De Niro: A Biography

Shawn Levy


De Niro: A Biography

De Niro: A Biography

  • Title: De Niro: A Biography
  • Author: Shawn Levy
  • ISBN: 9780307716781
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Hardcover



Everyone believes that Robert De Niro is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, actors of all time His performances, particularly in the first 20 years of his career, are unparalleled The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull all dazzled moviegoers a talent the likes of which we have rarely or never seen Yet so little is known about De NiEveryone believes that Robert De Niro is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, actors of all time His performances, particularly in the first 20 years of his career, are unparalleled The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull all dazzled moviegoers a talent the likes of which we have rarely or never seen Yet so little is known about De Niro he is an intensely private man, whose rare public appearances are often marked by inarticulateness and all around awkwardness It can be almost painful to watch at times, in such contrast to his on screen personae In this elegant and compelling biography, Shawn Levy writes of these many De Niros of the characters, and of the man, seeking to understand an evolution of an actor who once used roles to hide the nature of his real life, and who now turns down those parts, instead to play characters who possess little challenge to his overwhelming talent From De Niro s roots as the child of artists often called Bobby Milk for his pasty complexion to his marriages and life as a father, restauranteur, and philanthropist, and of course to his current movie career, Levy has written a biography that reads like a novel of a character whose inner turmoil takes him to heights of artistry Among the many who have been key players in his career are the likes of Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppola, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, and countless others who appear in the book.


Recent Comments "De Niro: A Biography"

Two interesting things I learned about De Niro were that while he plays a convincing Mafiosa, he would never be a “made man” (only ¼ Italian and culturally more Bohemian NYC than ethnic) and a lot of his films lost money… a lot of money… even award winning films.The first part, the description of De Niro’s childhood, pulls you in. He lives with his artist, poet, activist, typing and real estate entrepreneur mother and visits his father (a credible, but mostly starving artist) in his n [...]

De Niro: A Biography by Shawn Levy is an interesting book for someone who likes movies, who is interested about the different styles of acting, who wants to know how much work actors, directors, producers and other staff puts into making a movie, who likes to read about how movies where made in '60 and how they are made now.It was really good and informative book about Robert De Niro, about his childhood, about his parents, his contemporaries, his families and children. I really liked how in the [...]

I picked this up and could not put it down. Simply put it is an incredibly thorough and brilliantly realised exploration of the life of one of the greatest screen actors to ever grace the stage. If you are a student of film or acting or you just want to see inside the window of this mans life, grab this book and you wont be able to put it down. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Read by Mark Deakins 21:30hrsHAH look at all the De Niro bios available:John BaxterAndy DouganJohn ParkerAlan GatrellDouglas BrodePatrick AganGlenn KennyKnow what [rhetorical]I can't be bothered to invest my time here. I shall listen to Bananarama and save myself the best part of 22 hours.

De Niro: A Biography is at its best when it's going in depth into the remarkable lengths DeNiro went to create and get in touch with his characters. In the early years, as he's building up to Raging Bull, when he's passionate and building up a name for himself, that's when the book is interesting. Levy's mistake -- or, as it seems, his handicap -- is that he can't seem to get a firm grasp on what drove DeNiro, why did he have such a strong connection to these intense, ultra-masculine characters? [...]

I received a free copy of De Niro: A Life as part of Goodread's new-release giveaway program in exchange for my honest review. Shawn Levy has written what is, in my estimation, the world's longest curriculum vitae. In picking up De Niro: A Life, one is not reading a biography, or as the title would suggest, the story of a life. But rather, it is a carefully researched 551-page chronological recitation of De Niro's professional choices. To be fair, there is some family background given, and menti [...]

Actor Robert De Niro has never been very voluble when discussing himself, so it's nice to see a substantial biography of his life and work even if it wasn't sanctioned by the actor himself. As the author says in his acknowledgements, unauthorized doesn't have to mean salacious. He's done a lot of research and has tried to present an even-handed, unsensational, thoughtful, and respectfully critical account of the subject's life and work. He's talked to people who know De Niro personally and dippe [...]

I've been a fan of Robert De Niro's movies for years. He's played such a large range of characters, but it's the tough guy roles I've liked the most. But like many, I've enjoyed the films but didn't know much about De Niro himself, other than the interviews I've seen haven't been that great. Now, in Shawn Levy's over 500 page biography, De Niro: A Life, we can all learn more about the iconic actor.It's an unauthorized biography in that De Niro himself, along with others, refused to respond to re [...]

I've been reading more actor memoirs lately but haven't delved into any biographies before this. I respect De Niro as an actor, though I knew little about his personal life before this book. He declined Levy's requests for an interview, as he declines most interviews. This could have translated into some juicy "tell all" but it is nothing of the sort. Levy is fair and balanced in his approach. The book really centers on De Niro's acting: what roles he took, his meticulous preparations and approa [...]

First off, you can tell the author has a lot of passion about his subject because of the amount of detail that has been put into the book. That being said, it is that same amount of detail that almost made it so I couldn't finish. I said earlier that it was like reading a cross between the Bible and a textbook because names were being spouted at such a high rate and entirely too much information was given. At least for me I love Robert De Niro and I have gone out and rented many of the movies th [...]

Standard biography which covers details of De Niro's life and work is fine. I don't blame the author for this, who does the best he can given that De Niro is such an intensely private man it seems that details are hard to come by. Each movie role gets some space here (some more than others) as the book chronicles his work from masterpieces such as THE GODFATHER PART II, RAGING BULL and TAXI DRIVER to painful commercial box office hits like MEET THE PARENTS. The question of what happened to the D [...]

I stopped reading it because I just wasn't ready for 448 pages of Bobby. I'm sure it is a good read though.

A very well-written, well-researched book on the life and acting career of Robert De Niro, possibly the greatest actor in the last 50 years. In this book you'll read about everything. How he grew up, how he got his first acting role, and why he is not a very good interview. But this book shines in describing all his acting roles and movies in chronological order. From 1971 to 1981 he had one of the best runs an actor has ever had, making the films Bang the Drum Slowly, Mean Streets, Godfather Pa [...]

De Niro : A Life by Shawn Levy At an early stage in his career, Robert De Niro, Jr wondered why anyone would be interested in his life, specifically what he had for breakfast. That wonderment partially explains why he has never been particularly forthcoming through interviews or public appearances about his personal life. Though this book, by its title ,purports to be a biography of the man it is more accurate to say that it is an analysis of an actor and his methodology in his career. While it [...]

good read, good research, a bit too much detailed on unimportant facts

Very dry read !

Though an "unauthorized biography," "De Niro: A Life" is neither hack job nor puff piece. It's an impressive effort of former film critic Shawn Levy to make sense out of a major actor's career, covering almost 100 films, many modern day classics. Levy captures well the excitement that De Niro caused when he first gained major notice in the back to back films "Bang the Drum Slowly" and "Mean Streets" in 1973. Levy's careful dissection of Robert De Niro's craft is aided greatly by his access to ar [...]

I received De Niro: A Biography as part of a giveaway.One of the most prolific and talented actors of his generation, . This comprehensive biography takes you through his early life growing up in a broken home in New York City, his early acting lessons with Stella Adler, and the series of small breaks that led to his famous roles in The Godfather Part II, The Deer Hunter, and Raging Bull. In the final two decades of the 20th century, his films often were less successful (both financially and cr [...]

I asked for no history books please for Christmas, so my dad and stepmom got me this instead. And I'm glad they did, I really enjoyed it. I haven't read a long actor biography in a really long time, and De Niro's is interesting. At first I was thinking about how lucky he got, back in the day - he meets Scorcese at a party when they are both basically kids still, and he randomly gets cast in Brian De Palma's student film. But Levy goes into great detail about the work De Niro put into roles when [...]

This is a thoroughly researched, wide-ranging exploration of Robert De Niro's acting career, with relevant anecdotes from his personal life sprinkled in. Every one of his film roles, major and minor, is given at least a cursory discussion and, for those unfamiliar with De Niro's background and acting method, a window is opened on a life that has charted itself along with the development of modern cinema. I was unfamiliar with the background of many of his film and role choices, and the lengths t [...]

If you are reading this book looking to find some new insight into Robert DeNiro, or some tasty gossip about his personal life you will be sadly disappointed. If you want a complete and thorough bibliography of his filmography and professional life you will be thrilled. I was looking for something closer to the gossipy personal look at DeNiro, and therefore was somewhat bored by this documentation of his professional life. There are stories sprinkled throughout the encyclopedic documentation, ho [...]

This wonderful biography by Shawn Levy of Robert De Niro, actor, director, restaurant owner and philanthropist is absorbing and includes a full filmography. Things that weren't a surprise? The fact that he researched his characters and kept notebooks on all aspects of their lives. His reclusiveness was a given. I did not know that his father Robert De Niro Sr. was a famous NYC artist. Things that were a surprise? After 9/11 he organized his restaurants to go by barge down the river to cater all [...]

Well, this guy Shawn Levy does his homework, as far as movies go! He went in depth on every film Robert De Niro was in, from his first to his most recent, by published date. He seems to 'get' De Niro, understand his quirks and his elusiveness. His bio was respectful and more all about all the roles De Niro has played, how meticulously he prepared for each and painstaking details about every movie. I even had to skip some pages, because it just was a bit overwhelming. A lot of the films were viol [...]

I was excited to dive into this biography because Robert De Niro is one of my favorite actors, ever since I watched him in Goodfellas. Shawn Levy wrote a comprehensive and in-depth novel on such a talented actor of his generation. This is not a biography of gossip, or much insight on De Niro;s private life, but focuses around his filmography and professional life, which I think many who appreciate him, and his work, will enjoy thoroughly. I was intrigued by the detail, and intimacy of this novel [...]

I don't make it a habit to read celebrity biographies--in fact, I think this is the first time I picked one up. If you're interested in Italian-American cinema, this is a wonderful introduction to one of the finest actors and an interesting exploration of De Niro's roles in some of those classic films, such as Mean Streets. Levy faced a big challenge: how to write a biography of a subject who would not cooperate or grant an interview. For the most part, I think he overcame this challenge--primar [...]

I received this book from the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.It took me months to get through this book because I couldn't get into it. There was just too much information and it honestly bored me.I liked learning more about Robert De Niro and the books shows how dedicated he is to acting and how he really immerses himself in his roles, no matter how small the part is. It was neat to learn about some of his earlier roles and I plan to watch a few [...]

This is a copy of an ARC won from giveaway I'd like to thank both the author & the publisher & provide an honest opinion reviewIf you love the man, Robert DeNiro, you'll love this biography!!It's a very in depth , intense, & well written & researched biography from many sources about Robert DeNiroI can't imagine the author left any "stone uncovered " in his research!! It covers all aspects of his life & many things I'm sure most of us are even unaware of about Mr. DeNiro. I [...]

A truly inspirational story (life), of a truly inspirational hard working man. De Niro relentlessly worked for the spot he is in today and for the film industry as a whole. Shawn Levy does a simple year by year biography and with such a great life to write about it does the job for a great read. Book has inspired me to never give up on chasing your dreams no matter what and also shows through De Niro's eyes the value of family. Remarkable biography. Cheers Levy on a wonderful book. And cheers to [...]

I won this book from and was thrilled. It took me a long time to read because it is so full of information. The author certainly outdid himself when he wrote this. I didn't really get into DeNiro until Meet the Parents, after that, I rented many of his films. It was nice to read the stories behind the filming of the older films and how he was cast. He is definitely an actor that fully gets into his roles and becomes the person he is playing. After reading about his childhood, I can see why he c [...]

De Niro By Shawn Levy is full of informative info about Robert De Niro, from his childhood, his career as an actor, marriages, his life as a father, restaurateur, and businessman.Robert De Niro is the son of a famous abstract painter, Robert De Niro Sr.De Niro is an intensely private man. He dives deeply into his characters.I LOVED reading about De Niro, the only problem I had with this book is that it seemed drawn out a little to much. I found myself getting bored through the middle. There are [...]


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    Published :2018-08-27T09:26:44+00:00