Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert De Niro is a famous American actor, director, and film producer born on August 17, 1943. He’s best known for working with director Martin Scorsese and is seen as one of the greatest actors of his time. He’s won many awards, including two Oscars, a Golden Globe, and honors like the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

De Niro learned acting from different places like HB Studio and Stella Adler Conservatory. He first worked with Scorsese in the movie Mean Streets in 1973. He won Oscars for his roles in The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull and got nominated for others like Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter.

He’s been in lots of famous movies like Goodfellas, Heat, and The Irishman. De Niro even directed and acted in films like A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd. He’s also done comedy in movies like Meet the Parents and Analyze This.

Aside from movies, Robert De Niro co-founded TriBeCa Productions with Jane Rosenthal and started the Tribeca Film Festival. Many of his movies are considered important in American culture and have won awards. Some are even in the National Film Registry and the American Film Institute’s lists of the best films ever made.

Full NameRobert Anthony De Niro
Date of BirthAugust 17, 1943
Place of BirthManhattan, New York, USA
OccupationActor, Director, Producer
Height5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)
SpouseGrace Hightower (m. 1997–2018)
Diahnne Abbott (m. 1976–1988)
ChildrenDrena De Niro, Julian Henry De Niro, 
Aaron Kendrick De Niro, Raphael De Niro, Elliot De Niro
Net Worth$500 million

Robert De Niro’s Early Life And Education

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert Anthony De Niro was born in Manhattan, New York City, on August 17, 1943. His parents were painters named Virginia Admiral and Robert De Niro Sr. His dad was Irish and Italian, while his mom had Dutch, English, French, and German roots. They met at painting classes but split up when De Niro was just two years old because his dad told them he was gay. De Niro grew up with his mom in Greenwich Village and Little Italy. His dad stayed close, though.

De Niro got the nickname “Bobby Milk” because he had pale skin. He made friends with lots of kids in Little Italy, even though his dad didn’t like it. Some of those friends stayed with him for life. His mom used to be Presbyterian but stopped believing in God when she grew up. His dad stopped being Catholic when he was 12. Even though his parents didn’t want it, his grandparents secretly baptized him into the Catholic Church while he was with them during his parents’ divorce.

Robert De Niro went to PS 41 for elementary school and started acting when he was 10, playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz at school. Later, he went to Elisabeth Irwin High School and then the High School of Music & Art for a bit before switching to Charles Evans Hughes Junior High School. He eventually went to McBurney School and Rhodes Preparatory School for high school.

He was shy but found acting helped him open up, so he dropped out at 16 to become an actor. He thought if other actors could make a living, he could too, even if he wasn’t the best. He learned acting from different places like HB Studio, Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio, and Stella Adler Conservatory. He admired actors like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and Greta Garbo.


Early Roles to Hollywood Stardom

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert De Niro started with small roles in movies like Encounter, Three Rooms in Manhattan, and Les Jeunes Loups, all released in the mid-60s. Then, he got a big break in a movie called Greetings in 1968, where he played a part in a story making fun of guys trying to dodge the Vietnam War draft. This movie was the first of many times he worked with director Brian De Palma.

The following year, he showed up in a drama called Sam’s Song as a filmmaker in New York City. He also appeared in a comedy by De Palma called The Wedding Party, even though it was filmed six years earlier. Despite being relatively unknown at the time, De Niro got a good review from The New York Times.

In 1970, he acted in a low-budget crime movie called Bloody Mama, playing one of Ma Barker’s criminal sons. Critics liked it, saying the cast did a great job. He also starred in another De Palma comedy, Hi, Mom!, which was a follow-up to Greetings. A reviewer from The New Yorker said De Niro brought a lot of energy to his character.

Throughout the early ’70s, De Niro kept busy with roles in various movies, including Jennifer on My Mind and Born to Win in 1971, and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight in the same year.

Then, in 1972, he did two performances at The American Place Theatre before returning to movies with Bang the Drum Slowly in 1973. In this film, he played a baseball player with Hodgkin’s disease. Critics praised his performance, saying he was one of the best young actors around. The movie also earned Gardenia an Oscar nomination.

Around the same time, Robert De Niro started working with director Martin Scorsese on Mean Streets, a crime film released in 1973. De Niro played a small-time crook, and his performance got a lot of attention. Critics loved his intensity and compared him to other great actors of the time like Dustin Hoffman. Mean Streets even got picked for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for its cultural significance.

Rise to Hollywood Stardom from The Godfather to Raging Bull

Robert De Niro played a big part in the famous movie The Godfather Part II (1974) as a young Vito Corleone. He tried out for the first movie but then went to do another film instead. Luckily, the director remembered him and gave him a role in Part II. To play his character, De Niro mainly spoke in different Sicilian ways of talking, but he also said some lines in English.

The Godfather Part II did well, making $48 million worldwide. At the Oscars, it got eleven nominations and won six, including one for De Niro as Best Supporting Actor. This was his first Oscar win, but he didn’t go to the ceremony, so the director accepted it for him. De Niro and Marlon Brando, who played the older Vito Corleone in the first movie, were the first pair to win Oscars for playing the same character.

After being in Mean Streets, Robert De Niro worked with the same director again for Taxi Driver (1976). It’s about a taxi driver in messed-up New York City after the Vietnam War. De Niro did a lot to get ready for his part, like hanging out with soldiers to copy their way of talking and acting, losing weight, and learning about guns and taxi drivers. The movie was a big hit, especially because of De Niro’s acting. His line “You talkin’ to me?” was so good that it got picked as one of the best movie quotes ever. The movie itself was nominated for four Oscars.

In 1976, De Niro was in two other movies. He was in 1900, a historical movie set in Italy during a time of political trouble, and The Last Tycoon, where he played a business guy and had to lose a lot of weight for the role. The Last Tycoon didn’t get great reviews, but some people thought De Niro’s acting was amazing.

The next year, in 1977, De Niro was in New York, New York with Liza Minnelli. He learned how to play the saxophone for his role as a sax player who falls for a singer. The movie got mixed reviews, but people liked De Niro’s part in it. In 1978, he was in The Deer Hunter, a war movie about a guy whose life changed after fighting in Vietnam. It got good reviews and lots of nominations for awards, including one for De Niro as Best Actor at the Oscars.

In 1980, Robert De Niro and the same director worked together again on Raging Bull. It’s about a boxer who messes up his life because of his bad temper. De Niro had to get in shape and learn to box for the role. Some people didn’t like how violent the movie was, but most thought De Niro’s acting was amazing. He won an Oscar for his performance, and the movie is now considered one of the best of the 1980s. De Niro almost got a different big role, but Jack Nicholson ended up getting it instead.

From Crime to Comedy – A Journey Through Iconic Roles

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert De Niro came back to crime movies with True Confessions in 1981. It’s based on a book by John Gregory Dunne. In the movie, he plays a priest who clashes with his detective brother, investigating a prostitute’s murder. Some found the plot tricky but praised the actors for their great chemistry.

He then wanted to show his range by doing comedy. In The King of Comedy (1982), he’s a struggling stand-up comedian. Even though the movie didn’t do well at the box office, critics loved De Niro’s performance.

After that, he was in Once Upon a Time in America (1984) as a Jewish gangster. The long version got a big applause at a film festival, but the shorter version wasn’t as popular with critics.

In Falling in Love (1984), he’s in a romantic comedy with Meryl Streep. Then, he tried science fiction with Brazil (1985), where he plays a guy in a messed-up world. Although it didn’t do well in theaters, it’s now considered a classic.

In 1986, he did a play and then a period drama called The Mission with Jeremy Irons. Critics didn’t like his part in it, but the movie got some big awards.

He had two smaller roles in 1987: one in a horror movie called Angel Heart and the other in The Untouchables as Al Capone. Some people thought he was too good for these small parts, but the director said he was just trying new things.

In 1988, Robert De Niro did a buddy cop movie called Midnight Run with Charles Grodin. It did well at the box office, and De Niro was praised for his comedy skills.

He passed on playing Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) but said he’d help out if needed.

In 1989, he did a couple of movies that weren’t very popular. Critics didn’t like Jacknife and We’re No Angels much.

Then in 1990, he teamed up with Scorsese again for Goodfellas, where he plays a gangster. It got nominated for a lot of awards, and De Niro’s acting was a highlight.

In the same year, he was in Awakenings as a patient with a condition. It also got some award nominations.

His next movie was Guilty by Suspicion (1991), where he’s a director dealing with Hollywood’s past troubles. It got good reviews.

In Cape Fear (1991), another Scorsese movie, he’s a creepy guy out for revenge. Critics loved his performance, and the movie made a lot of money.

From Critically Acclaimed Roles to Directorial Debut

In 1992, Robert De Niro was busy with two movies. The first one, Mistress, was a mix of comedy and drama where he played a tough businessman named Evan Wright. Critics said he was more polished than usual in this role. Then there was Night and the City, a crime drama where he played a New York lawyer named Harry Fabian. The reviews weren’t as good for this one, with some saying De Niro’s acting lacked depth.

He also dipped his toes into producing with the thriller Thunderheart. The next year, in 1993, he starred in Mad Dog and Glory as a crime scene photographer. People liked the chemistry between him and Bill Murray. Then came This Boy’s Life, a coming-of-age story where he played a stepfather. Critics praised the movie, but some thought Leonardo DiCaprio stole the show.

Robert De Niro’s directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, hit screens in 1993. It’s about a boy dealing with crime and racism, torn between his father’s values and the mob world. Critics liked De Niro’s directing style, saying he focused on the story more than flashy techniques.

In 1994, he starred in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but it didn’t impress critics much despite making money. Then came Casino in 1995, where he reunited with Martin Scorsese. This one got better reviews and did well at the box office.

After that, he starred in Heat, a crime thriller alongside Al Pacino. Critics loved their performances and praised their emotional depth. De Niro also appeared in a couple of lesser-known films that year.

In 1996, he starred in The Fan and Sleepers. Both movies were well-received, with De Niro playing different, complex characters. He also co-produced a crime-comedy called Faithful that year.

Robert De Niro even tried his hand at producing a video game called “9: The Last Resort.” It was a puzzle game set in a weird hotel but didn’t make much of a splash.

In 1997, he appeared in Cop Land as an investigator and in Wag the Dog as a publicist. Both films did pretty well, especially Wag the Dog, which got a boost from real-life political scandals. He also had a smaller role in Jackie Brown that year.

From Tough Guy Roles to Animated Adventures

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert De Niro had a busy start to 1998. He appeared in a movie called Great Expectations, based on an old book, where he played a character named Arthur Lustig. Then he starred in another film called Ronin, playing an American mercenary named Sam who used to work for the CIA. This movie was about a group of ex-special agents trying to steal a mysterious briefcase. People liked it, especially how De Niro played his tough guy role.

The next year, he went back to comedy and crime with Analyze This, where he played a mob boss with a funny side. The movie did well at the box office, making a lot of money worldwide. He also acted in Flawless, where he played a cop who learns to accept a gay singer after having a stroke. Critics thought De Niro did a good job in this movie too.

In 2000, Robert De Niro tried something different by acting in an animated movie called The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. He played a bad guy named Fearless Leader. The movie didn’t do so great with critics. But he also starred in Men of Honor, a drama based on the true story of the first African-American Navy Diver. People thought De Niro’s performance was great.

That same year, he made audiences laugh in Meet the Parents, where he played a former CIA agent who doesn’t trust his daughter’s boyfriend. The movie was a big hit, making loads of money. Critics liked seeing De Niro in a comedy role.

Then, in 2001, he played a detective in a movie called 15 Minutes, trying to catch some bad guys. Critics weren’t big fans of this one. He also starred in The Score, playing a thief who gets convinced to do one last heist. While some critics liked it, others thought it didn’t use De Niro’s talents well.

In 2002, he was in City by the Sea, playing another cop, but this time the movie didn’t do too well. He also did a sequel to Analyze This called Analyze That, but it didn’t impress critics much. However, he produced a romantic comedy called About a Boy, which was liked by many.

Some people thought Robert De Niro’s career wasn’t doing so great in the early 2000s because he was in movies that weren’t as good as his earlier ones. In 2004, he was in a couple of movies like Godsend and Shark Tale, but they didn’t get much love from critics. He also did a sequel to Meet the Parents called Meet the Fockers, but some critics weren’t impressed with his performance.

The following year, he starred in Hide and Seek, a horror movie, which made money but didn’t impress everyone. In 2006, he decided not to act in The Departed so he could direct a spy thriller called The Good Shepherd instead. Even though it had a great cast, some critics found it slow. But others thought De Niro did a good job telling the story.

Finally, in 2006, he voiced a character in Arthur and the Invisibles, an animated film.

Robert De Niro’s Filmography: Hits, Misses, and Cannes Spotlight

In 2007, Robert De Niro starred in Stardust, a magical adventure movie based on Neil Gaiman’s book. He played Captain Shakespeare, the leader of a ship. Most people liked the movie, but one critic from New York magazine didn’t like De Niro’s performance. The next year, he was in Righteous Kill with Al Pacino, where they played detectives investigating criminals. Critics didn’t think much of the movie, saying it was unoriginal and De Niro seemed tired.

Then, in 2008, he was in What Just Happened, a funny movie about Hollywood. Some people at the Cannes Film Festival saw it, but it didn’t get great reviews because De Niro’s character was too quiet. In 2009, he was in Everybody’s Fine, a movie about a dad trying to reconnect with his family. People had mixed feelings about it, but The Guardian liked De Niro’s performance.

In 2010, Robert De Niro had small roles in Machete and Stone. Machete was an action movie, and Stone was a crime drama. Critics were divided on both movies, but they said De Niro did a good job, especially when he acted with Milla Jovovich. Then, there was Little Fockers, the third movie in the Meet the Parents series. Critics didn’t like it much, but it made a lot of money. De Niro was supposed to be in “Edge of Darkness,” but he left because he didn’t agree with how the movie was being made.

In 2011, De Niro was in a comedy called Manuale d’amore 3 and three other movies: Killer Elite, Limitless, and New Year’s Eve. Limitless got okay reviews, but the others didn’t do so well. He was also the head judge at the Cannes Film Festival for the second time.

In 2012, he was in Being Flynn, a drama about a dad and son. Critics didn’t love it, but they said De Niro was good in it. He was also in two thrillers, Red Lights and Freelancers. But the big hit that year was Silver Linings Playbook, where he played Bradley Cooper‘s dad. People loved the movie, and De Niro got nominated for an Oscar.

After that, in 2013, Robert De Niro was in a bunch of movies, but most of them didn’t do well with critics. One called Last Vegas got okay reviews. In 2014, there was a documentary about De Niro’s dad, and in 2015, he was in a comedy called The Intern that critics liked. He was also in a couple of short films and a heist movie called Heist, which didn’t do well.

In 2016, De Niro was in Joy, a movie about a woman inventor. Critics had mixed feelings. He also starred in Dirty Grandpa, a comedy that people didn’t like, and Hands of Stone, a sports drama. His last movie that year was The Comedian, which premiered at a film festival.

From Emmy Nominations to Oscar Glory

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2017, Robert De Niro played Bernie Madoff in the HBO movie The Wizard of Lies, directed by Barry Levinson. His performance was highly praised and earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Television Movie.

In 2019, De Niro was celebrated for his portrayal of Robert Mueller on Saturday Night Live alongside Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump. This role earned him another Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. That same year, he also received an Emmy nomination as a producer for Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed limited series When They See Us.

De Niro had a busy 2019, starring as talk show host Murray Franklin in the film Joker, which was a huge success and received eleven Academy Award nominations. He also reunited with Martin Scorsese for The Irishman, their first collaboration since 1995’s Casino. The film, featuring Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, and Joe Pesci, was highly acclaimed. Critics praised De Niro’s performance and his chemistry with his co-stars.

In September 2020, Robert De Niro appeared in Nancy Meyers’ comedy short film Father of the Bride Part 3(ish) with Diane Keaton and Steve Martin. That year, he also starred in the crime comedy The Comeback Trail, directed by George Gallo. Although he was initially cast in James Gray’s period drama Armageddon Time, he left the project before production started.

In January 2021, De Niro joined the cast of the historical comedy Amsterdam, released in October 2022. The movie featured a star-studded ensemble including Christian Bale and Margot Robbie. Reviewers noted De Niro’s strong performance as a decorated general. In August 2022, he signed on to star in Barry Levinson’s mob drama Alto Knights and appeared as Sheriff Church in Savage Salvation, released in December 2022.

In 2023, Robert De Niro starred in Killers of the Flower Moon, directed by Scorsese and based on the book by David Grann. He played William King Hale, a key figure in the Osage Indian murders, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. The film, co-produced by Apple TV+ and Paramount, had a budget of $200 million. De Niro’s performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Also in 2023, Robert De Niro appeared in the comedy About My Father and the TV series Nada. On March 1, 2023, it was announced that De Niro will produce and star in a six-episode limited series for Netflix called Zero Day, a conspiracy thriller created by Eric Newman and Noah Oppenheim.

Impact on Hollywood and Beyond

Lots of reporters think Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors ever. John Naughton from GQ thinks he’s changed what we expect from actors. A. O. Scott says De Niro keeps transforming himself in every role, making acting even better. Newsweek noticed this back in 1977, saying De Niro’s changes in roles are exciting and sometimes scary.

A writer named Douglas Brode says De Niro is great at playing lots of different characters, but not everyone agrees. Pauline Kael didn’t like how De Niro changed his appearance in movies like Raging Bull. When asked why he takes on these roles, De Niro says it’s a way to experience life as someone else without any real-life risks.

In 2009, Robert De Niro was honored at the Kennedy Center for being an amazing actor and for helping start a big film festival. Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep praised him at the event. In 2016, President Barack Obama gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and said De Niro and others there had influenced him a lot.

Lots of De Niro’s movies are super famous in America. Six of them are considered important and are kept in the U.S. National Film Registry. Five of his movies are on the American Film Institute’s list of the best American movies ever. De Niro has the same number of movies on that list as James Stewart. Timeout magazine also listed seven of his movies as the best, as chosen by actors.

In 2006, Robert De Niro gave a bunch of his stuff from movies, like scripts and costumes, to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. It took a long time to organize everything, but in 2009, people could finally check it out.

Robert De Niro’s Entrepreneurial Ventures: From Tribeca to Nobu Resorts

Robert De Niro Business interests

In 1989, Robert De Niro and his friend Jane Rosenthal started a movie company called TriBeCa Productions. They also put together the Tribeca Film Festival. De Niro owns a restaurant called Tribeca Grill, which he started with Stewart F. Lane, a producer. It’s a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, on Greenwich Street. It opened in 1990. He also has a hotel in Tribeca called the Greenwich Hotel.

De Niro shares ownership of Nobu restaurants and hotels with Meir Teper and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The first Nobu Hotel opened in Las Vegas in 2013 at Caesars Palace. Then another one opened in Manila, Philippines, two years later. In 2015, De Niro joined with James Packer, who invested $100 million, to expand Nobu. They’re planning a luxurious Nobu Resort on the island of Barbuda. However, this idea has stirred up controversy because it goes against the Barbuda Land Act, upsetting many locals and the Barbuda People’s Movement.

Personal life

NYC Real Estate Mogul & Advocacy Journey

Robert De Niro has lived in New York City for a long time and started investing in the Tribeca area in 1989. He owns properties on both the east and west sides of Manhattan. His main home is a big estate in Gardiner, New York, which is 78 acres.

In 1998, he talked to the U.S. Congress to try to stop them from kicking out President Bill Clinton.

In October 2003, De Niro found out he had prostate cancer. He had surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in December 2003.

In 2006, he became a citizen of Italy. Some Italian groups didn’t like this because they thought his roles as a criminal in movies made Italians look bad.

In 2012, he joined a group that’s against fracking, a way of getting natural gas that can hurt the environment.

In 2016, Robert De Niro said he supported showing a movie called Vaxxed at a film festival. It was a controversial movie about vaccines, and he said he was interested because of his son who has autism. But the movie got taken out of the festival because many people disagreed with it. In 2017, he talked with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about their worries about vaccine safety. De Niro says he’s not against vaccines, but he’s not sure if they always work.

In October 2018, someone tried to hurt De Niro by sending him a bomb. They found the bomb at a restaurant in Manhattan where he has a business. Other important people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton also got similar bombs.

Family History: Marriages, Children, and Recent Events

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Robert De Niro’s family life has been quite eventful. He first married actress Diahnne Abbott back in 1976, and they had a son named Raphael. He also adopted Diahnne’s daughter, Drena De Niro. However, they split up in 1988. After that, he was in a relationship with model Toukie Smith for about eight years. They had twin boys named Julian and Aaron through a special process called in vitro fertilization, where the babies were carried by a surrogate mother.

Then, in 1997, Robert De Niro married actress Grace Hightower. They had a son named Elliot in 1998 but parted ways in 1999. Interestingly, they never finalized their divorce and even renewed their vows in 2004. They later had a daughter named Helen in 2011 through a surrogate. In 2014, they moved into a big apartment in New York City. However, after being married for 20 years, they decided to separate in 2018. De Niro now has four grandchildren: one from Drena and three from Raphael.

In April 2021, during a virtual court hearing, Robert De Niro’s lawyer mentioned that he’s been working hard to support his ex-wife and pay off his taxes. On the other hand, Hightower’s lawyer argued that De Niro has been cutting down the payments he agreed to make to her since they filed for divorce.

Moving on to more recent events, in April 2023, De Niro became a father for the seventh time. His girlfriend Tiffany Chen gave birth to their daughter Gia. This made headlines because De Niro was already 79 years old, making him one of the oldest fathers on record.

Unfortunately, in July 2023, there was some sad news. De Niro’s grandson, Leandro De Niro Rodriguez passed away at the age of 19 due to a drug overdose involving fentanyl and cocaine.

Legal Battles and Drama Throughout His Career

Robert De Niro Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 1998, there was a situation where Robert De Niro was questioned by French police about a prostitution ring. He said he had nothing to do with it and even filed a complaint against the police officer for sharing details about the investigation. Later on, he said he wouldn’t go back to France, but he did for the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Also, in 1999, he threatened to sue a restaurant in Vancouver for using his name without permission, and they changed their name.

In 2006, there was a legal issue about the taxes on De Niro’s estate in Gardiner. His trust thought they were being taxed too much and tried to lower it, but the town disagreed. The town won in court, but then De Niro’s trust appealed. This caused some drama in the town, with people upset about the costs of the legal battle. De Niro eventually decided to drop the case and pay the town’s legal fees because he didn’t want to cause trouble.

In 2019, Robert De Niro’s production company sued an ex-employee for allegedly misusing company money and not working properly. Then the ex-employee sued De Niro back, accusing him of harassment and discrimination. In 2023, the court ruled that De Niro wasn’t personally responsible for discrimination, but his company had to pay damages to the ex-employee.

What Is Robert De Niro’s Net Worth?

Robert De Niro’s Net Worth is estimated to be $500 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.