Academy Award winner Robert De Niro is the king of the big screen, portraying iconic characters in critically acclaimed blockbusters since the ‘60s. In his private life away from the spotlight, the Raging Bull actor is a father of six. He has stepped out with his kids, Drena, Raphael, Julian, Aaron, Elliot and Helen, for rare appearances since becoming a dad.
Robert’s parenthood journey began in 1976 when he married his first wife, Diahnne Abbott. The pair welcomed their eldest son, Raphael, that year. The film producer also adopted Drena, Diahnne’s child from a previous relationship. The couple split in 1988 and Robert went on to date Toukie Smith.
The New York City native became a dad again when he welcomed twin boys Julian and Aaron with the model via surrogacy in 1995. The pair split the following year. In 1997, Robert married his second wife, Grace Hightower. Their son, Elliot, arrived in 1998. They welcomed daughter Helen via surrogate in 2011. In November 2018, Robert announced that he and Grace split.
“Grace and I have two beautiful children together,” he said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time. “We are entering a period of transition in our relationship, which is a difficult but constructive process.”
While their relationship did not work out romantically, the Godfather actor made it clear that they planned to work on navigating their lives as coparents.
“I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting,” he said.
The Meet the Fockers star has played a doting dad in films many times. Though he keeps most of the details about his kids pretty private, he offered a rare glimpse into fatherhood at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2019.
“I love my children, just being with them,” he gushed to Us Weekly at the premiere of The Apollo. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!”
The following year, Robert shared that he encouraged his kids to pursue whatever career path interests them without feeling any pressure.
“For my kids, I tell them, ‘If you want to be an actor or you want to do this or that, that’s fine as long as you’re happy. Just don’t sell yourself short,’” the Hollywood icon told People in January 2020. “That’s the most I would say — ‘Push yourself a little more and reach for what you really think it is you want to do. Don’t be afraid.’ It’s important for them to find their own lane.”
Keep scrolling to see rare photos of Robert with his six kids.
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