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Robert De Niro turns 80

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Legendary actor and new dad Robert De Niro turns 80 years old on Thursday, August 17. 

Born in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in New York City in which he still lives, the man considered to be one of the greatest actors of his generation began appearing onscreen in smaller films in the late ’60s, but at 26 starred in a national TV spot promoting the 1970 American Motors Company’s Ambassador sedan. 

Three years later, De Niro starred in frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese‘s gritty drama Mean Streets, following that in 1974 with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather Part II.

De Niro teamed up with Scorsese again for 1976’s Taxi Driver, earning him a Best Actor nomination. 

He was nominated again for 1978’s The Deer Hunter, before snagging the Best Actor trophy in 1980 with his portrayal of volatile boxer Jake LaMotta in Scorsese’s Raging Bull. 

De Niro has also taken comedic turns: the buddy comedy Midnight Run in 1988; 1999’s hit Analyze This and its 2002 sequel; the Meet the Parents trilogy, and the recent About My Father.

In 1990 he was Academy nominated again for the 1990 drama Awakenings — the year he starred in Scorsese’s Oscar-winning crime epic Goodfellas. 

De Niro was also nominated for Scorsese’s 1991 Cape Fear remake and for 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook.

After the terror attacks on the U.S. in 2001, De Niro co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, now known as the Tribeca Festival, to bring economic revitalization to Lower Manhattan.

In 2017 De Niro earned an acting Emmy nomination for portraying scammer Bernie Madoff in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies, and another for playing special prosecutor Robert Mueller on Saturday Night Live.

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