​Robert De Niro is one of the best-known Italian-American actors in the world. While he has achieved international fame, there are still many facts that people do not know about this talented actor. Here are 12 interesting facts about Robert De Niro.


  1. Robert De Niro was born in Manhattan on August 17, 1943. This is the same day that Sean Penn was born.
  2. He comes from a creative family as his mother was a poet and painter while his father was a sculptor and abstract expressionist painter. His parents divorced when he was three and he moved to the Little Italy area of New York City with his mother.
  3. De Niro showed talent from an early age as he played the role of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz at the tender age of 10. He left school at just 16 to study acting at both Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio and the Stella Adler Conservatory.
  4. Although he was nominated for an Academy Award five times, he only won twice. These were for his roles in The Godfather: Part Two and Raging Bull. For his role in the latter, he gained 60 pounds.
  5. Robert De Niro had a good, long-term working relationship with Scorsese. He first worked with him in Mean Streets. He went on to play roles in seven more of Scorsese’s films between 1976 and 1995.
  6. For his role in The Godfather: Part Two, de Niro learnt to speak Sicilian.
  7. He paid a dentist to ruin his teeth for his role in Cape Fear and then paid for them repairing.
  8. In 1998, Robert de Niro was questioned by the French police regarding a French prostitution ring.
  9. De Niro is fond of saying the ‘F’ word in his films. In Raging Bull, the curse is spoken 114 times. Most of these were not in the script and were in improvised scenes. However, this is not the record as the ‘F’ word was spoken 296 times in Goodfellas.
  10. He is a father of three. He had a son, Raphael, with his first wife, Diane Abbott. The couple were married from 1976 until their divorce in 1988. Originally, Raphael followed in his father’s footsteps as an actor but now works in real estate. He went on to have twins with model Toukie Smith in 1995. They were conceived using IVF and carried by a surrogate mother.
  11. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were the first choice of the directors for the movie ‘Heat’. Although the film has a 170-minute running time, the two stars are only in each other’s presence for 10 minutes in the entire movie.
  12. In addition to acting, Robert De Niro has become a director. He made his directing debut with ‘A Bronx Tale’. He dedicated this movie to his father.

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