- NAME: Robert De Niro
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Director
- BIRTH DATE: August 17, 1943 (Age: 69)
- EDUCATION: High School of Music and Art, P.S. 41, Stella Adler Conservatory (Stella Adler Studio of Acting), The Actors Studio
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Robert De Niro Jr.
- AKA: Robert De Niro
- Nickname: "Bobby Milk"
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Legendary award-winning actor Robert De Niro has starred in such films as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Godfather: Part II and Silver Linings Playbook.
Robert De Niro - Full Biography (45:23)
Widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time, two-time Academy Award-winner Robert DeNiro grew up in his New York's Little Italy and eventually made his mark on the big screen.
Watch a short video about Marlon Brando and learn how this actor recovered his acting career by landing the lead role in the film "The Godfather."
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Stella Adler was a strong proponent of the Stanislavski method of acting, involving deep psychological character investigation. An intense teacher, Adler was once described by The New York Times as someone who would "curse, cajole, rage, roar and, from time to time, even compliment her students." Adler,
With his mother's permission, De Niro took the money she had saved for his college education and put it toward his acting career. He studied briefly with Lee Strasberg at the Actor's Studio in New York City, and then began auditioning. As actress Sally Kirkland once recalled, instead of traditional headshots, De Niro showed up to auditions with "a portfolio of about 25 pictures of himself in various disguises to prove that he wasn't just an ethnic actor." After a momentary cameo in the 1965 French film Three Rooms in Manhattan, De Niro's real debut came in the 1968 film Greetings. His breakthrough performances came five years later in a pair of highly acclaimed 1973 films: Bang the Drum Slowly, in which he played a terminally ill catcher on a baseball team, and Mean Streets, his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese, in which he played a street thug.
In 1974, De Niro established himself as one the nation's finest actors with his Academy Award-winning portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, a role for which he learned to speak Sicilian. Two years later, De Niro delivered perhaps the most chilling performance of his career, playing the vengeful cabbie Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976) alongside Jodie Foster.
De Niro later portrayed middleweight boxer Jake La Motta in the commercially unsuccessful but critically adored film Raging Bull (1980). The previously skinny De Niro had put on 60 pounds of muscle for his riveting turn as La Motta, and was rewarded for his dedication with the 1981 Academy Award for best actor. Other notable performances of the 1980s included his depiction of an aspiring standup comedian in The King of Comedy (1983), and his role as a Jewish mobster in the sprawling historical epic Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
De Niro opened the 1990s with Goodfellas, yet another acclaimed gangster film. In 1993, he made his directorial debut with A Bronx Tale, a film adaptation of a one-man play written and performed by Chazz Palminteri. Then, in 1999, De Niro struck out into decidedly different territory with Analyze This, a hilarious and highly popular spoof of the mob films that garnered him even more fame. He plays a crime boss who seeks help from a therapist (Billy Crystal) in the film.
In 2000, De Niro took on another comedy, Meet the Parents, starring Ben Stiller. He plays Stiller's future father-in-law in this smash hit. The film spawned two sequels: Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2011), both of which were also box-office successes.
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