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‘One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people’s lives without having to pay the price.’ – Robert De Niro.
Hollywood legend Robert De Niro turns 70 today. De Niro is an actor with many facets. Whether it is Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull), Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather) or Jack Byrnes (Meet The Parents), Robert De Niro has the uncanny ability to potray diverse roles with élan.
Robert Mario De Niro Jr. was born on August 17, 1943 in New York. He is the only child of an Italian-Irish family. Robert De Niro’s father, Robert De Niro Sr. is among the leading abstract-expressionistic artists of the USA. His works have been exhibited at numerous museums and galleries. De Niro’s mother, Virginia Admiral was a poet and artist.
De Niro’s parents were divorced in 1945. Together with his mother, the actor grew up in Little Italy, Manhattan. Because of his fair skin, De Niro was nicknamed ‘Bobby Milk’ in Little Italy. The actor also met director Martin Scorsese the first time in the Italian district of Manhattan.
Robert DeNiro dropped out of school at the age of 16. After touring across the Southern states for a stage play, the actor took professional acting classes in 1960. His mentor was the popular acting instructor Stella Adler, who also instructed actors such as Martin Sheen, Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando.
De Niro made his first big screen appearance in the 1963 movie ‘The Wedding Party‘, which was directed by Brian De Palma.
In 1973, De Niro appeared in Brian De Palma’s movie ‘Beat The Drum Slowly‘. For his role of baseball player Bruce Person, De Niro was awarded the New York Film Critics Award.
In 1976, the actor played the role that finally established him as a leading character actor. Directed by Martin Scorsese, he starred in the eponymous role of Travis Bickle in the movie ‘Taxi Driver’.
Robert De Niro earned international fame with his role of the young Don Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s sequel of the movie ‘The Godfather’.
In the last few years, De Niro preferably appeared in comedy movies. The movie series ‘Meet the Parents’ with co-actor Ben Stiller marks another milestone in De Niro’s acting career.
Robert De Niro has more than 80 movies to his credits until date, 7 movies this year alone. True to the motto ‘age is just a number’, Robert De Niro promises more movies to come ‘I might like to do things that are more retiring. But not retire. As long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing, why retire?’