American actor, director and producer Robert de Niro celebrates his 70th birthday. He is known for his longtime collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, which began in 1973 with Mean Streets, spawned De Niro’s unforgettable catchphrase “You talking’ to me?” in Taxi Driver, and later earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull.
Birth Name: Robert Anthony De Niro Jr
Nickname: Bobby Milk (because he was a pale kid), Kid Monroe (given by Robert Mitchum), Bobby D
Born: August 17, 1943 New York City
Parents: artists Robert De Niro Sr. painter, sculptor, poet (later came out as homosexual) and Virginia Admiral painter
Ethnicity: Italian, Irish (father’s side), German, French, Dutch, English (mother’s side)
Nationality: American, Italian (since 2006)
First acting experience: Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz at the age of 10
Education: High School of Music and Art (with scholarship), left school at 16 to study at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting (Stella Adler later said De Niro was one of her best students ever.)
First major film role: Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), Mean Streets (1973)
– The Godfather Part II (1974) Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – He even learned to speak Sicilian for the role and was the first actor to win an Academy Award by speaking a foreign language. With Marlon Brando they are the only two actors who won an Oscar for playing the same character.
– Raging Bull (1980) Academy Award for Best Actor – He put on a record-setting 60 pounds (about 30kg) for the role.
Some other important film roles and award nominations: Taxi Driver (1976) (nominated Best Actor), New York, New York (1977), The Deer Hunter (1978) (nominated Best Actor), King of Comedy (1983) (BAFTA nominated Best Actor), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Brazil (1985), The Untouchables (1987), Angel Heart (1987), Midnight Run (1988), Awakenings (1990) (nominated Best Actor), Goodfellas (1990) (BAFTA nominated Best Actor), Cape Fear (1991) (nominated Best Actor), Casino (1995), Heat (1995), Wag the Dog (1997), Jackie Brown (1998), Ronin (1998), Analyze This (1999), Meet the Parents (2000), The Score (2001), Meet the Fockers (2204)
Director he worked with most :Martin Scorsese
Directed movies: A Bronx Tale (1993), The Good Shepherd (2006)
Other awards for his career: AFI Life Achievement Award, Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award
Spouse(s): Diahnne Abbott (1976-1988) (divorced), Grace Hightower (1997 – present)
Children: six (including adopted daughter Drena)
His idols: "I mean, the actors that I admired were Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift. An actress named Barbara Harris. And Greta Garbo. They were great actors." /De Niro/
Favourite actress to work with: Meryl Streep