De Niro, Robert (də nĭrˈō) [key], 1943–, American film actor, b. New York City. After studying for the stage, he acted in films directed by Brian De Palma. In 1973 he made his first major movies, Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets. In these and other motion pictures he has shown an impressive dramatic range and expressiveness. His other films include The Godfather Part II (1974; Academy Award), Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1979), Raging Bull (1980; Academy Award), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Casino (1995), Wag the Dog (1997), and The Good Shepherd (2006), a finely crafted espionage drama that De Niro also directed.
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