|Real Name: Robert De Niro Jr, Robert DeNiro|
|Place of Birth: New York, New York|
Biography and Filmography:
Probably the most famous actor of his time, Robert De Niro has perfected the art of extraordinary movie, film and television roles, with his trademark feel of nightmare horror. He perfected his acting style with Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, and graced many off-Broadway performances early in his profession.
His first big screen roles were in films directed and produced by Brian De Palma, his portrayals in "Greetings" (1968), "The Wedding Party" (1969) and "Hi, Mom!" (1970) all pointed to the rebelliousness and mockery which later defined his movie roles. He also played a drug addict hoodlum in "Bloody Mama" (1970), and the kind crook in "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" (1971).
He was brilliant as a dying, uneducated baseball player in "Bang the Drum Slowly" (1973), and then as the thoughtless and out of control Johnny Boy in Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" (1973). In "The Godfather, Part II" (1974), he portrayed a young Vito Corleone, formerly played by the legendary, Marlin Brando.
An equally outstanding role came in the form of his steel working Green Beret in Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" (1978) with Meryl Streep, a convincing lead role that held the movie together and earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
He then played the disturbed Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver" (1976) with Jodie Foster, and jazz saxophonist Jimmy Doyle in "New York, New York" (1977), followed by fighter Jake La Motta in "Raging Bull" (1980), which won him the Oscar for Best Actor. Other roles included the stand-up comedian Rupert Pupkin in "The King of Comedy" (1983), and mobster Jimmy Conway in "GoodFellas" (1990).
De Niro was perfect playing the character under attack by his inner demons in "Midnight Run" (1988), and the thoughtful but Vietnam veteran in "Jacknife" (1989). Next was "Brazil" (1985) and the role of monsignor Des Spellacy in "True Confessions" (1981). More blockbusters followed with David “Noodles” Aaronson in Sergio Leone’s "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984); and the Jesuit priest Rodrigo Mendoza in "The Mission" (1986). He then played particularly evil characters in "Angel Heart" and "The Untouchables" (1987) with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery, and "The Last Tycoon" with Jack Nicholson, and "Falling in Love" (1984) with Meryl Streep, and the comedy film "Stanley and Iris" (1990). He then appeared in "Awakenings" (1990) with Robin Williams, and won a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and then worked for Ron Howard in "Backdraft" (1991) with Jennifer Jason Leigh. His next project with Scorsese was "Cape Fear" (1991), earning yet another award nomination.
The comedy "Mad Dog and Glory" (1993) with Uma Thurman presented a different kind of role as the actor played a crime scene photographer at the Chicago Police Department who saves the life of a hoodlum (Bill Murray). His work in "This Boy's Life" (1993) was a more fatherly role as Dwight Hansen, the hated stepfather of his young teen age son, Toby Wolff (Leonardo DiCaprio), De Niro's character moved from a normal to tyrannical dictator, but it was the young Leonardo DiCaprio who got the most attention from critics.
De Niro again worked with Scorsese and "Goodfellas" co-star Joe Pesci for "Casino" (1995) with Sharon Stone, a brutal account of gangsters in 1960’s Las Vegas, where he played the role of a Chicago loan shark who becomes a successful casino owner in the desert city, only to see his kingdom fall apart from bloodshed and fraud. He then wrapped up 1995 with Al Pacino in Michael Mann's crime drama "Heat" with Val Kilmer, where he portrayed a concerned professional crook next to Pacino’s police detective. The actor returned to playing nut jobs with the lead role in Tony Scott's "The Fan" (1996), then produced and cast Diane Keaton's doctor in the comedy "Marvin's Room" with Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as playing a minister in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" with Brad Pitt and Kevin Bacon.
After joining forces with Sylvester Stallone in the police drama "Cop Land" (1997), he had great success that year with Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown". Next was the film "Wag the Dog", which he also produced. In "Rum Punch", he played Samuel L. Jackson's pot smoking mobster friend, Louis Gara; in the second, he played Conrad Brean, a opinionated public relations expert who hires a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to create a fake war in order to deflect public awareness from a president's sexual recklessness.
In 1998, he changed his persona again into the polished, charming supporter in "Great Expectations" with Gwyneth Paltrow, then became an action hero in John Frankenheimer's spy story, "Ronin". For his TriBeCa productions, and then turned to comedy as a New York mob boss having panic attacks in the runaway smash hit "Analyze This" (1999). He then played a homophobic stroke victim who becomes friends with a drag queen (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Joel Schumacher's drama "Flawless" (1999).
And in 2000, he played the role of Fearless Leader in the fantasy, "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" with Rene Russo. He then returned to police work as a cop who joins with a fire marshal (Edward Burns) in investigating a killing committed by high profile murderers in "15 Minutes" (2001).
The actor then appeared in "Men of Honor" and "Meet the Parents" ( 2000) with Ben Stiller, and Frank Oz's "The Score" (2001) with Edward Norton and Angela Basset, where he received a reported $20 million dollar paycheck for his work. He starred in three films in 2002, the show business comedy "Showtime" opposite Eddie Murphy and William Shatner, "City By the Sea" with Frances McDormand, and the sequel, "Analyze That” opposite Billy Crystal.
Next was the science fiction film "Godsend" (2004), where he played a stem cell research professional who clones the dead son of a incapacitated couple (Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) with bad results. His next role was a funny version of his wise guy roles with the voice of shark gang boss Don Lino in Steven Spielberg's animated "Shark Tale" (2004) working with an all-star cast of voices belonging to Will Smith, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black and Angelina Jolie, .
He again played his intimidating CIA father, Jack Byrnes, for the sequel “Meet the Fockers” (2004), in which he meets Ben Stiller’s parents (Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand). Despite poor reviews for the movie, it did well at the box office and marked the end of the franchise.
Next was the thriller "Hide and Seek" (2005), where he played the part of a widowed father whose daughter (Dakota Fanning) shows a disturbing closeness with her make-believe friend. He then directed his second film of that year, the spy adventure “The Good Shepherd” (2005), a story about the CIA as seen through the forty year career of one of its top agents. Next was the romantic adventure "Stardust" (2007) about a countryside town bordering on a magical land, followed by the the comedy "What Just Happened?" (2008) with Bruce Willis, about two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a hard time trying to get his new picture made.
The following year had the famous actor appearing in four films, including "Righteous Kill" (2008) about two veteran New York City detectives who work to identify the possible connection between a recent murder and a case they believe they solved years ago. Next was the adventure comedy "Everybody's Fine" (2009) with Kate Beckinsale and Drew Barrymore about a widower who realized his only connection to his family was through his wife and sets off on an impromptu trip ride to reunite with each of his grown children. He followed with another dramatic role in "Street of Dreams" (2009), the true story of Japanese-American gangster Montana Joe.
And finally that year he appeared in "Frankie Machine" (2009) about an ex mob hit man living in rural comfort who is lured back into his former profession by the scheming son of a Mafia Don.