De Niro’s Cinematic Legacy: Celebrating his Greatest Roles

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Robert De Niro – A Cinematic Legacy

Robert De Niro is widely recognized as one of the greatest actors in cinematic history. From his early days shooting to superstardom, to his more established and respected roles, his work has redefined the art form and he remains one of the most celebrated actors of all time.

Here, we are taking a look back at Robert De Niro’s cinematic legacy and some of the most iconic roles that cemented his place in the annals of Hollywood history.

Early Years

De Niro began his acting career in 1967, scoring bit parts in a number of low-budget feature films. His breakthrough came when he gained a major role in the musical drama ‘Bang the Drum Slowly‘ (1973). His critically-acclaimed performance in this movie catapulted him to stardom and won him an Academy Award nomination.

The Godfather Trilogy

One of the first critically acclaimed roles of De Niro’s career came as young Vito Corleone in the Godfather trilogy, cementing his place at the very top of the acting tree. Playing opposite the legendary Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, De Niro gave an incredible performance that deservedly earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His role was widely praised, and the trilogy widely considered one of the greatest movie franchises of all time.

Taxi Driver

De Niro’s next major success was in the iconic movie Taxi Driver in 1976. The performance is still widely cited as one of the greatest of all time, and saw him named Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. His portrayal of Travis Bickle was an intense study in loneliness and despair, culminating in what was arguably one of the greatest monologues ever, with the iconic line ‘you talkin’ to me?’.

The Deer Hunter

The following year, the actor delivered another award-winning performance in the epic drama The Deer Hunter. His portrayal of a steelworker forced to go to Vietnam was a beautifully nuanced role, earning him a second Best Actor award at Cannes and his second Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Raging Bull

1980 saw De Niro in the biopic Raging Bull, where he took on the role of the boxer Jake LaMotta. His intense physical transformation for the role was widely praised, with the actor packing on a massive 60lbs for the part. Widely considered to be his best performance ever, De Niro was awarded an Academy Award for Best Actor for his masterful portrayal.

The 1990s

The 1990s saw De Niro straddling the line between box office success and critical recognition. He starred in huge hits such as ‘Goodfellas’ (1990), ‘Cape Fear’ (1991) and ‘Heat’ (1995) while also delivering customarily great performances in more low-key movies including ‘Awakenings’ (1990) and ‘Night and the City’ (1992).

More Recent Times

While his output has arguably been more varied and sometimes less acclaimed in more recent times, there is still a high standard to his work. He was praised for his roles in ‘The Good Shepherd’ (2006) and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (2012), while his performances in ‘Dirty Grandpa’ (2016) and ‘The Irishman’ (2019) showed that talent is still very much alive in this living legend.

Notable Achievements

De Niro’s iconic roles in some of the greatest movies of all time have garnered him recognition befitting his talent. Besides his two Academy Awards, his achievements include two BAFTA Awards, the AFI Life Achievement Award (1995), numerous Golden Globe Awards and being named the 15th greatest actor in the American Film Institute’s list of the 25 greatest male stars of all time.

Played Across Generations

Robert De Niro’s work has endured the test of time. In every generation, people are given a fresh opportunity to discover his greatest movies and appreciate his masterful performances. He is a living legend and one of the true icons of the entertainment world.

A List of De Niro’s Greatest Roles

• The Godfather Part II (1974)
• Taxi Driver (1976)
• The Deer Hunter (1978)
• Raging Bull (1980)
• Goodfellas (1990)
• Awakenings (1990)
• Cape Fear (1991)
• Heat (1995)
• The Good Shepherd (2006)
• Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
• The Irishman (2019)

Robert De Niro has truly cemented his place in cinematic history. His body of work is admired and beloved by generations of moviegoers and his place among the greatest actors of all time is assured. His iconic roles, award-winning performances and continued success in more recent times is nothing short of amazing. His cinematic legacy is sure to live on for many generations to come.

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