding Party (1969). It started a long list of movies in which he participated: Bloody Mama (1970), Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), Mean Streets (1973). These movies were the first from a long collaboration between De Niro and Martin Scorsese. De Niro won an Oscar for Best Actor as Jake LaMotta from Raging Bull. In 1974 he became a cast member of The Godfather Part II (directed by Francis Ford Coppola) as young Vito Corleone. He won an Academy Award due to this part for Best Supporting Actor. Robert De Niro and Marlon Brandon are the only two actors who received Oscars for the same character.
In 1976 De Niro was a cast member of another movie, The Last Tycoon. Although the movie was not a big hit on the box office, De Niro’s performance was acclaimed by critics. Some said that he was even more convincing than the part he had in The Godfather Part II.
He played Michael Vronsky in The Deer Hunter (1978), Brazil (1985), Midnight Run (1988), Analyze This (1999), Meet the Parents (2000), Meet the Fockers (2004).
In 1997 De Niro won an Honorable Prize for his contribution to cinema at the 20th Moscow International Film Festival.
De Niro had a major part in 2000, in Men of Honor, who depicts the life of Carl Basehar, an African-American man that does everything in order to become a U.S. Navy Master Diver. In 2007 he appeared in Stardust and The Good Sheperd. 2010 was a busy year for De Niro who played in Edge of Darkness, Machete, Stone and Little Fockers. In 2011 he appeared in Killer Elite, Limitless and New Year’s Eve.
De Niro is well known for the passion with which he acts – he learned how to box in order to play Jake LaMotta, for Vito Corleoni he lived in Sicily, he worked as a taxi driver for the movie with the same name. He says about him that loves doing crosswords puzzle.
In 1976 he married Diahnne Abbott. Together they have a son, named Raphael. He also adopted Diahnne’s daughter from a previous marriage – Drena de Niro. De Niro divorced his wife in 1988. He also has twins – Aaron Kendrick and Julian Henry de Niro. They were conceived in vitro with Toukie Smith. They used a surrogate mother. The twins were born in 1995.
Another famous actor named Robert is Robert Culp.
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