When it comes to celebrity parenting and relationships, the only one who’s been around the block more than Steve Harvey is Robert De Niro. Given that the actor is 77-year-old and has been working in Hollywood for almost 60 years, the Joker actor has definitely seen a fair share of relationships for the earlier part of his career. Altogether, the actor has had two marriages and more than a few girlfriends, so he was bound to produce some progeny along the way eventually. But how many children does Robert De Niro have?
According to Hollywood Life, his first wife was actress Diahnne Abbott, who acted alongside him in the iconic film, Taxi. The pair married in 1976, and Diahnne’s child from a previous marriage, Drena, was adopted into the De Niro family. Diahnne also gave birth to De Niro’s biological son, Raphael, before their divorce in 1988.
Shortly after his first marriage, De Niro began dating model Toukie Smith that same year, and the two had twin sons, Aaron and Julian, through in vitro fertilization in 1995. However, the couple never wed and soon separated in 1996, only one year after the twins were born.
A year later, De Niro married his most recent wife, Grace Hightower, and the couple welcomed De Niro’s fourth child, Elliot De Niro, in 1998. Then in 1999, De Niro and Hightower separated, although they never went through with a divorce. It would be another six years before they would reunite and renew their vows in 2004.
After being back rogether for seven years, Hightower gave birth to Helen De Niro via in vitro fertilization in 2011. Unfortunately, De Niro and Hightower officially divorced in 2018, seven years after Helen was born, and now co-parent their children.
That’s six children altogether that Robert De Niro calls family. Though they’re not as famous as their legendary dad, a few in the De Niro clan have their own claim to fame.
Drena De Niro is both an actress and a model who has followed her famous stepfather into cinema. Over the years, Drena has built up an impressive resume of features, including a role in the 2018 Oscar-nominated A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. She also starred next to her stepfather in 2015’s Joy opposite Jennifer Lawrence. Although she has yet to land herself a lead role, Drena may be the next De Niro to carry on the family name in Hollywood after Robert.
At one point in time, Raphel De Niro could have also followed in his father’s footsteps. As a child, he also appeared with his father in films like Awakenings and Raging Bull. However, as he grew up, Raphel found that he had a knack for real estate and became a broker. He’s currently the founder of the De Niro Team, a real estate advisory team that’s worked with several celebrities, including John Bon Jovi and Kelly Ripa.
Born in 2011, Helen De Niro is only 10 years old. As of yet, there aren’t any talks of her being featured in any upcoming projects, but given who her family is, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her in films later down the road. Her age puts her right in line with several upcoming child actors working their way into being the next stars of their generation. And even though she hasn’t made any noise yet, Helen De Niro may end up being the next in line to carry the family torch after her big sister Drena in another ten years.
But no matter what they choose to do, Robert De Niro will always be proud of his children. In an interview with People Magazine, the actor expressed his thoughts on their decisions to follow in his footsteps. “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. 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.”
De Niro emphatically reiterated his love and support for his children when he actor told US Weekly in 2019. “I love my children, just being with them,” “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun, and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!” But, of course, it’s clear the man is only kidding about the killing part.
Still, with six children, De Niro has to be given some credit. He’s attained years of experience that many parents couldn’t imagine having. And at 77, still taking care of Helen, it’s clear that family is a big part of what keeps him going.