Robert De Niro

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Robert De Niro (2016)

Robert Anthony De Niro, Jr. (born August 17, 1943 in New York City ) is an American actor , two-time Oscar winner , film director and producer . He has been one of the leading character actors in American films since the mid-1970s and can be seen in numerous film classics.



Robert De Niro was born in Manhattan in 1943 and grew up as an only child in an artist family. His father, Robert De Niro, Sr. (1922–1993), is one of the leading abstract expressionist painters in the USA. His pictures have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries . He was with writers such as Henry Miller and Tennessee Williams friends and died with 71 years of cancer . The mother Virginia Admiral (1915-2000) was a poet and painter and also worked as a typist for Anaïs Nin . Her works are exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art , among others .

When his parents divorced in 1945, De Niro was living with his mother in New York's Little Italy neighborhood in Manhattan. But he also spent a lot of time with his father, who lived not far away.

His later mentor Shelley Winters said that De Niro grew up in poverty because his parents had hardly made any income from their art. Among other things, the mother ran a small print shop. Robert, who was called "Bobby Milk" because of his paleness and was considered shy, stood on stage for the first time at the age of ten - as a fearful lion in a school performance of The Wizard of Oz . “I wanted to be an actor when I was ten,” he said later.

He left school at the age of 16 and, with the blessing of his parents, who supported his artistic ambitions, sought a career as an actor. He received his first acting salary on a high school tour with Chekhov's play The Bear , which took him through New England and New York .

In his youth, De Niro especially admired the actors Montgomery Clift , Robert Mitchum and Marlon Brando . He later worked with Mitchum and Brando, Clift died in 1966.


De Niro toured the southern states as an actor, playing major roles in plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac and One Long Day Journey into the Night . He appeared with comedies in dinner theaters and took professional acting lessons from 1960, including with acting teacher Stella Adler , who taught well-known actors such as Marlon Brando, Harvey Keitel , Martin Sheen , Warren Beatty and Christoph Waltz in the course of her career .

In 1963 De Niro made his debut in The Wedding Party in a supporting role as a film actor. The comedy, budgeted at $ 43,000, was the film debut of the later star director Brian De Palma and was formally based on the stylistic devices of the French Nouvelle Vague . The Wedding Party didn't hit theaters until 1969 and failed both critics and audiences.

After playing small roles in two other films, De Niro appeared in De Palma's second feature film Greetings in 1968 , a work typical of the time that satirically revolves around topics such as sex , violence and Vietnam with elements of underground film . Greetings received an X rating for its revealing scenes . This film also failed at the box office.

In 1968 De Niro appeared in the off-Broadway play Glamor, Glory and Gold and was positively mentioned by theater critics, who were otherwise skeptical of the play. The 25-year-old was certified as having great talent. His acting partner Sally Kirkland said she had never seen such a brilliant performance.

Around 1970, well-known character actress and Oscar winner Shelley Winters became aware of De Niro and cast him as her acting partner in the play One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger , which was canceled after only seven performances. Since he had to destroy a board in the piece with a karate blow , De Niro trained this martial art for months . Although this play also met with little approval from the critics, De Niro's performance was again praised.

Shelley Winters compared Robert De Niro to the young Brando of the 1940s and suggested her new protégé to director and producer Roger Corman , who prepared the low-budget gangster film Bloody Mama in 1970 . Here Winters played the role of the infamous Ma Barker , who, together with her four sons, had committed numerous crimes in the first half of the 1930s. De Niro appeared in the role of Lloyd Barker and even then felt extremely well into his role. He later said:

"It's true: I ate my lunch in a grave while filming Bloody Mama ."

- Robert De Niro

In 1970 he worked again with director De Palma, who gave him the lead role in his film Hi, Mom! transmitted. De Niro starred in the comedic low-budget flick as a Vietnam veteran watching the residents of an apartment block across the street. In the early 1970s, the actor played other roles in films such as Where gangsters pop around the corner (1971) or Gate to Hell (1971), but none of which advanced his career. He auditioned in vain for a role in The Godfather (1972). In 1973 he appeared for the last time in the theater for the time being.


The year 1973 was the decisive turning point for the 30-year-old actor. In The Last Game , he portrayed the dying baseball player Bruce Person and won the New York Film Critics Award for best actor. He met Martin Scorsese , who, like him, had grown up in Little Italy and had worked as a film director since the late 1960s. Scorsese gave De Niro the important role of the neurotic Johnny Boy in his film Witches Cauldron , a biographical portrait of some New York crooks who make their way through the Italian quarter.

The film received almost unanimous critical acclaim, was successful at the box office (grossing $ 3 million on a budget of $ 500,000) and established the decades-long careers of Scorsese, De Niro and Harvey Keitel, who still played the leading role here. From 1975 De Niro advanced to Scorsese's preferred actor; they worked together eight times from 1973 to 1995.

After De Niro had convinced in Hexenkessel , director Francis Ford Coppola gave him the coveted role of "Godfather" Vito Corleone in The Godfather - Part 2 (1974). De Niro took over the part that Marlon Brando had played two years earlier in the first part of the world success, but portrayed the Mafia boss as a young man at the beginning of his "career". On the second level of the epic film, Al Pacino was again as See Vito's son Michael Corleone. De Niro had meticulously prepared to adopt the special mannerisms of the famous character played by Brando.

The Godfather - Part 2 was a worldwide success with critics and audiences and finally established De Niro as a new star. It was almost unanimously confirmed that he had mastered the difficult challenge as Brando's successor with flying colors. In 1975 De Niro was nominated for an Oscar for the first time as a supporting actor and won the award for his portrayal of Vito Corleone. He received the award for portraying the same figure, for whose interpretation Marlon Brando had already received an Oscar (in the first part). The Godfather - Part 2 was nominated eleven times and won six awards, including the one in the category Best Film of the Year. De Niro has been nominated six times for an Oscar and won it twice. He was unable to receive his Oscar for The Godfather - Part 2 in person because he was shooting the film in Italy in 1900 .

In Bernardo Bertolucci's large-scale epic 1900 , which was released in 1976, De Niro portrayed a large Italian landowner and caused a sensation because of an explicit sex scene. The five-hour film, financed by US studios, could not bring in its enormous costs (the equivalent of around 20 million D-Marks ), although it had been cut and re-cut several times. De Niro, who was dissatisfied with Bertolucci's directorial style and his French co-star Gérard Depardieu , could not fully convince as an actor either.

In 1976 he played the role that finally established him as one of the leading character actors. Directed by Scorsese, he played the title role as Taxi Driver Travis Bickle. The uprooted Vietnam veteran (“God's loneliest man”) works as a taxi driver in New York and is disgusted by the human scraps he is confronted with in the night canyons. He stylized himself as the protector of a young prostitute ( Jodie Foster ) and caused a bloodbath.

With Taxi Driver Scorsese scored a resounding success with critics and audiences (28 million dollars in the US with a budget of 1.3 million dollars). The dark drama became one of the great film classics of the 1970s and received four Oscar nominations in 1977, including one for leading actor De Niro. Some of De Niro's improvised lines of dialogue (“You talkin 'to me?”) Went into everyday language. As always, the actor had prepared for the role with great commitment and had, among other things, driven a taxi in New York.

After this success, De Niro starred in two films that failed both critics and audiences. In Elia Kazan's The Last Tycoon (1976) he portrayed a film producer in the 1930s (based on the MGM boss Irving Thalberg, who died early on ). Despite an impressive star cast ( Jack Nicholson , Tony Curtis , Robert Mitchum, Jeanne Moreau ) the film was a flop; De Niro's portrayal was also not rated as outstanding. The last tycoon marked the end of a more than 30-year directing career for the 67-year-old Kazan.

In 1977, Martin Scorsese shot the nostalgic musical New York, New York , with a large budget and elaborate sets , which shows De Niro in 1945 as a saxophone player who falls in love with a singer ( Liza Minnelli ). The film, for which De Niro learned to play the saxophone, failed to meet expectations and was received with reluctance.

His next film saw him playing the role of a steel worker of Russian descent who is drafted to Vietnam with his friends. Michael Cimino's epic war film Those Going Through Hell (1978) initially portrays the life of the steel workers in detail and then fades in an abrupt cut to the barbaric events in Vietnam, which the protagonists are depicted with psychological difficulties. With actors like John Cazale , Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep , the film was top-class. De Niro performed numerous stunts himself for the film - among other things, he dropped himself 15 times into a river from a height of ten meters and clung to the runners of a helicopter that rose high into the air.

Cimino's film became a commercial and artistic success, but it generated controversy. When it was shown at the Berlinale , the delegations from the communist countries left the festival because they saw the North Vietnamese soldiers vilified by the film. With five awards, including one for Best Picture, Cimino's Vietnam epic was the big 1979 Academy Awards winner.

In 1980, De Niro played his most important role according to the general tenor in Like a Wild Bull . The boxer drama staged by Scorsese in black and white traces the life and career of Jake LaMotta (1921-2017), who became world champion in the middleweight division in 1949 . The director and his main actor consistently show the portrait of an unsympathetic thug, whose life goes downhill. After his boxing career, LaMotta degenerates into a bloated entertainer who tells bad jokes in nightclubs.

In order to prepare for his role, De Niro completed a year of boxing training and was personally instructed by LaMotta, who certified De Niro that he had what it takes to be a professional fighter. The performer completed three boxing matches and won two of them. When the lavishly choreographed fight scenes had been filmed (which were later particularly praised by the critics for their staging, acting and editing brilliance), De Niro ate 30 kilos overweight within a short time in order to be able to adequately play the late, extremely overweight LaMotta. The film begins and ends with scenes depicting LaMotta's sad existence as a third-rate nightclub entertainer. LaMotta sued production company United Artists over the way he is portrayed in the film.

Scorsese's dark boxer drama was not a big box office success, but quickly became a classic that is often referred to as one of the best works in film history. De Niro had prepared for his role with unprecedented intensity and for years held the record for the highest weight gain an actor had undergone for a role. In 1981 he was awarded an Oscar for best leading role and prevailed against Robert Duvall , Jack Lemmon , Peter O'Toole and John Hurt . Like a Wild Bull was also nominated for best film of the year, but lost to Robert Redford's directorial debut A Completely Normal Family , which was often viewed as a wrong decision. De Niro concluded his most important phase as an actor from an artistic point of view with a triumph with Wie ein Wilder Stier and was at the height of his career.


Robert De Niro (1988)

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro were initially unable to build on their successes. In 1981 De Niro (who looked clearly overweight here) played in Ulu Grosbard's shackles of power a priest in distress who was indirectly implicated in a murder case in the 1940s. The rather calm and unspectacular film, with a high cast starring Robert Duvall, Charles Durning and Cyril Cusack , received mixed reviews and was never shown in theaters in Germany.

With King of Comedy , De Niro and Scorsese continued their collaboration in 1983. De Niro played the role of the unsuccessful stand-up comedian Rupert Pupkin, who kidnapped a famous television entertainer ( Jerry Lewis ). Critically praised, the pessimistic tragic comedy became a catastrophic box office flop ($ 2.5 million in the US on a $ 20 million budget) and a setback in Scorsese's career. In the 1980s, De Niro was also slated for the role of Jesus Christ in Scorsese's film The Last Temptation of Christ . The project was postponed several times and finally realized with Willem Dafoe in 1988 .

Even Sergio Leone's nearly four-hour gangster saga Once Upon a Time in America in 1984 to a flop. The film tells on three time levels (1922/1932/1968) the life of the Jewish gangster Noodles (De Niro), who made a career at the side of his friend Max ( James Woods ) during Prohibition , but then betrayed him to the police. With its complex narrative structure, the lavish epic (budget: 30 million dollars) hardly found an audience in the cinema and was cut and shortened in vain.

Once Upon a Time in America was rehabilitated by criticism and has long been considered a great 1980s classic. Sergio Leone was never able to produce the cut version he had planned, however, and died in 1989. Under Scorsese's direction, the film was restored and presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012 in a 25-minute longer version.

(Sergio Leone had been planning a film about the Siege of Leningrad in World War II for years and had De Niro in the lead role. However, the project could not be realized before Leone's death.)

De Niro had moderate commercial success at the side of Meryl Streep with Der Liebe Verfen (1984), a more conventionally designed love story . In 1985 he starred in Terry Gilliams Brazil in the central, albeit short, role of Harry Tuttle , who is wanted as a terrorist in a Kafkaesque surveillance state. The bizarre and dark flick did not find a large audience, but is generally considered a masterpiece and cult film.

In Roland Joffé's epic period film The Mission (1986), De Niro (long-haired and with a full beard) was seen as a missionary in South America. The film, which was awarded the Golden Palm of Cannes, received mixed reviews and failed to establish itself in the cinema. 1987 played De Niro (again long-haired and with a full beard) in Alan Parker's horror thriller Angel Heart, the central supporting role of the ominous Louis Cyphre, who hired a run-down private detective ( Mickey Rourke ) in the 1950s . Critics noted that De Niro exaggerated in his portrayal of the demonic Cyphre. Even Angel Heart was not a box office success, but as a genre classic.

In 1987, De Niro was back in a big box-office hit after years. Directed by Brian De Palma, for whom he had already played in the 1960s, he starred in the large-scale gang epic The Untouchables - The Incorruptible Al Capone . Kevin Costner (starring FBI agent Eliot Ness) and Sean Connery (Oscar-winning as an experienced police officer) acted as his opponent. In order to adequately portray the legendary Mafia boss, De Niro had put on weight and had a bald head shaved. He was also wearing the kind of underwear Capone had once worn.

Martin Brests action comedy Midnight Run - Five Days to Midnight (1988) belongs to the genre of the "Buddy Movies" which was particularly popular at the time and shows De Niro in the role of a shabby bounty hunter who has to transport a mafia accountant ( Charles Grodin ) across the United States . Although the film met with a positive response from the critics, it was less successful than other “buddy movies” of the time (such as Lethal Weapon - two tough professionals ) .

For De Niro, the 1980s ended with three films that failed at the box office. In Stanley and Iris (1989) he acted as an illiterate cook who falls in love with a colleague ( Jane Fonda ), in Jacknife (1989) as a traumatized Vietnam veteran. The comedy We Are Not Angels (1989), in which he and Sean Penn can be seen as prison breakers disguising themselves as priests, also flopped.


Robert De Niro (1990)

From the early 1990s De Niro was able to stabilize his film career with some successes. In Scorsese's epic gangster drama Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia , he played the central supporting role of the "mobster" Jimmy Conway , who becomes the mentor of the young gangster Henry Hill ( Ray Liotta ). The film, which was partly staged with relentless brutality, became a box-office hit and a genre classic. De Niro was nominated for an Oscar for the portrayal of a coma patient in Time of Awakening (1990).

In the rather unspectacular drama Guilty of Suspicion (1991), he acted as a film director who came under pressure during the McCarthy era. The successful action film Backdraft - Men Who Go Through Fire (1991) showed him in a central supporting role as an experienced fire investigator.

With a worldwide grossing of over $ 180 million, the psychological thriller Cape Fear was the greatest success for Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro - and a box office hit in 1991. The 1962 free remake of A Bait for the Beast was much more commercial laid out as earlier works by the well-established duo and showed De Niro as a tattooed psychopath Max Cady , who terrorizes a lawyer ( Nick Nolte ) and his family with manic energy . (De Niro had hired a dentist to put his teeth in the worst possible condition for the Cady role.) The film's brutal depictions of violence were controversial. De Niro, who had trained a particularly wiry and muscular body for the role, received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Max Cady in 1992.

With films like Night and the City , Mistress - Die Geliebte von Hollywood (both 1992) or His Name is Mad Dog (1993) he caused less attention. In 1993 he made his debut as a director with In the Streets of the Bronx and played a bus driver in the Bronx who wants to prevent his son from starting a Mafia career in 1960. De Niro dedicated the film, which found little response from the audience, to his father, who died that same year.

Kenneth Branagh's horror drama Mary Shelley's Frankenstein became a box office hit in 1994, showing De Niro as an artificial creature from the Dr. Frankensteins (Branagh). The criticism reacted rather negatively to the film, in which De Niro was virtually invisible under a perfectly constructed horror mask.

In 1995 De Niro shot two almost three-hour gangster epics that became classics. Under the direction of Scorsese, he acted in Casino as the manager of a Las Vegas casino. The film, set in the 1970s, exemplifies the rise and fall of Sam Rothstein (De Niro), who, as a perfectionist control fanatic, runs a casino very effectively and helps his clients (the Chicago Mafia) to make spectacular profits. When he falls unhappily in love with a beautiful high-class prostitute ( Sharon Stone ) and messes with powerful local politicians, his decline begins. Audience and critics reacted positively to the film, which thematically and through its feverish staging style is very reminiscent of Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia .

Robert De Niro (1998)

Also in Michael Mann's epic gangster film Heat (1995) De Niro acted as a control fanatic on the wrong side of the law. Neil McCauley (De Niro) is an experienced professional gang leader of a gang that carries out perfectly planned break-ins and bank robberies in Los Angeles. The gang comes under increasing pressure when Police Lieutenant Vincent Hanna investigates them. Director Mann secured his film a lot of attention when he succeeded in hiring the no less distinguished Al Pacino for the role of Vincent Hanna alongside De Niro . In what is probably the most famous scene of the film, the two legendary character actors have a long conversation in a coffee shop about their private life and their profession. Heat grossed $ 174 million worldwide and casino $ 116 million. 1995 was the most successful year for De Niro to date. By 1998, his fee increased to $ 14 million. With Barry Levinson's drama Sleepers , which is set in the 1960s and revolves around topics such as juvenile delinquency and sexual abuse, De Niro was able to record another great box-office hit in 1996 (grossing: $ 166 million). He acted as a committed pastor and part of a distinguished ensemble ( Kevin Bacon , Brad Pitt , Dustin Hoffman , Vittorio Gassman ).

Tony Scott's psychological thriller The Fan (1996), in which he played a psychopathic baseball fan, proved to be much less successful . The film review described Scott's staging style mostly as too smooth and superficial. The drama Marvin's Daughters (1996) flopped despite a prominent cast (Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio , Diane Keaton ); De Niro appeared in a supporting role as a doctor.

Until the late 1990s, De Niro starred in several films that achieved modest success. He starred alongside Sylvester Stallone and Harvey Keitel in Cop Land (1997), a drama that is set in the police milieu, and acted in the same year alongside Dustin Hoffman in the political satire Wag the Dog - When the tail wags the dog . De Niro played prominent supporting roles in Quentin Tarantino's comedic gangster film Jackie Brown (1997) and the Charles Dickens adaptation Great Expectations (1998) , which moved the classic material into the present.

John Frankenheimer's action thriller Ronin (1998) showed De Niro - with Jean Reno as a co-star - in the lead role of the mercenary Sam , who was given the task of stealing a heavily guarded suitcase with a team of specialists. The film, which is set in France and surprisingly flopped in the cinema, is dominated by lavishly staged car chases, which were carried out, among others, with the former Formula 1 driver Jean-Pierre Jarier .

1999 until today

Robert De Niro (2008)
Robert De Niro (2011)

In 1999 he directed the mafia comedy Reine Nervensache with Billy Crystal , which became a box-office hit with worldwide grossing $ 141 million. In his comedies, the comedy usually comes from the stylistic device of parody.

In 2000, my bride, her father and I were even more successful than a matter of nerves . As a suspicious ex-CIA agent Jack Byrnes, De Niro has strong reservations about his future son-in-law. The comedy became his most commercially successful film, with gross revenues of $ 330 million worldwide. At the age of almost 60, he became one of Hollywood's top earners; he was now receiving fees as they were common for established action heroes like Harrison Ford or comedy stars like Jim Carrey ($ 20 million). In the sequels Reine Nervensache 2 (2002), My Wife, Her In-Laws and I (2004) and My Wife, Our Children and I (2010), the recipe for success was varied several times.

No other De Niros film, however, came close to the box office results of its hit comedies, with some completely failing both critics and audiences. Films like Spotless (1999), The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000), 15 Minutes of Fame (2001), Showtime (2002), City by the Sea (2002), Godsend (2004), Inside Hollywood (2008), Short Trial - Righteous Kill (2008), Everybody's Fine (2009), Stone (2010) or Killer Elite (2011) were all flops. He scored with The Score (2001), in which he appeared alongside Marlon Brando and Edward Norton as a thief, the military drama Men of Honor (2000), the historical drama The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004) and the action film Machete (2010) moderate success.

The animated film Big Sharks - Small Fish (2004), in which De Niro spoke to Don Lino, the shark mafia boss who terrorizes peaceful sea creatures, became a big box-office hit . The horror thriller Hide and Seek (2005) was also a box office hit . De Niro's second directorial work, The Good Shepherd , received mixed reviews in 2006. The career of the secret service officer Edward Wilson ( Matt Damon ), who directed CIA operations from the 1940s to the 1960s, is traced in epic breadth . The film failed to bring in its high production budget of $ 90 million.

In the successful fantasy film Der Sternwanderer , De Niro appeared in a supporting role in 2007. The thriller Without Limit (2011), in which he played a businessman (worldwide grossing: 162 million dollars) , also became a hit with the public . In 2011 he played a supporting role in the successful love comedy Happy New Year . In 2012, De Niro played an (alleged) parapsychologist who has achieved legendary fame in the American-Spanish mystery production Red Lights , directed by Rodrigo Cortés , alongside Sigourney Weaver and Toby Jones . More films followed, including several comedies and dramas. In 2019 De Niro starred in the mafia film The Irishman in the role of Frank Sheeran . The film meant a renewed collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, as well as with his fellow actors Joe Pesci and Al Pacino.


De Niro lives withdrawn, is considered media-shy and stays away from the glamor world of Hollywood. The center of his life has always been New York. At the beginning of his career he gave interviews, then stopped for a long time. Even today he does it rather sporadically, and he is often noticed by monosyllabic answers. He hardly gives any information about his acting technique or role preparation.

In 1976 he married the actress Diahnne Abbott (* 1945), from whom he divorced in 1988. The relationship resulted in a son (* 1976). Abbott's daughter Drena (* 1971) was adopted by De Niro, she also works as an actress. De Niro had a longstanding relationship with model Toukie Smith , with whom he had twins in 1995. In 1997 he married Grace Hightower (* 1955). A son emerged from this connection in 1998. In November 2004 he married his wife a second time on his farm in the Catskill Mountains after a divorce that never became final . In December 2011, De Niro became a father again with the help of a surrogate mother . In November 2018, De Niro confirmed the split from Hightower.

His best friends include Joe Pesci , whose career he promoted and who has co-starred in several films since Like a Wild Bull . De Niro has also been friends with his colleague Harvey Keitel since he shot cauldrons with him in 1973 . He also has a good relationship with his fellow actor Al Pacino . Both often played the role of gangster or police officer and are considered to be the epitome of the Italian-American character actor. In their first film together, The Godfather - Part II , they had no scenes in common. Almost 20 years later they were back in front of the camera for Heat ; in it they had two longer sequences in which they met. It was only in the film Short Trial - Righteous Kill (2008) that De Niro and Pacino, who play a police duo there, could be seen permanently together.


In 1989, De Niro and Jane Rosenthal founded the production company Tribeca Productions in New York , which since then has mainly produced films in which the star is involved as an actor or director. The first Tribeca production was the thriller Cape Fear , which was much more commercial than most of the actor's previous films.

Apparently in order to support the company financially, De Niro has orientated his selection of films mainly to the mainstream since the late 1990s and regularly plays in catchy crime novels and comedies. Since then he has also made many more films than before. While he had appeared in 13 films in the 1980s, there were already 25 in the 1990s and 18 in the 2000s. For the years 2010-2013 alone, the Internet Movie Database records 18 films with De Niro that have already been produced or are in pre-production (as of June 2012). De Niro has been the most productive Hollywood star for years, although the majority of the films (see above) met with little response from critics and audiences and the actor, probably due to his age, increasingly appeared in supporting roles.

According to general opinion, De Niro's later films do not come close to his classics such as Taxi Driver or Wie ein Wilder Stier , with which he made film history. This can also be seen in the fact that hardly any of them have been awarded an important film prize. The Internet Movie Database lists (as of June 2012) eight works with Robert De Niro among the 250 best-rated films: The Godfather - Part 2 (3rd place), Goodfellas (16), Taxi Driver (47), Once Upon a Time in America (80), Like a Wild Bull (90), Heat (122), Who Goes Through Hell (132) and Casino (164). These films were made between 1974 and 1995. De Niro has so far starred in two films that have received an Oscar for best film: The Godfather - Part 2 , 1975, and The Going Through Hell , 1979. His most commercially successful film is (as of 2012) My wife, hers In-laws and I from 2004, which grossed $ 516 million worldwide.

Nonetheless, De Niro continues to be perceived as a reliable character actor with a strong presence. He himself admitted that he no longer prepared for his roles with the same energy and obsession that he did in his early years. In 2013 the actor - after 21 years - was nominated again for an Oscar (supporting role in Silver Linings) . By 2013, De Niro had won the famous film award twice and was nominated five more times.

Since 2003, De Niro has received several lifetime achievements , including the prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute . At the 2011 Golden Globe Awards , he was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his life's work. He has also received several dozen international awards. 2011 De Niro headed the jury of the 64th Cannes Film Festival that the US contribution The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick with the Palme d' distinguished.

De Niro is known as a supporter of the Democratic Party, he campaigned several times for its presidential candidates.

In 2011 De Niro supported the initiative A Logo for Human Rights together with other renowned personalities and human rights defenders .

De Niro was friends with comedian John Belushi . He visited him in the early morning of March 5, 1982, the day Belushi died of a drug overdose.

If you believe De Niro's own words, he doesn't like to watch his films (“I'm falling asleep”).

pop music

The British pop band Bananarama had a hit parade in 1984 with the song Robert De Niro's Waiting . Gun Love , a 1992 song by ZZ Top , contains the lyrics “Runnin 'with the Wild Bunch, makin' like Robert De Niro”. The British singer Finley Quaye placed the text line “I'm a hero like Robert De Niro” in his song Sunday Shining (1997). The German singer Bosse released a song entitled Robert De Niro in 2018 .

Political statements

In 1998 De Niro campaigned against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton .

In 2006 De Niro appeared on the show Hardball with Chris Matthews . When asked who he could envision as president, he named Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama . On February 4, 2008, he performed at an Obamas event in New Jersey .

In 2012 De Niro joined the Artists Against Fracking campaign .

During the 2016 US presidential campaign , De Niro spoke out against Republican candidate Donald Trump , calling him “immensely stupid” and saying that he “wanted to punch him in the face”.

Voice actor

Since The Godfather - Part 2 Robert De Niro has been dubbed by Christian Brückner of the same age . In the movie Hexenkessel (1973) De Niro was spoken by Rolf Zacher . In the 1980s, the actor was then dubbed a few times by Joachim Kerzel (including Angel Heart or The Untouchables - Die Unbrechlichen) . Brückner has been De Niro's only voice actor since 1988; he also re-dubbed Once Upon a Time in America , which was created in 2003 for the film's DVD release. In the TV series The Godfather - The Saga (1977), Brückner not only spoke De Niro in the role of the young, but also Marlon Brando in the role of the older Vito Corleone.

Filmography (selection)





Academy Awards (Oscar)

Golden Globe Award

  • 1977 : Nomination (Drama), Taxi Driver
  • 1978 : Nomination (Comedy / Musical), New York, New York
  • 1979 : Nomination (Drama), The Deer Hunter
  • 1981 : Best Actor (Drama), Raging Bull
  • 1989 : Nomination (comedy / musical), Midnight Run
  • 1992 : Nomination (Drama), Cape Fear
  • 2000 : Nomination (Comedy / Musical), Analyze This
  • 2001 : Nomination (comedy / musical), Meet the Parents
  • 2011 : Cecil B. DeMille Award for his life's work
  • 2020 : Nomination (Drama), The Irishman

Further awards

New York Film Critics Circle
  • 1973: Best Supporting Actor, Mean Streets and Bang the Drum Slowly
  • 1976: Best Actor, Taxi Driver
  • 1980: Best Actor, Raging Bull
  • 1990: Best Actor, Goodfellas and Awakenings
National Society of Film Critics
  • 1973: Best Supporting Actor, Mean Streets
  • 1976: Best Actor, Taxi Driver
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
  • 1976: Best Actor, Taxi Driver
  • 1980: Best Actor, Raging Bull
BAFTA nomination
  • 1977: Best Actor, Taxi Driver
  • 1980: Best Actor, The Deer Hunter
  • 1982: Best Actor, Raging Bull
  • 1984: Best Actor, The King of Comedy
  • 1991: Best Actor, Goodfellas
National Board of Review
  • 1980: Best Actor, Raging Bull
  • 1990: Best Actor, Awakenings
Golden raspberry nomination
  • 2003: Worst screen couple with Eddie Murphy on Showtime
  • 2017: Worst Actor, Dirty Grandpa
individual awards


Web links

Commons : Robert De Niro  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Grace Hightower. Internet Movie Database , accessed June 8, 2015 .
  3. "I respect Grace as a wonderful mother". Spiegel online, accessed November 30, 2018 .
  4. ^ Al Pacino and Robert De Niro make quite a pair. Retrieved June 30, 2016 .
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