A director, actor and producer at the same time, Robert De Niro is known for his appearances in cult films of the 7th Art including The Godfather Part 2, Taxi Driver, Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and The Goodfellas. A look back at the career of a Hollywood icon.
Robert de Niro: more than 50 years of career
Italian-American actor, director and producer Robert Mario De Niro Jr. was born on August 17, 1943 in the district of Bronx in New York. He is the son of the homonymous painter Robert De Niro and Virginia Admiral. Robert De Niro studied at the famous Actor Studio under the direction of Lee Strasberg and began his career on the stage on Broadway before discovering the world of 7th Art. In 1968, he is directed by Brian de Palma in the film Greetings which marks his first role in the cinema. He became known to the general public in 1973 with The Last Game then Mean Streets with Martin Scorsese. The first films of a long series with the director who will reveal it to the general public.
Scorsese / De Niro: an iconic collaboration
In nine feature films, director Martin Scorsese and the actor have deeply marked the history of cinema. Their shock duo will give birth to many films which deal with different themes including that of the Mafia.
Among them we find Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Freedmen or Casino for the most famous. In 2018, the iconic duo returns with the Netflix production The Irishman and signs its tenth collaboration Killers of the Flower Moon whose shooting will take place and March 2021. In an interview with Deadline, Martin Scorsese said:
Our relationship is not to speak. What initially connected us was that we knew each other a bit from when we were 16, and then we lost touch with each other. And in 1970, 1971 we meet again. He was playing for Brian De Palma. I was planning on doing Mean Streets, and it suited the tone, the scent of the film perfectly. He knew how to behave, what hat to wear. He knew it all, sort of, and he did it with complete confidence.
Actor, director and producer
In 1994, Robert De Niro directed his first feature film with Once upon a time in the Bronx. A funny and moving film in which he applied all the advice of the director of Mean Streets namely to anchor the plot in a social context, that of Italian domination threatened in 1968 by African-American gangs. Moreover, some replicas remain still cult to date such as “Nothing is more tragic than wasted talent” or “Do you want to see a real hero? Look at the one who gets up every morning, goes to work and supports his family. This is heroism. “.
He tried the experiment again in 2007 with State reasons in which he is both a director and an actor alongside Matt Damon. In addition to his own films, the actor produces other feature films including Nerves raw in 1992.
Robert De Niro will rub shoulders with many headliners during his career: Leonardo DiCaprio in Secret injuries in 1994 or Al Pacino in The Godfather 2 in 1974 then in Heat in 1996. He then collaborated with Dustin Hoffman in Sleepers, before finding it in Men of Influence in 1998. In 1997, it was the director Tony Scott who offered him a role in the film Le Fan. The following year, Quentin Tarantino offers him to play in the crazy Jackie Brown alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Pam Grier.
In 2001, he shot many films including The Score in which he gives the reply to Marlon Brando and Edward Norton. After playing thugs and mafia, Robert De Niro will try his hand at comedy one of the most famous of which remains My stepfather and I with Ben Stiller in 2001. Finally, in 2019, De Niro confronts the clown prince of crime in Joker. He plays a television host who will find himself opposed to the famous psychopath played by Joaquin Phoenix.
Among his countless most famous awards and distinctions, Barack Obama awards him the Presidential Medal of Libertyé. In 2010, he also became the president of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival and then received the Cecil B. DeMille Awards for his entire career at the 68th Golden Globes ceremony. He was also awarded two Oscars: that of the best actor for Raging Bull and that of the best supporting role for The Godfather 2.
Considered as one of the greatest actors alive, his prestigious career continues to inspire millions of fans around the world. His intimidating screen presence is unquestionably his hallmark in both drama and comedy. His legendary implication for his roles has established him as a true icon of Hollywood 7th Art and continues to fascinate moviegoers through the generations.