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Robert De Niro is an American actor (b. August 17 1943) who often appears in Martin Scorsese films. Noted for his commitment to his roles, De Niro gained 50 pounds and learned how to box for his portrayal of Jake Lamotta in Raging Bull, ground his teeth for Cape Fear, and learned to play the saxophone for Scorsese's film New York, New York
Although not articulate, De Niro is generally considered a skilled observer of physical tics and details, and an intense perfectionist.
De Niro made his first film appearance in 1968 in Greetings ( directed by Brian De Palma ). After that he played some major and minor roles in not too popular films, until he gained popularity with his role in Bang the Drum Slowly. He began to work with Martin Scorsese in the same year when the two collaborated on Mean Streets. Other Scorsese films which De Niro has participated in are Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, and Cape Fear. In these films De Niro has primarily played charming, but emotionally unstable, characters who tend to have sociopathic tendencies.
Interestingly, De Niro and Marlon Brando are the only actors who have won an Academy Award for portraying the same person. De Niro won for playing young Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II, and Brando won (although he declined the award) for playing the elderly Don Vito in The Godfather.