Robert de Niro’s Kids with First Wife Diahnne Abbott Are All Grown-up & Have Different Careers

Robert De Niro is easily one of the most successful actors of his generation, with a career that spans over five decades. But besides his on-screen prowess, he is also a family man. 

Born in the Manhattan borough of New York City in 1943, Robert De Niro was the only child of painters Robert De Niro Sr and Virginia Admiral. His parents divorced when he was only two, and he went on to live with his mother.

De Niro started showing an interest in acting from a young age and began attending acting classes while still in elementary school. He made his stage debut at ten, playing the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Left: Robert De Niro and girlfriend Diahnne Abbott circa 1977 in New York City. Right: Robert De Niro kisses his wife, Diahnne Abbott, on the set of the film “New York, New York” | Source: Getty Images Inset: Drena and Raphael De Niro on Raphael’s birthday | Source: Instagram/ Drena De Niro.

Performing became his way of beating shyness, and fascinated as he was with film, he dropped out of high school to pursue acting at 16.

He would go on to land minor roles in the 1965 films “Three Rooms in Manhattan,” and “Encounter,” then “Les Jeunes Loups” in 1968. That same year, he landed his first significant role came in “Greetings.”

However, his breakout role would be in the 1973 film “Bang the Drum Slowly,” in which he played the lead role as Bruce Pearson, a Major League Baseball player with Hodgkin disease.

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 | Photo: Getty Images

He continued taking part in several movies over the years and, in 1974, landed a pivotal role as young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather Part II,” which received eleven  Academy Awards nominations, of which he won six.  

In 1976, De Niro appeared in the psychological drama “Taxi Driver,” a role that was dubbed as a “landmark performance.” While on the set of this movie, De Niro met Diahnne Abbott, who had a supporting role in the film.

Diahnne Abbott was born in 1945 in New York City and is a singer and an actress. When she met De Niro on the set of “Taxi Driver,” they immediately hit it off. A few months later, they tied the knot.

In November that same year, they welcomed their son Raphael. De Niro also legally adopted Abbott’s daughter, Drena, from a previous relationship. 

Through her mother’s marriage to the Hollywood legend, Drena adopted De Niro as her surname, which she kept even after her parents went their separate ways in 1988. 

Growing up, Drena was highly influenced by her parents’ careers, and she spent most of her childhood running around De Niro’s film sets in New York. She also moved between Los Angeles, New York, and Italy due to De Niro’s active career.

The years she spent moving around were some of her happiest, and despite her parents’ success in the industry, she never did consider them celebrities.

Growing up in Manhattan, Drena was exposed to the nightlife earlier in life, and making light of her childhood, she says that being a teen in New York meant that you were in clubs way before you got your driver’s license. 

For Drena, however, being in clubs as a teen exposed her to discover a hidden passion for dance and music, and when she turned 17, she asked for turntables for her birthday. She would soon become an international DJ. 

Unfortunately, her stint as a DJ ended quite prematurely as the grueling lifestyle became too overbearing for her. And she took to acting, following in her parents’ footsteps. 

Drena was also actively involved in modeling during her teen years, making her debut in New York Fashion Week. Her modeling prowess saw her work with the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Paul Gaultier. 

When Emporio Armani, a Giorgio Armani line for young people, came out, Drena became the brand’s face and even incorporated her DJ’ing skills to coordinate the music for the promotional shows and events. 

But still, her heart was in acting, and soon after, she launched her career in film, making her debut in the movie “Grace of My Heart” in 1996. She has since gone on to appear in several other films, such as “Great Expectations.” 

Her other major films include “Hands of Stone,” “Cindy in Joy,” ” A Star is Born,” and the mini-series ” When They See Us.” But besides being an actress, she also does production and has her own production company “Daredevil Films and Television.”

Away from her successful life as a DJ, model, actress, and producer, Drena holds another title, one that she is forever proud of. She is a mother to a son, Leo. 

Enviably, Drena and her father are as close as father and daughter can be. De Niro bought Drena a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2.85 million dollar penthouse apartment overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan to show how much he cares for her.

Raphael De Niro is Abbott’s and De Niro’s only biological child. Born in 1976, he began a career in acting quite early. He appeared in movies alongside his legendary actor dad, such as “Raging Bull” and “Awakenings.”

However, his career in acting went only as far as his childhood did, and once he hit adulthood, his career drastically changed. He became a real estate broker and the founder of De Niro Team, a high-ranking sales team in both New York and the U.S. 

In his career, Raphael has worked with big names in the industry, such as Kelly Rippa and Jon Bon Jovi, in their real estate pursuits. His first six years in real estate saw him become of the top ten sellers each year at the Douglas Elliman. 

De Niro hit the headlines in 2015 for holding New York City’s most expensive listing at the time – several townhouses listed for 120 million dollars. Raphael is also a father to his three kids through his marriage to Claudine DeMatos. 

Apart from his kids with Abbott, De Niro is also a father to twins Julian and Aaron through his marriage to Toukie Smith. The twins are very private about their lives, and not much is known about them. 

Elliott is De Niro’s fourth child, shared with his second wife, Grace Hightower, in 1997. In 2011, the couple expanded on their family and had their second baby, Hellen, via surrogate. 

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