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Celebrity birthdays: Robert De Niro turns 71

17 August 2014
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Happy birthday Robert De Niro! As the American actor turns 71, HELLO! Online takes a look at what the stars have in store for Robert and you...

This is what Robert, who is a Leo, can expect today: 

The world, as pessimists love to remind us all, is full of things that 'just aren't fair'. So, does that mean that some people get all the happiness while others get all the misery? Not really. Not quite. More or less, give or take, we all experience similar amounts of both. Sometimes, there may be big waves of positive or negative experience but we never stay stuck with just one or another. What really makes a difference is not so much what life is giving to you but how you are taking it. Be graceful and grateful in your emotional life now.

Read your horoscope here

robert© Photo: Getty Images

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro was born on 17 August, 1943 in New York City, to Robert De Niro Sr, an abstract expressionist artist, and Virginia Admiral, a painter. An actor from age ten, Robert appeared as the Cowardly Lion in a local production of The Wizard Of Oz, and then, after dropping out of high school, went on to study with renowned figures in the world of theatre.

The father-of-six flourished under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg - one of the greatest forces in method acting - and then at the famed Stella Adler Studio Of Acting. He paid his dues off Broadway but soon established himself as a master of disguise, utterly inhabiting his roles in a string of acclaimed films.

After several small movie roles, the Manhattan native's career took off with 1973's Bang The Drum Slowly - for which he picked up a New York Film Critics Circle Award - and Mean Streets, his first film with celebrated director Martin Scorsese.

He went on to find Academy Award glory in 1975, picking up a Best Actor In A Supporting Role trophy for the sequel to The Godfather. Oscar nominations followed in 1977 for Taxi Driver and again in 1979 for The Deer Hunter. He took home the Best Actor gong for 1980's Raging Bull - for which he gained 60lbs - and a decade later found himself nominated yet again for the Robin Williams weepy Awakenings and 1992's Cape Fear.

Often intimidating on screen, in real life Robert is prone to leaving long pauses while apparently editing his speech, a habit believed to stem from his distaste for interviews. "I believe the work should speak for itself," says the notoriously guarded actor. "Let me do what I do, and you can judge me based on my work rather than me explaining my work."

In 1996 he and former girlfriend Toukie Smith had twin boys through artificial insemination. The couple had split years earlier but he had agreed to father her children. The following year he walked down the aisle with former model and flight attendant Grace Hightower. The relationship was not without its difficulties, as the pair split and reunited on several occasions. The couple are still together today and have two children together, Elliot, 13, and two-year-old Helen Grace.

The Academy Award-winning actor also has daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, with former wife Diahnne Abbott.

Despite being known as a private person, Robert opened up this year about his late gay father in a documentary to showcase his dad's artwork and to preserve his legacy.

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