The young De Niro grew up in Little Italy, New York City, and became a member of the Kenmare Street Gang. Because of his pallor, his friends nicknamed him Bobby Milk.
To prepare for his role in Raging Bull, he put on 27kg by bingeing on pasta first thing every morning.
De Niro is a father five times over. Drena is his adopted daughter by his first wife Diahnne Abbot. They also had son Raphael, born in 1978.
In 1995 De Niro and then girlfriend Toukie Smith had twin sons. Julian Henry and Aaron Kendrick were born through in-vitro fertilisation to a surrogate mother.
His second wife, ex-flight attendant Grace Hightower, bore him a son, Elliot on March 18, 1998.
De Niro grew up in the same neighbourhood as legendary director Martin Scorsese. They had met at local dances 14 years before they first worked together in 1973’s Mean Streets.
De Niro has been acting since he was a kid. At age 10, he played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard Of Oz.