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Robert de Niro Got Candid About How Raising His 6 Biracial Kids Influenced His View of the World: “It’s Scary”

Given the constant media attention, one of Hollywood’s most famous actors might have a lot on his plate. But Robert De Niro has always been good at keeping his personal and professional lives separate. However, he couldn’t hide how notable his romances had been in making him the father of 6 biracial children.

Being a great actor is challenging, but being a good father is another story. And today, we at Bright Side will show you how Robert De Niro achieved success in all facets of his life, including parenting.

A roundup of successful movies but a secret private life

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Robert De Niro’s life is littered with successful films and awards, and he is widely regarded as one of the world’s most illustrious and lauded actors. Throughout his prestigious acting career, De Niro has partnered with acclaimed directors, such as Bernardo Bertolucci (1900), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather Part II), Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown), and Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in America).

But above all, we recall his best performances in Martin Scorsese films. Indeed, the 79-year-old’s most well-known collaborations were with him in Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Irishman, and many others.

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He is the best actor of his generation, but he avoids talking about his personal affairs in public. In order to keep this aspect of his life private, De Niro has avoided publicly addressing his relationships with women and the children he has fathered from them.

The few details about his personal sphere that we do know come from statements he has made over the years and a handful of paparazzi photos. However, De Niro has always succeeded in keeping family-related scandals and events contained within the confines of his home.

The most important women of his life


In 1976, De Niro married Diahnne Abbott. They met on the set of Taxi Driver, one of his major films, in which she also acted. At the time, Abbott already had a daughter named Drena, whom De Niro adopted and gave his last name to. Not long after they wed, they welcomed a second child, Raphael De Niro.

Abbott and De Niro’s marriage ended when De Niro began dating model Toukie Smith in 1988. Given her unfortunate past, the woman found solace and inspiration in the actor. The pair later welcomed their twin sons, Aaron Kendrick and Julian Henry, in 1995 via surrogate.

The couple has never been open about their relationship and always maintained a low-key profile. Despite never getting married, they lived together for a few years before breaking up a year after the birth of their twins.

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De Niro’s second and last marriage was to Grace Hightower, with whom he tied the knot in 1997. The couple’s relationship has been rocky, facing many difficulties. After their initial divorce following the birth of their first son, Elliot, in 1998, they managed to stay together for over 20 years, renewing their vows in 2004.

Hightower and De Niro welcomed their second child, Helen Grace, through surrogacy in 2011. Helen’s parents, however, divorced formally after welcoming her into the De Niro family. Hightower and De Niro divorced in 2018, but because of lingering legal issues, their divorce is still pending.

A large, mixed-race family

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We know little about his children or their lives, but we do know that Raphael and Drena have chosen to follow in their father’s footsteps and become actors. The Raging Bull was one of the first movies in which Raphael co-starred with his father. He did start out as an actor, though, before deciding to become a real estate broker.

Drena, on the other hand, is both an actress and a model with a much more distinguished acting background. She began her career as a model before discovering her talent for acting. Drena developed a strong filmography that includes parts in the Oscar-nominated movie, A Star Is Born, and Joy, which also starred her father and Jennifer Lawrence.

De Niro has rarely revealed information about his other children, who have always remained out of the spotlight. We’re talking about Julian and Aaron, the twins, and Elliot and Helen, the youngest. However, because Elliot is on the autism spectrum, the actor has spoken out about him before.

Hightower and De Niro were determined to provide their son with a place where he could be appreciated and be himself, and tennis proved to be that place. “It has helped him socially to be more confident when he sees that he’s actually good at this,” De Niro explained while speaking about his son’s involvement in tennis. “He’s going to feel better about himself, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Raising 6 biracial kids can be scary at times.

The actor has confessed that “it’s scary” to bring up his biracial children in a society where prejudices still exist. Thus, the award-winning celebrity has released an interview where he addressed this concern of his, saying, “My children are all half black and I don’t take certain things for granted.”

The celebrity, however, has discovered ways to deal with it and embrace everything while still giving his kids the best possible attention. Additionally, he has been very open about how he feels about them following in his footsteps in acting. “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.’”

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Robert De Niro’s journey to fatherhood might not have been straightforward, especially given that he raised kids with different mothers. The actor loves his children and tries to see them as often as he can to be there in every occurrence of their life.

“I love my children, just being with them, but it’s not easy!” De Niro claimed, thereby acknowledging that no matter who you are or how many accomplishments you have had in your life, you are just a man who needs to devote his full attention and affection to his children.

Do you concur with the actor’s viewpoint? Share your experiences while raising your children in the comments below!

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