Robert De Niro

2015 Gordon Parks Foundation Awards Dinner and Auction - Arrivals

De Niro in 2015, photo by Prphotos

Place of Birth: Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 17, 1943

Ethnicity: Italian (paternal grandfather), Irish, German, Dutch, small amounts of English, French Huguenot, Scottish, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

Robert De Niro is an American actor, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather Part II (1974), and the Academy Award for Best Actor for Raging Bull (1980). His many other films include Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, 1900, The Deer Hunter, The King of Comedy, Once Upon a Time in America, Brazil, The Mission (1986), Midnight Run, Goodfellas, Awakenings, Cape Fear (1991), Night and the City, Mad Dog and Glory, This Boy’s Life, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Casino, Heat (1995), Wag the Dog, Jackie Brown, Analyze This, and its sequel; Meet the Parents, and its sequels; Godsend (2004), Shark Tale, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, The Intern, Joker, The Irishman, The War with Grandpa, and Killers of the Flower Moon; and television’s The Wizard of Lies and Saturday Night Live. He directed the films A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd, both of which he also starred in. He co-founded film and television production company TriBeCa Productions, and later the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002. He is known as one of the greatest actors of all time.

Robert is the son of Virginia (Admiral), a painter and poet, and Robert De Niro, an abstract expressionist painter. His parents met in painting classes in Massachusetts. Robert was raised by his mother in Greenwich Village and Little Italy, Manhattan. Robert was secretly baptized Catholic by his paternal grandparents.

Robert has two children with his former partner, actress and model Toukie Smith; two children, actress Drena De Niro, whom Robert legally adopted, and actor and real estate broker Raphael De Niro, with his former wife, actress Diahnne Abbott; two children with his wife, actress Grace Hightower; and a daughter with his partner Tiffany Chen.

He has played an Italian-American character in several films, and is himself of one quarter Italian ancestry. His father was of half Italian and half Irish descent. His maternal grandfather was of Dutch, as well as English, French Huguenot, Irish, German, Scottish, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, ancestry, and his maternal grandmother was of German descent.

Robert has become an honorary Italian citizen. He has stated:

I probably identify more with my Italian side than with my other parts.

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Henry Martin De Niro (the son of Giovanni DiNiro/Di Niro and Angiolina/Angelina Mercurio). Henry was born in Ferrazzano, Province of Campobasso, Molise, Italy. Giovanni was the son of Carmine DiNiro/Di Niro and Francesca Notartomaso. Angiolina was the daughter of Luigi Mercurio and Rosanna/Rose Alaura.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was Helen M. O’Reilly (the daughter of Dennis Edward/Francis O’Reilly and Mary Burns). Helen was born in New York. Dennis and Mary were both born in New York, both of them to Irish immigrant parents. Dennis was the son of Edward O’Reilly and Margaret. Mary was the daughter of John Burns and Mary.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was Donald Admiral/Admiraal (the son of Nicholas Klaas Admiraal/Admiral and Virginia Moseby Holton). Donald was born in Illinois or Indiana. Nicholas was Dutch, born in Schoorl, North Holland, Netherlands, the son of Jacob Admiraal/Admiral and Neeltje/Nellie Bakker/Baker. Robert’s great-grandmother Virginia was born in Kentucky, the daughter of Nicholas Moseby/Mosby Holton and Lucy Ann Dupuy. She was from a family that had lived in the U.S. for many generations, and had English, French Huguenot, Irish, German, Dutch, Scottish, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish ancestry. Lucy’s sister, Eliza Ann Dupuy (also known as Annie Young), was a littérateur, novelist, and short story writer; she was known as “the first woman of Mississippi to earn her living as a writer.”

Robert’s maternal grandmother was Alice Caroline Groman (the daughter of Gustave “August” Groman and Gesina Marie Beckmann/Beckman). Alice was born in Iowa. Gustave and Gesina were born in Indiana, both of them to German parents. Gesina was the daughter of Harm Christoph Beckmann and Elizabeth Margaretha Fink.

De Niro with wife Grace Hightower, 2010, Vonora/

Sources: Genealogy of Robert De Niro –

Pictures of Robert’s parents –

Genealogy of Robert De Niro (focusing on his father’s side) –

Robert’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Video about the family of Robert’s paternal grandfather, Henry Martin De Niro –

Genealogy of Robert’s maternal grandfather, Donald Admiral/Admiraal (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Robert’s maternal grandfather, Donald Admiral/Admiraal, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Biography of Robert’s maternal great-great-great-aunt, Eliza Ann Dupuy (Annie Young) –

Robert’s maternal grandmother, Alice Caroline Groman, on the 1900 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

163 Responses

  1. muricansareallmutts says:


    Unlike you I feel ———– with my —-, the Berid race.
    It’s you ——- who is obsessed of —– who try ridiculously to pass off ——– as Euros and Nordic the blond&blue eyes ——– is typical of — ——— like –, muricans and so on.
    Desantis despite his S.I. surname isn’t real fully S.I. he’s atypical to be it he’s supermixed to other many races like every single Murican again you can’t respond properly and mistake race he looks indeed Slav from Baltic due to his FEATURES not due his colors I give you a new info that It shock you not all Slavs are light haired and eyed but only the ones from Baltic and some from Central Europe not the ones from Balkan who are dominant dark haired and eyed, light S.I have different face not like his own. He looks the “white standard” American too.
    Light hair and eyes are rare in the rest of S.I. too so saying me this make me laugh.
    Never had the desire to go to ——murika.

  2. JackB says:

    Identity is a very personal thing, whether it be ethnicity, gender, or whatever. DeNiro identifies more with his Italian ancestry than any other, yet he is more Irish than any other bloodline, and then secondly more German than Italian which is third.

    • freakazoid says:

      That is not entirely true. It is only because Italian roots are easier to trace and Irish records are notoriously difficult to research after a certain point.. As he said himself : “I’ve been trying for years to find relatives there (Ireland). For some reason, it’s not easy. Italy was easier.”

      • muricansareallmutts says:

        In Italy where I live few years ago media told he has Albanian root cause his Southern Italian ancestors had real Albanian roots cause centuries ago when Turkish invaded Albania many Albanians escaped to South Italy to find salvation, he looks it indeed.

        • andrew says:

          He was misquoted. He said:

          “You’ve got blonde Sicilians, you have Albanian-Italians” (as examples of diversity in Italy).

          • muricansareallmutts says:

            They’re extremely rare like on Spaniards and Portuguese.
            The huge majority of both of them are dark haired and dark eyed.

          • andrew says:

            I dont know about Spain/Portugal, but you get blue-eyed Sicilians quite easily. I go to this supermarket where the owner speaks with a thick Sicilian accent. He has blue eyes but he is bald lol.

          • muricansareallmutts says:

            It’s like reading the craps from NOT REALLY who said there are many light haired and light eyed Spaniards lol Sicilians like the rest of Southern Italians like me are dark haired and dark eyed cause we come from Northern Spaniards like me and Arabs that’s why light hair and light eyes are rare in all the South particularly the light hair the few ones who have it come from Longobards and others ancient or recent Euro ———- we come from dark people can’t teach it to me a native.
            You don’t live in Italy neither in Sicily/South Italy but you still wanna open up ya frcking butthole.
            The Sicilian you meet is in your mental trip lulz.

          • andrew says:

            Sì caro io vivo in Italia. I Sardi non sono nemmeno considerati Italiani da vari studiosi, prendine atto.


          • muricansareallmutts says:

            Come no hai ammesso di non essere né italiano né finlandese e de nuovo insisti sì sì ti prendo la testa e te la —– nel culo ti cago in testa prima coglione.

          • andrew says:


            I understand being ———- you are upset. According to Italian anthropological studies (Livi-Biasutti), Sardinia is the region with the less amount of blondism and blue eyes in Italy (alongside Calabria), such features are —– to you then. So no, S.Italians are not all the same. In fact , Sardinia is an island separated from mainland with 4 Moors on its regional flag.

            And when you see a blue-eyed Southern Italian (not a big deal tbh) you lose the plot and start claiming nonsense that he is Slav etc:

  3. jonasbttencourt says:

    he is just as NW and gemanic euro as he is Italian.

  4. andrew says:

    It should be mentioned somehow in his profile that De Niro himself has pronounced the word “Albanian” (among other things already listed) to describe his backround in a notorius interview at Sanremo Film Festival.


    *possibly Arbëreshë

  5. Jamesson says:

    He looked really Irish to me when the first scenes in Godfather 2 showed him. But then he “Italicized” himself by making his hair slick back and grew a mustache.

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