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Robert De Niro Regrets Not Knowing His Dad When He Was Alive & Understood Him Through Journals After It Was Too Late

Robert De Niro Regrets Not Knowing His Dad When He Was Alive & Understood Him Through Journals After It Was Too Late

Robert De Niro had a connection with his father but he never had an open conversation with him.

A father is special to his child, no matter how tainted their relationship might have been. Sometimes, their distanced relationship may be the result of some unfavorable circumstances. Hollywood actor, Robert De Niro could not connect with his father the way he wanted. He regretted it and wished he had done something about it before his father, Robert De Niro Sr died of cancer in 1993.

De Niro was just two-years-old when his parents parted ways following his father's announcement of being gay. Since then, little De Niro grew up under the guidance of his mother. However, his father did not disappear from his life completely. Though he was "absent in some way", the actor said his father was not a bad dad at all. "We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise. But we had a connection. I wasn't with him a lot, because my mother and he were separated and divorced. ... But my father wasn't a bad father, or absent. He was absent in some ways. He was very loving. He adored me ... as I do my kids," remembered the 76-year-old actor, according to CNN.



 

They did not share the deepest bond but the two had some memorable father-son moments. Speaking to Forbes, the Taxi Driver star stated, "He took me to movies at times, he was enough into film. I remember seeing movies with him. I was quite young, too. We saw a George Cukor film that was very famous, we also saw King Kong together—the old, original King Kong," according to Forbes.

However, De Niro never knew much about his father's sexuality as a child. "I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age," said the actor to CNN. Even after growing into an adult, the actor and his father never had open conversations.

"He wouldn't tell me thing about himself. We didn't talk about certain things. Sometimes he would expound about something, here and there, but he wasn't... he wasn't that kind of a person. We didn't have one discussion as father and son discussing art or anything like that. But probably a lot of fathers and sons don't do that. We wish that they would and those are the regrets," said the actor to British GQ, according to MSN



 

Meanwhile, it was only after his father's death that he learned more about what his father dealt with. According to the Guardian, his father left behind journals that documented his physical, emotional and mental struggles. De Niro who read his father's words was heartbroken. “It was sad for me to read. He had his demons … I was sorry,” said the actor, according to the Guardian. In his deeply emotional journals, his father talked about his son referring to him as "My little baby-doll". He proudly wrote his son was," getting all sorts of movie and stage offers". His words showed De Niro how much he was loved by his father. 

Robert De Niro | Source: Getty Images (Photo by Andrew Toth)

He later honored his father by making the documentary, Remembering The Artist: Robert De Niro Sr. He wanted his children to know his great loving father, their grandfather. "I wanted to do the documentary for my kids. And for my grandkids, so they would know who he was. I had kept his studio and have some Super 8 film. And so I thought I really have to do it before it's too late, while his contemporaries and so on were still alive," stated the Heat actor, according to MSN. 

References: 

https://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/28/showbiz/movies/robert-de-niro-gay-father/index.html
https://www.forbes.com/sites/nadjasayej/2019/10/14/robert-de-niro-on-his-fathers-legacy-i-like-to-respect-things-the-way-they-are/#3f13c6a75bf6
https://www.msn.com/en-au/entertainment/celebrity/robert-de-niro-regrets-relationship-with-his-dad/ar-BBWvIE4
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/sep/29/robert-de-niro-father-journals-mental-health-homosexuality