21 OCTOBER 2003
Two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The 60-year-old actor is said to be confident of beating the disease, however, as it was discovered early.
"Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery," said his publicist Stan Rosenfield. The legendary performer also intends to go ahead with his next feature, Hide And Seek, which is scheduled to begin shooting early next year.
No details have been released about the treatment he is receiving. "Robert is a private person and doesn't care to have his treatment out for public consumption," said Mr Rosenfield.
It's not the first time cancer has affected De Niro's life, as his father died of the disease at the age of 71. He has received messages of support from a number of his movie world peers, including Sidney Poitier, who beat prostate cancer nine years ago. "I wish him the best of luck. I understand that he caught it early, so his chances are excellent," said the 76-year-old. "It's never an easy fight."
In the course of his 40-year career in movies, Robert has become one of the most revered character actors of all time. He won Academy Awards for his performances as boxer Jake La Motta in Raging Bull and Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II. He has also been nominated for the films Cape Fear, Awakenings, The Deer Hunter and Taxi Driver.