Where They STARted: Robert De Niro

New York
United States

Known for his cool-guy demeanor and thick New York accent, Robert De Niro will live on as one of the greatest actors of our time. Starring in films like Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), De Niro has established himself as a well-respected actor.

Having a passion for films from the late 20th century, I love learning more about the highly-esteemed actors of that time, such as Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep, etc. Learning about their humble beginnings makes watching the films they star in that much more exciting. Many of the places that characterize their upbringings – where they went to school, where they took acting lessons, etc.- are still standing in New York City, today. Thus, I created this series in order to get a glimpse into the lives of these stars, pre-fame.

For the first feature of my series, I scouted out locations a young Robert De Niro was once familiar with (not all pictures included are mine). Let’s get started!

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, Robert De Niro was born and raised in New York City. A son of two artists, De Niro grew up primarily in Greenwich Village. He attended P.S. 41, a public elementary school located on West 11th street.​

Greenwich Village School (116 W 11th St)

De Niro later dropped out of school at the age of 16 in order to pursue acting. Before taking on the major roles I mentioned above, he trained at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg and the Stella Adler Conservatory, modernly known as the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Both of these studios are still open today and are well-known for their A-list alumni.​

Actors Studio (432 W 44th St)​

Stella Adler Studio of Acting (Stella Adler Studio of Acting)

De Niro is a personal favorite of mine, and I found joy in seeking the places that helped him become the well-known actor he is today.

Stay on the lookout for future features, where I’ll similarly scout the spots of other stars that made them who they are today.