Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973. In 1974, he played the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, a role that won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
De Niro's parents, who had met at the painting classes of Hans Hofmann in Provincetown (Cape Cod), Massachusetts, divorced when he was three years old. De Niro was raised by his mother in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan, and in Greenwich Village. His father lived within walking distance and Robert spent much time with him as he was growing up. De Niro attended PS 41, a public elementary school in Manhattan, through the sixth grade, and then went to the private Elisabeth Irwin High School, the upper school of the Little Red School House, for the seventh and eighth grades. He was accepted at the High School of Music and Art for the ninth grade, but only attended for a short time, transferring instead to a public junior high school. He began high school at the private McBurney School, attended the private Rhodes Preparatory School, but never graduated. Nicknamed "Bobby Milk" for his pallor, the youthful De Niro hung out with a group of street kids in Little Italy, some of whom have remained lifelong friends of his. But the direction of his future had already been determined by his stage debut at age ten, playing the Cowardly Lion in his school's production of The Wizard of Oz. Along with finding relief from shyness through performing, De Niro was also entranced by the movies, and he dropped out of high school at age sixteen to pursue acting. De Niro studied acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory, as well as Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio.
Birthday: August 17, 1943
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