Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro


8/17/1943, New York City, New York, USA

Birth Name

Robert DeNiro Jr.



Also Known As

Bobby Milk, Bobby De Niro, Robert De Niro Jr., Kid Monroe
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A legendary actor who will forever be associated with some of the greatest films ever made, Robert De Niro has assured his place in entertainment history.

Born in Greenwich Village to artistically inclined parents, De Niro discovered his love of acting at the age of ten years old…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2009, BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) presented Robert DeNiro with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award.

    • In 2009, the Kennedy Center named Robert DeNiro as an inductee for his body of work in film. Also recognized were comedian Mel Brooks, jazz musician Dave Brubeck, opera singer Grace Bumbry, and rock legend Bruce Springsteen.

    • On May 2 2009, Robert DeNiro became a proud grandfather for the first time when his son Raphael and his wife Claudine DeMatos became parents of Nicholas DeNiro at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center.

    • Robert De Niro and Al Pacino filed a lawsuit against Tutima Inc. and Overture Films, claiming a series of advertisements for Tutima watches made it look like they endorsed the watches. The ads included images of De Niro and Pacino from "Righteous Kill."

    • As Jimmy Fallon took the reins of the "Late Night" show from Conan O'Brien, Robert DeNiro sat down as Fallon's first guest during his inaugural episode.

    • The upscale restaurant group partly owned by actor Robert De Niro agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit over the way it handled worker tips. The class action suit accused managers and sushi chefs at the upscale Nobu eateries of illegally taking a share of tips given to the wait staff.

    • During Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony, Robert De Niro was a guest in the VIP zone, but he became annoyed with some of the questions that he was being asked by most of the reporters covering the event. At one point, he was asked what he thought of Barack Obama. His response was a terse "What do you think?"

    • Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were criticized when a poster for their film Righteous Kill, which had the tagline "There's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right person gets shot" was posted in the Stockwell underground station in south London in which Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.

    • As a means to discipline his twins Aaron and Julian when they misbehaved, Robert De Niro would threaten to make them watch his 1991 film, Cape Fear, in which he plays a sociopathic lunatic.

    • Despite being cast as an Italian-American in many of his roles, Robert De Niro is actually only of one quarter Italian heritage. His father was Irish-Italian and his mother was of French, Dutch and German ancestry.

    • Robert De Niro was responsible for starting the Awards Show tradition of wearing ribbons to bring attention to a cause. In 1981, he wore a green ribbon to honor the African-American children who had been victims of the Atlanta serial killer of 1980.

    • Prior to playing the role of a young Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II (1974), Robert spent four months learning the Sicilian dialect.

    • During his acceptance speech at the 1981 Academy Awards Ceremony, Robert took a moment to thank Joey LaMotta, brother of Jake LaMotta for whose portrayal De Niro had just won an Oscar. At that time, Joey LaMotta was suing United Artists for the way he had been portrayed in Raging Bull (1980).

    • During his second effort as a director with The Good Shepherd (2006), Robert did not want to direct himself as he did in A Bronx Tale (1993). While trying to cast the role of Bill Sullivan, the studio executives convinced him that he should play the role himself.

    • When he won his Academy Award for The Godfather: Part II (1974), he was unable to attend the ceremony. Director Francis Ford Coppola accepted the award in his place.

    • In 2002, Robert produced the stage play "We Will Rock You", a show based on the music of the rock band, Queen. It was written by British comedian Ben Elton and Queen musicians Brian May and Roger Taylor.

    • Robert's parents were both artists. His father, Robert De Niro Sr., was a poet, a sculptor and a painter. His mother, Virginia Admiral, was a painter.

    • Although Robert De Niro and Al Pacino famously collaborated on The Godfather: Part II (1974), the two men never appeared together on screen. Their first scene together in a film occurred in Michael Mann's Heat (1995).

    • While filming Ronin (1998) in France, Robert was named in a police investigation into a prostitution ring. He was eventually cleared of any involvement, but the experience caused him to vow to never travel to or work in France ever again.

    • Robert De Niro has been nominated for Academy Awards for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" for his work in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978), Awakenings (1990) and Cape Fear (1991).

      He won the Oscar for "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" for his work in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and for "Best Actor in a Leading Role" for Raging Bull (1980).

    • Both Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando won Academy Awards for playing the same role; Don Vito Corleone. It is the only time in Oscar history that this has happened.

    • In preparation for his role as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980), Robert gained 60 pounds. That remained the record in the industry for weight gain for a role until Vincent D'Onofrio gained 70 pounds for his role in Full Metal Jacket (1987).

    • Robert founded both the Tribeca Film Festival (held annually in New York) and a sister event in Doha, Qatar. The events were designed to foster goodwill and understanding between American and Arab cultures on both sides of the globe.

    • He had been offered several iconic roles over the course of his career which he had turned down. Among them are "Jesus Christ" in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), "Sal" the pizza shop owner in Do The Right Thing (1989) and "Willy Wonka" in the Tim Burton remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

    • He is co-owner of a restaurant called "Rubicon" with director Francis Ford Coppola and actor/comedian Robin Williams. He also owns a restaurant called "Ago" in West Hollywood.

    • Two of De Niro's boyhood idols were Robert Mitchum and Marlon Brando. As an actor, he played the same role as both of his idols: "Max Cady" originally played by Mitchum in the 1962 version of Cape Fear and "Don Vito Corleone" played by Brando in The Godfather in 1972.

    • Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann are the two directors he has most enjoyed working with over the years.

    • When Robert was very young, his father, Robert De Niro Sr., "came out of the closet" by deciding to no longer hide is homosexuality. He eventually divorced Robert's mother.

    • When filming Taxi Driver (1976), he wrote with his right hand, even though he is left-handed.

    • He has had a longtime friendship and working relationship with fellow actor, Joe Pesci.

    • In 2002, he was inducted into the Italian-American Hall of Fame.

  • Quotes

    • Robert De Niro: Tisch graduates, you made it. And, you're [effed]. Think about that.

      The graduates from the College of Nursing? They all have jobs. The graduates from the College of Dentistry? Fully employed. The proud graduates of the NYU School of Law? They're covered. And if they're not, who cares? They're lawyers.

      The graduates in accounting? They all have jobs. Where does that leave you? Envious of those accountants? I doubt it. They had a choice. Maybe they were passionate about accounting, but I think it's more likely that they used reason and logic and common sense to reach for career that could give them the expectation of success and stability.

      But you didn't have that choice, did you? You discovered a talent, developed an ambition and recognized your passion. When you feel that, you can't fight it. You just go with it. When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense. You aren't just following dreams, you're reaching for your destiny.

      You're a dancer, a singer, a choreographer, a musician, a filmmaker, a writer, a photographer, a director, a producer, an actor, an artist. Yeah, you're [effed]. The good news is that's not a bad place to start. Now that you've made your choice, or rather succumbed to it, your path is clear. Not easy, but clear. You have to keep working. It's that simple.

    • Robert De Niro: (when asked about the research he had done prior to directing "The Good Shepherd") I read material and talked to people and spent time with ex-agents. We had Milt Bearden, who was our technical consultant. He was at the CIA for 30 years. He was very, very helpful. I'd say, I need something for this scene that will help make it a little more specific and not so general - details of something. When the hair falls out of the book [indicating it had been opened], that was Milt.

    • Robert De Niro: (when asked about refusing the lead role in "The Last Temptation of Christ") I just didn't want to do it. Marty and I talked about it. We do things with each other because we like to work together, but also for our separate reasons. I have mine as an actor, he has his as a director. That's the best way.

    • Robert De Niro: (discussing his instinctive directing technique) I've been in so many movies that I automatically know what's happening on the set. Things that I don't even remember consciously I just know, and I suppose that has an influence on how I work with actors and everybody because I'm so familiar with all this stuff.

    • Robert De Niro: (discussing his experiences directing "The Good Shepherd") The Good Shepherd was such a daunting project that I had to think about it moment for moment, day by day. My feeling is that ... you have to be flexible in making people feel comfortable so you can get the best out of them and they feel that they can pretty much do no wrong - and as a director try and guide things in the way that I like to see movies go.

    • Robert De Niro: One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people's lives without having to pay the price.

    • Robert De Niro: It's important not to indicate. People don't try to show their feelings, they try to hide them.

    • Robert De Niro: I've never been one of those actors who has touted myself as a fascinating human being. I had to decide early on whether I was to be an actor or a personality.

    • Robert De Niro: I think Hollywood has a class system. The actors are like the inmates, but the truth is they're running the asylum.

    • Robert De Niro: I don't like to watch my own movies - I fall asleep in my own movies.