Offscreen love. In addition to his prolific acting career, Robert De Niro has welcomed six children and adopted one more with several different partners over the years.
The Raging Bull star wed actress Diahnne Abbott in 1976 after meeting her on the set of his film Taxi Driver. That same year, the twosome welcomed son Raphael and De Niro adopted Abbott’s daughter from a previous relationship, Drena. Although the Oscar winner and Abbott split in 1988, he maintained a close bond with his adopted daughter.
During a June 2011 interview with Avenue, Drena fondly recalled spending several years in Italy while De Niro was filming The Godfather Part II. “They were very happy years in my life,” she told the outlet at the time. “There was a lot of traveling, and, for a young kid, it definitely implanted a comfort and a love of travel.”
After his split from Abbott, the Deer Hunter actor dated model Toukie Smith from 1988 to 1996. The duo share twin sons, Julian and Aaron, whom they welcomed via surrogate in 1995. De Niro and the 227 alum were tight-lipped about their relationship before and after their breakup. “Do you know how to spell private? P-R-I-V-A-T-E.’ And that’s with a capital P,” Smith told The New York Times in June 1992 of her reluctance to answer questions about her love life.
After he and Smith parted ways, the Bronx Tale director exchanged vows with actress Grace Hightower in 1997. They welcomed son Elliot in 1998 and daughter Helen in 2011. In November 2018, Us Weekly confirmed that the actors had split after more than 20 years of marriage.
“Grace and I have two beautiful children together,” De Niro said in a statement to Us later that month. “We are entering a period of transition in our relationship, which is a difficult but constructive process.”
He continued: “I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting.”
The exes previously called it quits in 1999 when the Silver Linings Playbook actor filed for divorce and sued Hightower for custody of their son. The former couple later reconciled and renewed their vows in 2004.
Hightower previously described a happy marriage as involving “a lot of give and take” during a 2013 interview with Katie Couric. She emphasized the importance of “standing your ground, noting that “then you keep the respect you started out with.”
The New York native, for his part, went on to quietly welcome another child in 2023. During a May interview with ET Canada, De Niro was asked a question about his “six kids.” The Cape Fear actor replied, “Seven, actually. I just had a baby.”
A rep for De Niro confirmed the news, although neither the actor nor his spokesperson identified the child’s mother.
Keep scrolling for a look at DeNiro’s dating history over the years: