In New Doc, Robert De Niro Discusses his Gay Father
Robert De Niro revealed in an upcoming HBO documentary that his father was gay.
De Niro says that he knew his father, artist Robert De Niro Sr., was gay when he was a young man, after the actor’s parents split when he was just three.
"To me, he was always a great artist," De Niro, 70, told OUT magazine in its June/July issue. "Yeah, he probably was [conflicted about being gay], being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate. I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn’t want to talk about things in general, and you’re not interested when you’re a certain age."
He said it’s his duty to talk about his father’s life.
"I felt obligated. It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him," he added. "I was always planning on doing it, but never did. Then Jane Rosenthal, my partner at Tribeca [Enterprises], said, ’We should start doing that now.’ It was not intended to be on HBO. It was just something I wanted to do."
He went on to talk about the personal relationship he had with his father, saying they did not "play baseball together...but we had a connection."