Robert De Niro, thought of as one of the greatest American actors of all time, was born in New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, Dutch, English, French, and German. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop. He first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), but he gained his reputation as a volatile actor in Mean Streets (1973), which was his first film with director Martin Scorsese. In 1974 De Niro received an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and received Academy Award nominations for best actor in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978), and Cape Fear (1991). He won the best actor award in 1980 for Raging Bull (1980). De Niro heads his own production company, Tribeca Film Center, and made his directorial debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale (1993).
- The Godfather Part II (1974)
- Raging Bull (1980)
- Goodfellas (1990)
- After marrying African-American Diahnne Abbott he adopted her daughter Drena De Niro, Abbott's daughter from her previous marriage. Drena refuses to identify her biological father. He also has son Raphael De Niro with Abbott.
- Had a long-term relationship with African-American fashion model Toukie Smith, sister of the late fashion designer Willi Smith. They have twins sons together.
- He married his second wife Grace Hightower in 1997, and she gave birth to their son, Elliot De Niro on March 18, 1998. In 1999 the couple renewed marriage vows at their Ulster County farm in New York's Catskill Mountains, but later that year De Niro filed for divorce. Their fallout continued into 2001 as a potential custody battle over their son, Elliott, heated up. However, the divorce was never finalized and they managed to smooth over their troubles. Their second child was born in December 2011 via surrogate.