18 Interesting Facts About Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro, is considered as one of the greatest American actors of all time. He is the star of iconic films like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Godfather: Part II and Silver Linings Playbook. Let us find out some interesting facts about Robert De Niro.

Robert de niro

Image: flickr

1. Early life and family

RobertdeNiroRobert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York, to Virginia Admiral, a painter and poet and Robert De Niro Sr., an abstract expressionist painter and sculptor.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org

2. Mixed upbringing

His parents divorced when he was just 3 years old. He was raised by his mother, Virginia Admiral, in Manhattan. Though, he spent much time with his father as he grew up, and was very fond of attending movies with his father when they spent time together.
Source: biography.com

3. Educational background

He primarily went to the private McBurney School and later attended the private Rhodes Preparatory School, though he never graduated.
Source: wikipedia

4. Bobby Milk

Robert De Niro 1971Because of his pale appearance, in younger days , he was often called “Bobby Milk.”
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org

5. Breakthrough at 20


In 1963, he got his first film called The Wedding Party, but its release was stretched till 1969. But, in 1973, he gained attention with his role as a dying Major League Baseball player in Bang the Drum Slowly.
Source: wikipedia

6. The turning point

Robert de niro in taxi driver
Taxi driver cast

In 1974, he became one of the finest actors with his Academy Award winning performance of Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II. A couple of years later, he delivered the most outstanding performance of his career, by playing the role of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.
Source: wikipedia, image: flickr

7. Personal life

Robert De Niro and Grace HightowerIn 1976, he married Diahnne Abbott, and had a son, but divorced in 1988. In 1997, he married actress Grace Hightower, and had a son , but the couple split in 1999. Their divorce was never finalized and in 2004 they renewed.
Source: wikipedia, image: flickr

8. His inspiration of perfectionism

Robert de Niro Sr
Robert de Niro Sr

He gets his perfectionism from his father, Robert De Niro Sr, who was an acclaimed Expressionist painter who studied his subjects in detail and repainted canvases many a times.
Source: redbull.com, image: wikimedia.org


9. Messi teeth

In order to prepare for the role of Max Cady in Cape Fear, he paid a dentist $20,000 to mess up his teeth, but later, paid even more to get them sorted out.
Source: styleblazer.com

10. French controversy

Robert De Niro (press conference)In 1998, during his film shoot in France, he was taken in for questioning by French police over a prostitution ring, which he denied. Later in an interview, he said, “I will never return to France”.
Source: features.kodoom.com

11. Political interests

Robert De Niro KVIFF portraitHe supported the Democratic Party, in the 2000 presidential election, and John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. In 2008, he supported Obama, and even held a fundraiser for President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Source: wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org

12. Last star to see John Belushi alive


De Niro was the last star to see comedian John Belushi alive. On 5 March, 1982, he visited him at 3am in a hotel, but for a short time after he saw him jacked up on cocaine and heroin. Same afternoon, Belushi was found dead from an accidental overdose.
Source: redbull.com

13. Restaurant owner too

He owns restaurants called “Ago” and “Nobu”. He is also co-owner of “Rubicon” restaurant along with director Francis Ford Coppola and actor Robin Williams.
Source: boomsbeat.com

14. Weight gain for Raging Bull

Robert de niro in raging bullDe Niro gained around 60 pounds to play an older version of his character, Jake La Motta, in the 1980 film Raging Bull, by eating lots of spaghetti and ice cream.
Source: shortlist.com, image: mensfitness.com

15. Lucky combo with Marlon Brando

robert de niro marlon brandoMarlon Brando and De Niro were lucky for each other, as they delivered Oscar winning performances together. Firstly, by playing the younger version of Brando’s character Vito Corleone. And secondly, he did Brando’s famous lines from On the Waterfront of 1954.
Source: trivia.famousfix.com, image: artcrimeillustrated.com

16. Health issues

In 2003, De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent a successful surgery at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in December 2003.
Source: trivia.famousfix.com

17. Committed actor

Robert de NiroHe was truly a committed actor as he was unable to accept his first Oscar in 1975 due to filming commitments to Bernardo Bertolucci’s Novecento.
Source: trivia.famousfix.com, image: wikimedia.org

18. His idols

His early idols were Montgomery Clift, Robert Mitchum and Marlon Brando. It is reflected by his role selection which is darker and more character driven.
Source: trivia.famousfix.com