Robert De Niro Talks About How It Is To Have Six Biracial Children

It is never easy to be a parent. It’s a 24/7 job, and when you have six kids it only gets more difficult. However, that didn’t stop Robert De Niro from being a great actor and an awesome dad. All of De Niro’s children are biracial, and he has opened up about how he raised them. Keep reading to find out more!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder | Tribeca Film Festival co-founder, Robert De Niro attends the Vanity Fair party before the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival at the New York State Supreme Court on April 20, 2010 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bryan Bedder | Tribeca Film Festival co-founder, Robert De Niro attends the Vanity Fair party before the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival at the New York State Supreme Court on April 20, 2010 in New York City.


ROBERT DE NIRO: THE FATHER OF SIX

Born on August 17, 1943, Robert De Niro made a name for himself in the cinematographic industry. Working as an actor, producer, and director, he is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and memorable actors in Hollywood. From playing Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather’ to his lead role in ‘Taxi Driver’, his talent is unmatched.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Kevin Winter | Actor Robert De Niro speaks onstage during Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on June 4, 2016 in Culver City, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Kevin Winter | Actor Robert De Niro speaks onstage during Spike TV's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards at Sony Pictures Studios on June 4, 2016 in Culver City, California.

Even though he won several awards (61 to be precise), there is a side of him that is not always revealed on the big screen. The now 77-year-old actor has spent most of his life raising his six children and recently opened about how he did it. So, what did he have to say about being a father?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Pascal Le Segretain | Actor Robert De Niro attends the 'Once Upon A Time' Premiere during 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival during at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2012 in Cannes, France.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Pascal Le Segretain | Actor Robert De Niro attends the 'Once Upon A Time' Premiere during 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival during at Palais des Festivals on May 18, 2012 in Cannes, France.


FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHO ARE THE MOTHERS OF THE CHILDREN?

Now, even though De Niro has six children, not all of them are his biologically, and not all of them share the same mother. In fact, it is quite a genealogical tree that this family has, so let’s break it down to make it easier to understand.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Chris Jackson | Actor Robert De Niro arrives at the Grand Opening of the new One&Only Cape Town resort on April 2, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Chris Jackson | Actor Robert De Niro arrives at the Grand Opening of the new One&Only Cape Town resort on April 2, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa.


DIAHNNE ABBOTT: DE NIRO’S FIRST WIFE

Back in 1976, De Niro married actress and singer Diahnne Abbott, and the couple remained together until 1988. Her career wasn’t as spectacular as her husband’s, but she did have some supporting roles throughout the 70s, including the ones where she shared the screen with Robert in ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘The King of Comedy’. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archive | Diahnne Abbott and Robert De Niro arrive at the 5th Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, Salute to Bette Davis on March 1, 1977, in Hollywood, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archive | Diahnne Abbott and Robert De Niro arrive at the 5th Annual AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, Salute to Bette Davis on March 1, 1977, in Hollywood, California.

Abbott had a daughter from a previous marriage, Drena, who De Niro adopted, loved, and raised as his own after the two officialized their relationship. The couple later had a son together, Raphael, and the four lived happily together until the parents divorced 12 years after the wedding.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff | Robert De Niro And Wife Diahnne Abbott In Paris 1982.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff | Robert De Niro And Wife Diahnne Abbott In Paris 1982.


TOUKIE SMITH: DE NIRO’S IN BETWEEN LOVER

For a period of eight years, between 1988 and 1996, De Niro dated model Toukie Smith. Even though the couple never got married, they were happy together and Toukie actually took part in one of De Niro’s most special moments in his life.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Robin Platzer | Robert De Niro and Toukie Smith circa 1990 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Robin Platzer | Robert De Niro and Toukie Smith circa 1990 in New York City.

During the time they were together, De Niro welcomed twin sons via in vitro fertilization and a surrogate mother. The twin brothers, Julian and Aaron, were born in 1995 and came to join the already big family. One year later, De Niro and Smith split and he met who would be his next wife.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Tighe / Donaldson Collection | Robert De Niro and his girlfriend Toukie Smith pose at a party in a restaurant in New York.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Michael Tighe / Donaldson Collection | Robert De Niro and his girlfriend Toukie Smith pose at a party in a restaurant in New York.


GRACE HIGHTOWER: DE NIRO’S SECOND WIFE

Almost one decade after his divorce, De Niro married Grace Hightower in 1997. The two met while she was working as a hostess at Mr. Chow restaurant and, according to an interview with Yahoo! News, she didn’t know who De Niro was when they first met - how is that even possible?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Cindy Ord | Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend Showtime's World Premiere of The Fourth Estate at Tribeca Film Festival Screening at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on April 28, 2018 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Cindy Ord | Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower attend Showtime's World Premiere of The Fourth Estate at Tribeca Film Festival Screening at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on April 28, 2018 in New York City.

Hightower tried her luck at acting and was involved in several different types of jobs, but her most important one was as a mother. In 1998 she had her first child with De Niro, Elliot, and she was also acting as a stepmother to his children from his previous marriage. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2018 after years of unhappiness.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Larry Busacca | Actor Robert De Niro (L) and Grace Hightower attend Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Larry Busacca | Actor Robert De Niro (L) and Grace Hightower attend Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.


WHO ARE ROBERT DE NIRO’S CHILDREN?

Most of Robert De Niro’s children are now adults, some of them are even parents themselves, however, he is grateful that all of them live nearby. So, who are the six De Niro children, and what are they up to now?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Theo Wargo | Robert De Niro speaks onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Theo Wargo | Robert De Niro speaks onstage during the 72nd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 10, 2018 in New York City.


DRENA DE NIRO

Drena was born on September 3, 1971, to her mother Diahnne Abbott, and was later adopted by the ‘Taxi Driver’ actor. She took her chances in different types of jobs, from modeling to even being a DJ, however, she has recently focused her career in acting and has been cast in several movies, the most recent being ‘A Star Is Born’.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ben Gabbe | Actress Drena De Niro attends YoungArts New York 2014 Kick Off Event at Henri Bendel 5th Avenue on April 1, 2014 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ben Gabbe | Actress Drena De Niro attends YoungArts New York 2014 Kick Off Event at Henri Bendel 5th Avenue on April 1, 2014 in New York City.

Being an adopted child herself, Drena has been acting as a spokesperson for the Kageno Orphan Sponsorship Program, which provides care for orphaned children. Drena has also become a mother back in 2004, and her son Leandro De Niro Rodriguez is now following his mother’s and grandfather’s steps into the cinematography industry.


RAPHAEL DE NIRO

Even though De Niro’s second son tried his way into acting as well, Raphael’s most successful business has been as a real estate broker. He has been working in this field for some time now and even worked with notable celebrities such as Jon Bon Jovi. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Larry Busacca | Raphael De Niro attends the Tribeca Film Institute Benefit Screening Of "Skyfall" at Ziegfeld Theater on November 5, 2012 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Larry Busacca | Raphael De Niro attends the Tribeca Film Institute Benefit Screening Of "Skyfall" at Ziegfeld Theater on November 5, 2012 in New York City.

Raphael married his ex-wife, Claudine De Matos, back in 2008 and the couple had three children together - the De Niro family keeps growing! Even though Raphael and Claudin separated back in 2015, the proceeding was only finalized in 2020. In March that same year, Raphael married Hannah Carnes, who is a fashion stylist.


JULIAN HENRY DE NIRO

One of De Niro's twins, Julian is now 25 years old, and unlike his older siblings hasn’t been in the limelight, living a quiet life instead. He also took his chance at acting, having played Billy in 2016’s ‘In Dubious Battle’, however, according to IMDB he wasn’t involved in any other acting since then. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mario Magnani  / Liaison Agency | Tookie Smith and her twin boys Aaron and Julian, sons of Robert DeNiro, NYC, New York, November 6, 1998.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mario Magnani / Liaison Agency | Tookie Smith and her twin boys Aaron and Julian, sons of Robert DeNiro, NYC, New York, November 6, 1998.


AARON KENDRICK DE NIRO

Aaron seems to be even more away from the spotlight than his twin brother. Even though there isn’t much information about his personal or professional life online, he seems to be very close to his father. Both Aaron and Julian were born from in vitro fertilization and a surrogate mother.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown | Executive producer/actor Robert De Niro of the film 'The Wizard of Lies' speaks onstage during the HBO portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2017 in Pasadena, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown | Executive producer/actor Robert De Niro of the film 'The Wizard of Lies' speaks onstage during the HBO portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 14, 2017 in Pasadena, California.


ELLIOT DE NIRO

Elliot was born on March 18, 1998, in New York, and his parents did a good job of keeping him away from the cameras and the public eye as much as possible. In 2016, Robert De Niro revealed that Elliot had been diagnosed with an illness as a young child.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Paul Laurie / Patrick McMullan | (L-R) Aaron De Niro, Juilan De Niro, Grace Hightower, Elliot De Niro and Dan Lufkin attend The Central Park Conservancy Opens the Peter Jay Sharp Children's Glade on Earth Day at The Peter Jay Sharp Children's Glade on April 22, 2007 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Paul Laurie / Patrick McMullan | (L-R) Aaron De Niro, Juilan De Niro, Grace Hightower, Elliot De Niro and Dan Lufkin attend The Central Park Conservancy Opens the Peter Jay Sharp Children's Glade on Earth Day at The Peter Jay Sharp Children's Glade on April 22, 2007 in New York City.

“[...] I have a child with [an illness], and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes be openly discussed and examined,” he said at the Tribeca Film Festival. Robert also told the Special Olympics that playing tennis helps Elliot, saying “He is more confident when he sees that he is actually good at this.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Monica Schipper | Robert De Niro attends the "It Takes A Lunatic" world premiere during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on May 03, 2019 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Monica Schipper | Robert De Niro attends the "It Takes A Lunatic" world premiere during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on May 03, 2019 in New York City.


HELEN GRACE DE NIRO

The youngest child has also been kept out of the public eye for most of her life. Helen’s parents have separated, however, they still co-parent her and it seems to be working well, even though there was a nasty custody battle a few years ago. We can just wait to see what she will do when she grows older.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic | Robert De Niro, daughter Helen Grace, Chilina Kennedy as "Carole King" and Grace Hightower De Niro pose backstage at the hit Carole King musical "Beautiful" on Broadway at The Stephen Sondheim Theater on September 2, 2015 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic | Robert De Niro, daughter Helen Grace, Chilina Kennedy as "Carole King" and Grace Hightower De Niro pose backstage at the hit Carole King musical "Beautiful" on Broadway at The Stephen Sondheim Theater on September 2, 2015 in New York City.


THE DE NIRO CHILDREN NOW HAVE CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN

Now, having six children is no easy task, but we are certain that his parenting intuition came back with his grandchildren, which are four so far! Even though De Niro keeps his family life private, he has shared some insight into what it is like to be a dad.

“There are great moments and moments of sadness,” he told People about raising his children. “Sometimes you’re the last person they want to deal with. It’s like when you walk your kids to school and they get older and they don’t want to hold your hand or kiss you goodbye.”


ROBERT DE NIRO OPENS UP ABOUT RAISING SIX BIRACIAL CHILDREN

Due to the recent issues taking over the world, the actor came forward sharing how he handled raising six children who are mixed. "My children are all [biracial] and I take certain things for granted," De Niro commented, referring to his own life in the limelight. 

Image Credits: Getty Images / Chelsea Guglielmino | Robert De Niro attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Chelsea Guglielmino | Robert De Niro attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.


WHAT DE NIRO THINKS SHOULD CHANGE

"Anybody who [acts against] another person for no reason shouldn't be doing that job," De Niro said, referring to the conversations countries across the world are having at the moment in regards to recent events. He has been vocal about his viewpoints, many of which are pretty inspiring. What do you think about his stance?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris | Robert De Niro attends the "Hands Of Stone" U.S. premiere after party at The Redbury New York on August 22, 2016 in New York City.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris | Robert De Niro attends the "Hands Of Stone" U.S. premiere after party at The Redbury New York on August 22, 2016 in New York City.


THE ADVICE HE GIVES HIS CHILDREN 

“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.”

Image Credits: Getty Images / Peter Kramer / NBC / NBC Newswire / NBCUniversal | Robert De Niro appears on NBC News' "Today" show.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Peter Kramer / NBC / NBC Newswire / NBCUniversal | Robert De Niro appears on NBC News' "Today" show.

The actor continued explaining that “It’s important for them to find their own lane." At the age of 77, Robert De Niro has successfully raised six children, and in fact, is still raising his youngest one. With years of experience and advice to share with them, what do you think is most important for a father to tell their children? Let us know in the comments below what tips you have for new parents out there, and make sure to share this story!

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