Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943, and has since become one of Hollywood’s most well-known actors, having prominent roles in several Martin Scorsese films. However, his filmography extends far beyond mafia stories because his representation of funny characters is out of this world..
The actor dropped out of school at the age of 16 to pursue acting and went on to work in various Off-Off-Broadway productions. His debut feature picture was Brian De Palma’s «The Wedding Party,» and he continued to work in minor roles until 1973’s «Band the Drum Slowly.»
He was already well-known as a fantastic emerging actor by the time he scored his first job with famed filmmaker Martin Scorsese in «Mean Streets.» He was eventually cast as Vito Corleone in «The Godfather, Part II,» for which he won an Academy Award for best-supporting actor.
You may also recall him from «The Deer Hunter» and «Taxi Driver,» both of which he won an Academy Award for best actor. Although several of his films in the 1980s were not box office successes, De Niro was able to extend his acting wings and show the world that he had more to offer.
He appeared in many films by Martin Scorsese, including «The King of Comedy,» «Falling in Love,» «The Mission,» «The Untouchables,» «Midnight Run,» and many more. In 1990, the actor reunited with Scorsese for the incredible «GoodFellas.» Later in his career, he appeared in «Cape Fear» and «Cas-ino.»
On February 12, 1981, Robert de Niro appeared on Tf1’s evening news. | Photographer: Getty Images
Younger generations may remember De Niro for his comedic parts rather than his terrifying representations of criminals. But he also succeeds in the genre. «Analyze That,» «Meet the Parents,» «Meet the Fockers,» and even «New Year’s Eve» demonstrated his incredible talent in the same way as his more critically lauded movies did.
His Incredible New York Estate
After spending so many decades in Hollywood, it’s not surprise that Robert De Niro has a large number of homes all around the world. However, his villa in New York is the most amazing and serves as his principal residence. It’s in Gardiner, although he also had rented apartments in the West Village and Central Park West.
The Gardiner estate is a 2,222-square-foot home on 98 acres that he purchased for $1.5 million in 1997. It was built in the 18th century and has undergone various modifications since then. It now features six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, as well as a breathtaking view of the Hudson River.
The actor, though, conducted his own refurbishment after purchasing the property, including converting the barn into a 14,000-square-foot amusement complex. It has a boxing ring, a film studio, a game room, a swimming pool, a steam room, a sauna, and many more amenities.
Surprisingly, there are additional barns on the property that De Niro converted into a workshop and office. Meanwhile, there are two guest cottages, a tennis court, and other amenities. It is presently classified as a multi-building complex. There’s even a ski hill nearby.
His Dream House Has Become a Nightmare
Unfortunately, the actor had a massive fight with the town of Gardiner that spanned over three years due to the property taxes on his estate. De Niro declined to pay the $6 million assessment on the $1.5 million mansion. As a result, he went to court.
Robert De Niro’s estate in Gardiner, New York. | Source: youtube.com/The Richest
The actor also didn’t impress the 5,800 people of Gardiner, which include farmers, second-home owners, and other workers. He can sometimes be seen with his younger kids going for an ice cream cone at a local place.
However, most people don’t know De Niro is in town unless they hear the helicopter go up Wallkill River. Some residents have even called him “the ghost of Gardiner.” Additionally, it has also been said that he told his neighbors:
“Don’t bother me. I won’t bother you.”
The estate of Robert De Niro in Gardiner, New York. YouTube: youtube.com/TheRichest
The town did, however, bother De Niro about his property tax payment. The main issue is that the court battle cost more than the actor had to pay, so many Gardiner residents found it strange that he wouldn’t settle in the first place.
The court struggle was heated, and De Niro refused to back down. This made his neighbors think less of him than they did before. When the judge denied his trust, the actor went on to file an appeal. According to a local barber, most people were rooting for him until he refused to concede defeat.
Several assessments were done on the property during the litigation, with the town eventually landing a reasonable figure: $6 million. However, the trust was not pleased and continued with the appeal. With that assessment, the property tax would have been $170,000, which seems reasonable for such a big compound.
The community did not back down either, afraid that if the actor won, other wealthy property owners might follow suit and refuse to pay their taxes. Meanwhile, the neighbors were becoming increasingly irritated since De Niro frequently mentioned his feelings for Gardiner. Bill Hess, who grew up on the farm before the actor purchased it, explained:
«If he loves it so much, perhaps he should contribute to its upkeep.»
After three years in court, De Niro’s trust lost the lawsuit, and he was forced to pay the property tax bill as well as the hefty legal bills associated with the lengthy struggle. He also had to cover the town’s portion.
Diagram of Robert De Niro’s estate in Gardiner, New York. | Source: youtube.com/The Richest
Robert De Niro and His Children
Aside from being one of the most iconic actors of all time, Robert De Niro is a proud father to six children: Drena, Raphael, Aaron, Julian, Elliot, and Helen. In 1976, he married singer Diahnne Abbot and had his first son, Raphael.
However, Abbot had a daughter, Drena, from a previous relationship, and the actor adopted her before his separation from the singer in 1988. De Niro later dated model Toukie Smith, and although they never got married, they had twins, Julian and Aaron, using IVF and surrogacy.
Robert De Niro and son, Elliot, on Sliding Pond in Central Park, NYC. | Source: Getty Images
Sadly, they broke up shortly afterward. The actor married Grace Hightower in 1997 and had Elliot in 1998, followed by Helen in 2011. His second marriage lasted for 20 years, but the couple split in 2018. When asked about his kids, De Niro said:
“I love my children, just being with them. [But] It’s not easy. When you have the good moments [though], you forget about the ones that weren’t good.”
Despite how challenging fatherhood can be, Robert De Niro loves being a family man and is not afraid of discussing complex topics with his children. All his children are biracial, so they’ve had serious talks about civil rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite his busy career, he also makes as much time for them as possible. He has encouraged them to enter the business as long as they’re happy about it. He revealed his advice for them:
“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.’ […] It’s important for them to find their own lane.”
Drena is De Niro’s oldest daughter, born in 1971. Over the years, she has modeled, consulted in fashion, and DJ’ed. You might have also seen her in movies like “Joy,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Love & Orgasms.” She also gave birth to Leandro De Niro Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, Raphael De Niro was born in 1976, and he is a successful real estate broker in New York and has sold properties to celebrities such as Jon Bon Jovi. However, he also tried acting in films like “Awakenings” and “Raging Bull.”
He married Claudine De Matos and had three kids before divorcing. He later married Hannah Carnes. In 1995, De Niro had his twins, Julian and Aaron, and unlike their older siblings, they don’t like being seen. However, it seems that they might decide to model in the future.
In 1998, he had his son Elliot, another of his young kids who stays away from the limelight. The actor later revealed that Elliot is on the autism spectrum. He also loves tennis, so De Niro built a tennis court on his Gardiner property.
Actor Robert De Niro, daughter Helen Grace, «Carole King» Chilina Kennedy, and actress Grace Hightower De Niro pose backstage at the Carole King musical «Beautiful» on Broadway at The Stephen Sondheim Theater on September 2, 2015 in New York City | Source: Getty Images
Finally, the actor’s youngest child, Helen, was born in 2011, and she, like her younger siblings, likes to keep a low profile. Their parents divorced a few years ago, yet they co-parent effectively. De Niro is occasionally seen enjoying ice cream with his younger children and grandchildren.
Other Properties of Robert De Niro
Aside from the Gardiner estate, the actor owns a number of other properties. It has been said that he received property in Montauk from the late Robert De Niro Sr., a well-known New York artist. When he died in 1992, the estate passed to the actor.
This estate, on the other hand, is a bit of a mystery. The only publicly available information is that it was a 2,278-square-foot mansion on 1.24 acres with a seashore. It was estimated to be worth $8 million. Because the house was evidently beyond repair by 2017, the actor rebuilt a new one in 2017.
Meanwhile, the actor used to live in a magnificent apartment in Manhattan’s West Village. He first moved in in 2012 and fell in love with the 11,000-square-foot property’s five bedrooms and 4.5 baths. The actor only stayed for two years.
The structure has a long history dating back to the 1920s when it was a maraschino cherry factory. It also features a stunning view of the Hudson River and a 3,000-square-foot garage that can accommodate at least seven cars.
The penthouse was marketed for about $40 million in 2015. Unfortunately, the price was reduced to $25.5 million, along with other price reductions. It was eventually sold for $18 million.
De Niro also owned a condo on Central Park West, where he lived with his ex-wife Grace Hightower after their Brentmore apartment was destroyed by fire. They were also renting a penthouse in the West Village at the time, but they chose to stay on the Upper West Side.
This is one of New York’s most costly rental residences, and it’s actually two different condos. He was paying $125,000 per month in rent at the time, and the condos were valued at $95 million.
The actor also owned a West Village home, which he purchased in 1975. He sold it for $9.5 million in 2012. The estate was listed for sale in 2019 for $22.75 million, but the price was drastically reduced before it was finally sold.
Robert De Niro has owned and rented various properties over the years, but it’s evident that he likes to live in his homeland of New York. However, with a net worth of $500 million, he could live anywhere in the world.