Robert De Niro’s Six Biracial Children Have Changed How He Views The World


Robert De Niro’s iconic roles in “The Godfather” movie series as well as in the cult classic “Taxi Driver” continue to show up in pop culture references even today. The senior star’s inherent talent in acting has inspired generations of actors to step out of their comfort zones as they act and follow in his strong footsteps. Even though he has been out of the spotlight for a few years, De Niro is still a magnanimous personality in the entertainment industry.

Over the years, De Niro has made a strong name for himself all amidst the successes and failures of his various relationships. After all, long marriages are infrequent in Hollywood as fame is sometimes too harsh on the private lives of celebrities. Despite the challenges that came with each of the three failed marriages in De Niro’s life, he has made it a point to raise his six children as well as he can.

Today, the 77-year-old veteran actor’s children have not all followed in their father’s footsteps, instead choosing a more quiet life away from the spotlight. Most children have kept their lives notoriously private, so not much is known about most of them. However, De Niro has spoken to various outlets about his role as a parent as well as his children a few times.

In June of 2020, De Niro opened up about his experience raising biracial children on an episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” He shared some of his fears and called for things to change in America. Read on to learn more about Robert’s children and see that he is not just a phenomenal actor but also an outstanding dad.

While his hefty and commendable acting career is something that Robert is proud of, his role as a father is something he cherishes even more. Robert has been married twice in the past. His first marriage was to singer Diahnne Abbot, whom he was married to for 12 years from 1976 to 1988. During this time, Robert and Abbot had one son, Raphael De Niro, together, and Robert also adopted daughter Drena De Niro from Abbot’s previous relationship.

Mindfood reports that Rapahel worked as an actor for some time before pursuing a career in real estate. After Abbot, he was in a long-term relationship with model Toukie Smith from 1988 to 1996, during which time he had twin sons Aaron and Julian with Smith through a surrogate, according to PEOPLE.

His final marriage was to actress Grace Hightower, with whom he shared a somewhat volatile relationship. The couple married in 1997 and had a son, Eliot, who was born in 1998 before the couple split in 1999. The pair then engaged in a custody battle for a while according to PEOPLE but eventually smoothed things over and even had a vow renewal ceremony in 2004 before splitting permanently in 2018. The couple shares two children, Eliot, and daughter Helen, who was born in 2011 through surrogacy.

When it comes to interviews and speaking openly about any of his experiences, Robert is known for his notoriously tight lips. Over the years, he has said very little about his likes, dislikes and opinions, but through those times, he has opened up about his family as well.

Robert’s children are of varying ages and have different upbringings, which means that there are sometimes challenges. “I love my children, just being with them,” he told Us Weekly. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!” The actor also added, “Then, when you have the good moments, you forget about the ones that weren’t good.” Many parents can probably understand where he is coming from.

The actor also shared how he tries to be there for his children. Robert told MindFood in 2014, “I try to be honest with my kids and have them confide in me, if you will. I let them know that what they’re going through is not very different from what I went through growing up.”

While some things remain the same from when he was growing up, one difference that Robert has acknowledged is that all of his children are biracial and he is not. He spoke about the subject on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Robert shared:

“My children are all half black and I don’t have, even me, I take certain things for granted. When people say that they tell their kids, ‘Keep your hands (out) when you’re stopped by any cops, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make a sudden move, don’t put your hands below, don’t do this,’ you understand that. That’s scary. That has to change.”

Robert always tries to steer his kids in the right direction. Speaking to PEOPLE in January 2020, he said, “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.’”

From the way he speaks about his kids, it seems like De Niro is a pretty incredible dad. What do you think about his experience raising biracial children in America? Let us know and be sure to pass this along to all of the De Niro fans you know!

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