Robert Anthony De Niro Jr.
Bobby Milk, Kid Monroe, Bob and Bobby D
Manhattan, New York, United States
Gardiner, New York, United States
Robert De Niro studied at the PS 41, which is a Manhattan-based public elementary school, until 6th grade. Later, he got enrolled at the Elisabeth Irwin High School (also known as Little Red School House).
In 9th grade, he got admission at the High School of Music and Art. He started his high school at McBurney School before moving to Rhodes Preparatory School. He eventually dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to focus on his acting career.
De Niro polished off his acting skills at HB Studio. He also took acting classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio.
Actor, Producer, and Director
- Father – Robert De Niro Sr. (Abstract Expressionist Painter)
- Mother – Virginia Admiral (Poet and painter)
- Siblings – He is the only child.
- Others – Henry Martin De Niro (Paternal Grandfather), Helen M. O’Reilly (Paternal Grandmother), Donald Admiral (Maternal Grandfather), Alice Caroline Groman (Maternal Grandmother)
Rick Yorn manages Robert De Niro.
5 ft 9¾ in or 177 cm
75 kg or 165 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Robert De Niro has dated –
- Dalila Di Lazzaro – Robert De Niro is reported to have had a fling with Italian model and actress Dalila Di Lazzaro in the past.
- Tatiana Thumbtzen – De Niro dated actress and dancer Tatiana Thumbtzen for a very brief period. They were reportedly introduced by mutual friends and went out on a handful of dates before realizing that they weren’t best suited for each other.
- Cindy Crawford – De Niro is rumored to have hooked up with famous supermodel Cindy Crawford in the past.
- Moana Pozzi – In her autobiography that was published in 1991, the Italian adult actress Moana Pozzi claimed that she had a fling with De Niro.
- Naomi Campbell – Robert started dating model Naomi Campbell in the early years of the 90s. Naomi was serious about him and also wanted to get married. However, it didn’t work out and they went separate ways after a couple of years.
- Karen Duffy – Robert De Niro had a brief affair with American writer and television personality Karen Duffy.
- Shelley Winters (1969) – The Academy Award-winning star hooked up with actress Shelley Winters in 1969. They had grown close while shooting for the movie, Bloody Mama. They dated for a brief period of time and later got separated.
- Leigh Taylor-Young (1970-1974) – De Niro started dating actress Leigh Taylor-Young at the start of the 70s. They went out for about 4 years before deciding it was time to head in separate directions.
- Diahnne Abbott (1974-1988) – Robert De Niro started going out with actress and singer Diahnne Abbott in 1974. After dating for nearly 2 years, they got married in 1976. After their marriage, De Niro also became a father to Abbott’s daughter Drena De Niro from her previous marriage. In fact, he legally adopted Drena and she considers only him his father and declined to even acknowledge the existence of her biological father. They eventually divorced in 1988.
- Carole Mallory (1975) – In her book, the actress and author, Carole Mallory, revealed that she had a fling with the Raging Bull star in 1975.
- Sally Kirkland (1976) – In 1976, it was reported that De Niro and actress Sally Kirkland had an affair. They had grown close while studying at the Actors Studio in New York City. They were also spotted hanging out backstage at various music concerts in 1976.
- Helena Springs (1979-1982) – De Niro met singer Helena Springs, who at that time used to work as a backup singer for Bob Dylan, on the San Vicente Boulevard in Los Angeles. They dated for a little more than two years during which she twice fell pregnant. After her first pregnancy, she decided to undergo an abortion without telling him. However, she told him about the second pregnancy but De Niro wasn’t too keen. He tried to intimidate in various ways to force her to undergo an abortion.
- Bette Midler (1979) – Robert was rumored to be going out with singer and songwriter Bette Midler in 1979 while he was married to Diahnne Abbott.
- Barbara Carrera (1979) – De Niro had a fling with Nicaraguan actress and model Barbara Carrera in 1979. They were spotted getting close and cozy at a couple of nightclubs in New York City.
- Charlotte Lewis (1986) – De Niro was rumored to be going out with English actress Charlotte Lewis in 1986. It was reported that he had taken a keen interest in getting her acting career on track in the United States.
- Veronica Webb (1990) – Robert De Niro was rumored to be going out with actress and TV personality Veronica Webb in 1990. They dated for a couple of months before deciding to go separate ways.
- Toukie Smith (1990-1993) – In 1990, De Niro started going out with high profile model Toukie Smith. They were spotted at a number of hotspots in NYC and LA, and public functions. They decided to end their relationship in 1993 by a mutual decision. However, about two years after their separation, they became parents to twin sons, Aaron Kendrick and Julian Henry De Niro via surrogacy.
- Uma Thurman (1993) – De Niro was rumored to be going out with actress Uma Thurman in 1993. It was reported that they had grown close while shooting for the movie, Mad Dog and Glory.
- Charmaine Sinclair (1993-1995) – Taxi Driver star started his secret affair with English model and adult actress Charmaine in 1993. Their secret affair lasted for about two years.
- Stephanie Adams (1993) – De Niro first saw model Stephanie Adams in the Playboy magazine. He called up their mutual friend and asked him to introduce them. They eventually went out on a date in New York City.
- Ashley Judd (1995) – In 1995, Robert De Niro was linked with actress Ashley Judd by the American media. It was rumored that they had grown close shooting for the movie, Heat.
- Domonique Simone (1995) – He had an affair with Domonique Simone, who is an adult actress of African American origin in 1995.
- Beatrice Marot (1996) – Robert De Niro hooked up with a woman named Beatrice Marot in April 1996. He met her at Robin Wright and Sean Penn’s lavish wedding ceremony.
- Grace Hightower (1996-1999; 2004-2018) – De Niro started going out with actress Grace Hightower in 1996. In June 1997, they got married in a lavish wedding ceremony held at their home in Marbletown. In 1998, she gave birth to their son, Elliot. In 2016, De Niro revealed that Elliot is autistic. In 1999, they decided to end their relationship. However, they never officially got divorced and in 2004, they decided to renew their wedding vows. They welcomed a daughter, Helen Grace, via surrogacy in December 2011. In November 2018, they separated for the second time.
Race / Ethnicity
On his father’s side, he has Italian and Irish ancestry. While, on his mother’s side, he is of English, German, Irish, and Dutch descent.
Salt and pepper
- Mole on the right cheek
- New York accent
Robert De Niro has appeared in the TV commercials for the following brands –
- AMC Ambassador automobiles
- Beghelli Energy Saving Lamps (Released in Italy only)
- New York City tourism
- American Express
He has also been featured in a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for 911Memorial.org.
His religious views aren’t known as he rarely talks about them.
However, while growing up, he was baptized into the Catholic Church by his devout Catholic grandparents.
Best Known For
- Having essayed a number of critically acclaimed roles in several hit movies such as Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Silver Linings Playbook, Heat, and Casino.
- Having won countless acting and individual accolades including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and AFI Life Achievement Award.
- Being one of the leading Democratic supporters, having passionately supported Democratic leaders such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
In 1965, he made his theatrical film debut in a minor role in French drama movie, Three Rooms in Manhattan. However, his work in the movie wasn’t credited.
His first credited work was in the 1965 satirical movie, Greetings, in which he was cast in the lead role.
First TV Show
In 1992, Robert De Niro made his first TV show appearance in the popular sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
Robert De Niro isn’t too focused on workout routines for his personal life. However, when he has to prepare for a particular movie role, he goes all in. For example, to get in the role of Max Cady in Cape Fear, he teamed up with his longtime personal trainer Dan Harvey and spent 6 months prior to the start of the shoot in the gym.
During that period, he was spending 6 days a week in the gym with each workout session stretching to two or three hours. His workout plan was divided into simple 3 days split (chest, back, and legs). Also, he kept 45 minutes aside at the end of the workout for a cardio session. He also included lots of bodyweight exercises in his workout regime.
Robert De Niro Favorite Things
- Guilty Food Pleasure – Peanut Butter
- Actress to work with – Meryl Streep
Robert De Niro Facts
- He went on to gain 60 pounds (27 kgs) of muscle mass to play the role of aging boxer Jake La Motta in the iconic movie, Raging Bull. It was the world record for most weight gained for a role at that time.
- While growing up, he was nicknamed Bobby Milk because of his very thin body and too pale complexion.
- In 1989, he established his production company Tribeca Film Center, which has produced a number of successful movies including Meet the Parents, which had Ben Stiller and De Niro himself in the lead role.
- In 1998, he was caught up in an investigation of a Paris based prostitution ring. He denied that he was involved in any role in the scandal and claimed that he would never return to France. He eventually did return for movie shootings and was also a part of the jury at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
- De Niro and iconic actor Marlon Brando hold the distinction of being the first pair of actors to have won Academy Award for a single role. They were honored for their portrayal of Vito Corleone.
- To prepare for his role of Vito Corleone, he lived in Sicily and learned Sicilian dialect for about 4 months. Most of his dialogues in the movie The Godfather: Part II were in Sicilian.
- In 2006, he received an Italian passport. The move was highly opposed by Sons of Italy, which is a fraternity comprising of Italian Americans. They felt that he had put Italian heritage in the wrong light by playing roles of gangsters.
- He made his stage debut at the age of 10 after he was cast as the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz.
- During the auditions for The Godfather, he had screen-tested for the roles of Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone, Carlo Rizzi, and Paulie Gatto. Although he didn’t bag any of the before-mentioned roles, the movie director Francis Ford Coppola noticed his potential and cast him in the sequel.
- He holds the distinction of being the first guest to appear in the popular talk show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
- In one of the sparring scenes in The Raging Bull, he broke his co-star Joe Pesci’s rib. The scene was included in the final cut of the movie.
- The Premiere magazine has placed his performance in The Raging Bull at #10 spot in the list featuring 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
- In the poll conducted by Channel 4 (UK Channel), he finished in the second spot behind Al Pacino in the list featuring greatest movie stars of all time.
- He is the co-owner of the Rubicon Restaurant, which is based in San Francisco. He also co-owns several high-profile New York City-based restaurants such as Nobu and Layla.
- Robert De Niro was initially a preferred choice for the role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. However, the movie producers hired Tim Burton as director and he decided to cast Johnny Depp in the iconic role.
- He was offered the role of Frank Costello in mafia drama flick, The Departed. However, he decided to focus on his directorial venture The Good Shepherd and the role went to Jack Nicholson.
- To look perfect for his role as Max Cady in Cape Fear, he paid $5,000 to the dentist to make his teeth look bad. After the completion of the project, he had to dish out $20,000 to get a regular-looking set of teeth.
- He was hired to play the role of Bill the Butcher in the historical drama, Gangs of New York. However, when he learned that he had to spend 6 months in Europe for the project, he dropped out.
- He was the first individual to recommend Leonardo DiCaprio to director Martin Scorsese. De Niro had seen Caprio’s work first hand in the movie, The Boy’s Life.
- He was one of the few personalities to have lobbied against former US President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.
- He doesn’t have any social media account.
Featured Image by David Shankbone / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0