Robert De Niro Celebrates a Milestone Birthday

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Actor Robert De Niro posing for a portrait on November 29, 1973 in New York, New York.
Santi Visalli/Getty Images

Beloved New Yorker Robert De Niro turns 80 today! Well known for his method acting and fierce privacy, the actor got his start in theater after dropping out of high school to attend acting school. His first starring role came in the 1969 film The Wedding Party, with then-rising star director Brian De Palma, for which De Niro was paid only $50. After a few more roles, it was 1973’s Bang the Drum Slowly where he first became famous. His first collaboration with Martin Scorsese was also released in 1973: Mean Streets, which gave him De Niro his renowned “tough guy” reputation. Since then, the two went on to do 10 feature films together. With two Oscars under his belt as well as many other awards and nominations, the actor shows no signs of slowing down. According to IMDB, he has 8 projects in the works and because he was a co-founder of  Tribecca Studios, they have planned a 3-day celebration called “De Niro Con” in honor of this milestone birthday.

While we can’t throw this icon a 3-day celebration, we certainly can look back at his monumental career in photos.

The Early Years

GREETINGS, Robert De Niro, 1968

Everett Collection

In the 1968 Brian De Palma film, Greetings.
THE WEDDING PARTY, from left, William Finley, Charles Pfluger, Robert De Niro, 1969

Everett Collection

William Finley, Charles Pfluger, Robert De Niro in his first starring role in The Wedding Party (1969).
BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY, Robert De Niro, 1973

Everett Collection

De Niro as an ailing baseball player in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973). He would star in Mean Streets the same year.
THE GODFATHER: PART II, Robert De Niro, 1974

Everett Collection

A young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II ( 1974), which he won an Academy Award for.
Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro on the set of TAXI DRIVER, 1976

Everett Collection

Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro on the set of Taxi Driver (1976).
THE DEER HUNTER, Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Chuck Aspergen, John Savage, John Cazale, 1978,

Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Chuck Aspergen, John Savage and John Cazale in The Deer Hunter (1978).

The Rising Star

(Original Caption) 3/31/1981-Hollywood, CA: Actor Robert De Niro, closeup, with his Oscar for "best Male Performance" in the movie "Raging Bull."


Posing with an Oscar after his win for Best Male Performance in Raging Bull (1980).
BRAZIL, Robert De Niro, Jonathan Pryce, 1985.

Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.

The 1985 sci-fi dystopia thriller Brazil.
THE UNTOUCHABLES, Robert De Niro, 1987.

Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

As Chicago 1930s gangster Al Capone in The Untouchables (1987).
AWAKENINGS, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, 1990

Everett Collection

Penny Marshall directed the film Awakenings (1990), starring Robin Williams and a catatonic De Niro. Just before this film came the infamous mob flick, Goodfellas.
CAPE FEAR, Robert Mitchum, Robert De Niro, 1991,

Universal/Everett Collection

Another Scorsese film was a Cape Fear remake in 1991; here De Niro poses alongside the original 1961 bad guy, Robert Mitchum who also had a bit role in the 1991 version.
THIS BOY'S LIFE, Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert De Niro, 1993, in Boy Scout uniforms

Everett Collection

This Boys Life (1994) starred De Niro with a young Leonardo Di Caprio. Impressed by his talent, he was who made pal Martin Scorsese aware of the young star. Leo later starred in many Scorsese films.
CASINO, director Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro on set, 1995,

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Another Scorsese flick, Casino (1995), this time playing the role of a Las Vegas Casino owner and was loosely based on the mob years of Sin City in the 1970s.
NEW YORK - April 1994: American actors Joe Pesci, left, and Robert DeNiro, right, pose for a photo in April 1994 at a party in New York City.

Catherine McGann/Getty Images

Long time pal and fellow actor Joe Pesci out on the town, the two have starred in seven films with each other.
ANALYZE THIS, Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, 1999

Everett Collection

After a long string of hit movies in the 1980s-1990s, he wrapped up the decade with the comedy Analyze This (1999). Starring Billy Crystal who plays a therapist treating De Niro’s role as a mob boss from anxiety. It had a follow up sequel Analyze That (2002).

The Past 20 Years to Now

MEET THE PARENTS, Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, 2000

Everett Collection

The new century kicked off with the massive hit comedy, Meet the Parents (2000) with an all star cast that produced two more sequels, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010).
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, l-r: Bradley Cooper, Jacki Weaver, Robert DeNiro, 2012,

JoJo Whilden/Weinstein Company/courtesy Everett Collection

Although he had a slew of films throughout the 2000s, it wasn’t until Silver Linings Playbook (2012) with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence that he saw his next Oscar Nomination. Sadly he did not win.
THE IRISHMAN, center: Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa; right: Robert De Niro, 2019.

Netflix/Everett Collection

2019 brought him together again with director Martin Scorsese in The Irishman with Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa and pal Joe Pesci. All of them were nominated for Oscars with zero wins.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 07: (L-R) Robert De Niro, Mayor Eric Adams, Martin Scorsese and Jane Rosenthal attend the Tribeca Festival opening night reception at Tribeca Grill on June 07, 2023 in New York City.

Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Robert De Niro gifted a key to the city of NY on June 7, 2023, with Mayor Eric Adams, Martin Scorsese and Jane Rosenthal.

Phew! This has been really hard wrapping up this amazing acting icons career of the past 50 years into what you just read. Many amazing roles were not mentioned along with his stage career or other accolades. For now we will just say “Forget about it” and just leave this here.

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