Robert Mario DeNiro Jr. whose stage name is Robert De Niro, is a highly acclaimed, two-time Academy Award-winning American film actor, director, and producer. He is noted for his portrayal of conflicted, troubled characters, and for his enduring collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, and early work with director Brian De Palma. He is considered by many to be the greatest actor of his generation and one of the world’s greatest living actors.
In 1973, he gained popular attention with his role as a dying Major League baseball player in “Bang the Drum Slowly”. The same year he began his fruitful collaboration with Scorsese when he played his memorable role as the smalltime Mafia hood “Johnny Boy” in “Mean Streets”. This led to a very successful relationship between the pair in films such as “Taxi Driver”, “New York, New York”, “Raging Bull” (for which he won his second Academy Award), “The King of Comedy”, “Goodfellas”, “Cape Fear”, and “Casino”. In these films, De Niro has primarily played charming sociopaths. “Taxi Driver” is particularly important to De Niro’s career; his iconic performance as Travis Bickle shot him to stardom and forever linked De Niro’s name with Bickle’s famous “You talkin’ to me?” monologue, which De Niro himself improvised.
In 1974, De Niro took part in Francis Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II” and played young Don Vito Corleone. His performance earned him his first Academy Award of Best Supporting Actor. In 1978, De Niro played “Michael Vronsky” in the acclaimed Vietnam War film “The Deer Hunter”.
Other notable films include ” Analyze This”, “Meet the Parents”, “Meet the Fockers”,
“Falling in Love”, “The Mission”, “The Untouchables”, “Heat”, “Wag the Dog”, and “Ronin”. In 2006, De Niro directed and co-starred in “The Good Shepherd”.