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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Robert De Niro attends the 'Amsterdam' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)© Dia Dipasupil

Meet Robert De Niro’s seven children — everything you need to know about his sons and daughters

Raging Bull actor Robert De Niro is the father to seven children

Bryony Gooch
US Writer
June 14, 2024
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Robert De Niro may be a new father, having welcomed his seventh child Gia at 79, but he remains a steady presence in the life of his six other children. He is the father of Raphael, Drena, Julian, Aaron, Elliot, and Helen - as well as his baby girl with Tiffany Chen.

As he settles into the routine of being a new father again - nappy changing and getting up for feeds - he's described Gia as "The only one who loves me, no condition, no nothing, no criticisms," adding on The View: "I have people help me… [I'm] not doing all of it."

He described his favorite part of spending time with his kids as: "just being together, taking trips to warm places", adding:  "The fact that they’d all be together is everything to me."

Diahnne Abbott, daughter Dreena De Niro and son Raphael De Niro attend the premiere of Awakenings on December 17, 1990 at Loew's Fine Arts Theater in New York City© Getty
Diahnne with kids Drena and Raphael in 1990

Here's everything you need to know about Robert De Niro's seven children.

Drena

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Actor Robert De Niro and Drena De Niro arrive at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)© Gregg DeGuire
Robert and Drena, 2016

Robert adopted the daughter of his first wife, Diahnne, and she subsequently took on his surname. Like her father, Drena has gone into the film industry after growing up on film sets with her dad. 

In 2000, she wrote and directed her first film, Girls and Dolls - a documentary looking at a young stylist's obsession with her dolls, which one her the Best Directorial Debut award at the New York Independent FIlm/Video Festival. She has also appeared in films with her father, including Wag the Dog, City by the Sea, and The Intern.

robert de niro with daughter drena and grandson leandro© Instagram
Robert with his daughter Drena and grandson Leandro

In 2023, Drena mourned the loss of her son Leandro, from her relationship with Carlos Rodriguez. The 19-year-old passed away from an accidental overdose involving fentanyl.

She wrote of her son: "My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly," adding: "You have been my joy, my heart and all that was ever pure and real in my life. I wish I was with you right now."

Raphael

Drena De NIro and Raphael De Niro attend VANITY FAIR TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL Opening Night Dinner Hosted by ROBERT DE NIRO, GRAYDON CARTER and RONALD PERELMAN at The State Supreme Courthouse on April 20, 2010 in New York City© Getty
Drena and Raphael De Niro at the Tribeca Film Festival opening night in 2010

Diahnne and Robert ended up having son Raphael in 1976, who has managed to avoid the family business and spotlight in favor of a career in real estate. Growing up, he worked odd jobs in a Persian rug store, as a doorman, and even as a production assistant on his father's films. 

But he has found success as a real estate agent to the stars, counting the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Kelly Ripa, and Renée Zellweger among his clientele.

Julian and Aaron

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 04: Julian De Niro attends "The Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window" Gala performance celebration at Virgin Hotels New York City on May 4, 2023 in New York City.© John Nacion
Julian is also an actor

After his divorce from Diahnne, the Raging Bull star got into a relationship with model Toukie Smith with whom he had twins Julian and Aaron, born October 20, 1995. 

Julian has followed in his father's footsteps as an actor, playing a younger version of former president Barack Obama in historical drama series The First Lady. But as well as being an actor, Julian studied at New York University, with his in-depth Twitter analysis in "what people craved most in 2018" getting published in the Washington Post.

By contrast, very little is known about Robert's son Aaron, who has lived his life out of the limelight.

Elliot

NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 22: (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. (Photo by PAUL LAURIE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)© Patrick McMullan
Elliot with his brothers Aaron and Julian and mom Grace

During his marriage to Grace Hightower, Robert welcomed son Elliot on March 18, 1998. Elliot is autistic, which the actor revealed in March 2016 when he advocated for the controversial film Vaxxed, directed by discredited former doctor Andrew Wakefield, at Tribeca Film Festival.

"I think the movie is something that people should see. I, as a parent with a child who has autism, am concerned. I want to know the truth," Robert explained. "And I'm not anti-vaccine, I want safe vaccines."

Helen

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) 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.  (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)© Bruce Glikas
Robert with daughter Helen and ex-wife Grace

Grace and Robert welcomed Helen on December 23, 2011 via surrogate. Very little is known about the tweenager, as the now-separated couple aim to keep her out of the spotlight while she's young.

It's certainly not been easy for the actor as an older dad, as he explained: "There are great moments and moments of sadness ... 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."

Gia

robert de niro and daughter gia© Courtesy of Robert De Niro
robert de niro and daughter gia

Robert welcomed baby Gia in April 2023 with girlfriend Tiffany Chen. According to the actor, the 14-month-old is "pure joy". As she is half American and half Chinese, the Oscar winner and his partner aim to teach Gia both English and Chinese.

"I want to try to teach her Chinese and show her nursery rhymes in English and Chinese."

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