Robert De Niro is a veteran Italian-American actor, film producer, and businessman. He was born as Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. on August 17, 1943, in the Manhattan borough of New York City and is the only child of his parents, Virginia Admiral and Robert De Niro Sr.
The actor is popular for his role in classic movies like The Godfather Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), and Raging Bull (1980). He got his major breakthrough in Hollywood with the role of young Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II and received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as a result of his amazing performance in the movie.
The award-winning actor has, in recent times, scored big with movies like Little Fockers (2010), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), The Intern (2015) and Dirty Grandpa (2016). Keep reading to find out more about his wife, kids and more.
Robert De Niro’s Family: His Wife and Children
Robert De Niro has been married twice. He got married to his first wife, Diahnne Abbot, an American actress and singer, in 1976 and adopted her daughter, Drena, who she had from a former marriage.
The couple’s union lasted for 12 years but before then, they had a son named Raphael De Niro. He was named Raphael after the hotel in Rome where he was conceived. The young man tried his luck in the acting industry but was not as successful as his father so he decided to choose another career path and is, today, a real estate agent, working in New York. Robert and Diahnne went their separate ways in 1988.
From 1988 to 1996, Robert De Niro was in a relationship with Toukie Smith, another lady who worked in the entertainment industry as an actress and a model. About seven years down the line, the couple decided to make babies together but Toukie was not to carry them. Conception took place by in vitro fertilization and on October 20, 1995, they welcomed a set of twin boys through a surrogate mother. The boys were named Aaron Kendrick De Niro and Julian Henry De Niro.
In 1997, the actor met another lady, Grace Hightower, while she worked at Mr. Chow, a high-end Chinese restaurant and celebrity hangout. They started dating and subsequently tied the knot the same year, living at their Marbletown home. In 1998, at the age of 42, Grace gave birth to their first child, a son named Elliot.
Trouble began in paradise and De Niro filed for divorce in 1999. In 2001, he also sued his estranged wife for custody of their son. However, in a pleasant turn of event, the couple decided to iron out their differences and by 2004 the divorce was dropped and they continued as husband and wife, having renewed their marital vows. Their relationship grew stronger, leading to the birth of their second child, Helen Grace De Niro, who was delivered by a surrogate mother in December 2011
Robert De Niro has a total of 6 children. Two from his first wife, twin boys from his longtime girlfriend and another two from his second marriage.
On March 25, 2016, Robert announced that his fifth son, Elliot, was a special needs child as he suffers from autism. He made this known during an interview with Katie Couric while discussing Silver Linings Playbook which was written by movie director, David O. Russel for his son with bipolar disorder.
Robert De Niro has a net worth of $500 million. He started making seven figures per role in the 1990s and by 2000 the figures grew to eight. According to a calculation by Forbes, the actor amassed a whopping $80 million between 2002 and 2004 and more than $100 million between 2009 and 2012.
The legendary star who made most of his money as an actor is paid top dollar for appearances in movies and TV shows. He was named the highest-paid drama actor in August 2017, after he landed a role in an Amazon show that had no title at the time. He was receiving $775,000 (£554,232) as payment for each episode of the TV show. Unfortunately, we never got to watch it as the project, which would have been produced by Harvey Weinstein’s company, was discarded following allegations of sexual assault against the producer.
Apart from acting, Robert has also been involved in movie production since the 1990s. He founded a production company named TriBeCa Productions in 2003, alongside producer Jane Rosenthal. Robert is the executive producer of the HBO series, Wizard of Lies in which he played his first major TV role, acting as Bernie Madoff. The show which started in 2017 will pay the actor/producer high six figures per episode.
Meanwhile, in 2002, the superstar inaugurated the Tribeca Film Festival, a popular film festival which takes place in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan and provides an opportunity for the display of different selections of independent films. The festival which draws thousands of people every year generates an annual income of $600 million.
De Niro does not only make his money from film-related ventures. The movie legend, who can also be described as a businessman, has made a mark in the hospitality industry. He owns (and co-owns) a number of luxury accommodations in several parts of the world like the Nobu Hotel Manila in the Philippines and The Wellington Hotel in Covent Garden, London. He is also the owner of The Greenwich Hotel located in the high-class Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Within the hotel is the celebrity restaurant – Locanda Verde.
Although he is far from his prime, there is nothing to show that De Niro has plans of slowing down anytime soon. He continues to attract juicy paychecks for roles and receives an ever-increasing behind-the-scenes credit.
The actor measures 5.8 feet (1.75 m) tall and weighs 75kg (175lbs). He obviously has a healthy lifestyle and is very proactive about his personal health and constant checkups.
Is He Dead?
The Academy Award-winner is very much alive! He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 but due to early detection, he was able to make a full recovery. For some reasons though, it seems there are people who want him dead.
On October 25, 2018, it was reported that a suspicious package was sent to his Tribeca Productions company at 375 Greenwich St. The package was kept in the building’s mailroom on the 7th floor for about a day or more before it was found out. The police were informed and when they X-rayed it, it was discovered to be “the same” as the explosive devices mailed to top Democrats a day before. The device was eventually removed by NYPD Bomb Squad.