Robert De Niro is one of the most decorated actors in the world, with two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Golden Lion, among others. But while fans are familiar with his professional achievements, they may not know as much about his personal life.
From 1976 to 1988, De Niro was married to Diahnne Abbott. He married his second wife, Grace Hightower, in 1997.
Read on to learn more about Diahnne Abbott, Robert De Niro’s first wife.
1. She Is an Actress & Singer
Abbott, 74, is an actress and singer. She played the movie theater box office clerk in the 1976 film Taxi Driver, and also had a cameo in the film New York, New York. It is believed that De Niro and Abbott met on the set of Taxi Driver.
Abbott’s most recent credit was in the film James Abbott Is Gone, which was released in 2013.
According to Legit, Abbott was born in 1945 in New York City. Although little is known about her childhood or family, one of her relatives is Gregory Abbott, the famous musician, singer, and composer.
2. De Niro Adopted Her Daughter From a Previous Relationship
De Niro’s daughter, Drena, is adopted from a previous marriage. Drena, an actress, has appeared in a number of De Niro’s films, like Showtime, Wag the Dog, City by the Sea, and The Intern.
Drena started out her career working as a model before foraying into film and TV. Her first film credit came in 1996 in the movie Grace of My Heart. In 1998, she went on to play Marcy in Great Expectations.
Most recently, she played Paulette Stone in the 2018 film A Star Is Born.
3. They Had One Son Together
Together, De Niro and Abbott had one son, Raphael.
Asked by Zoomer if he is a different kind of father than his own father was, he shared, “That’s kind of personal… I try to keep us all together as a family. Have things to do together. Have everybody have awareness of the family thing, so they look after each other, especially after I’m not around anymore. It’s a fragmented family. But I try my best to keep everybody together.”
A former actor, Raphael works as a real estate broker today. He has had many celebrity clients, including Jon Bon Jovi, Renée Zellweger, and Travis Kalanick. In 2004, Raphael founded The De Niro Team.
4. They Divorced After 12 Years of Marriage
De Niro and Abbott divorced in 1988, after 12 years of marriage.
According to Legit, Abbott has 3 grandchildren from her son’s marriage, and a grandson from her daughter, Drena.
The outlet writes, “… little was heard about Diahnne Abbott after the divorce… Supposedly, she moved back to New York with her parents and began to live with them. Diahnne has ceased to appear frequently in public and official events after the divorce.”
5. De Niro Later Married Actress Grace Hightower
De Niro has been married twice. He married his second wife, actress Grace Hightower, in 1997. The two divorced in 1988.
With Hightower, De Niro has a son, Elliot, and a daughter, Helen Grace.
Hightower is a philanthropist and founded Grace Hightower & Coffees in 2013. She’s also a board member of the New York Women’s Foundation and the New York Fund for Public Schools.
As an actor, she appeared in the 2009 film Precious and the 2012 film The Paperboy.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, De Niro opened up about his family and marriage, he shared, “The only thing I would say is that if you get married, it’s easier probably not to have children if you’re going to split up – it makes life simpler.”