The Screen Actors Guild honored Robert De Niro at their 26th annual awards ceremony with the 2019 SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, commending him for his career accomplishments in the film industry as well as his humanitarian efforts.
In addition to being an acclaimed actor and filmmaker, recognized most recently for his work in Netflix’s The Irishman, De Niro is also a father of 6 children. His kids’ are named Drena, Raphael, twins Aaron Kendrick and Julian Henry, Elliot, and Helen Grace. At 48 years old, Drena is the oldest of his children; however, she is not his biological daughter. He adopted her when she was a child.
Here’s what you need to know about Drena De Niro:
1. Drena’s Mother Is Diahnne Abbott, Robert De Niro’s First Wife
Robert De Niro was married to his first wife Diahnne Abbott in 1976; the two were together for 12 years before divorcing in 1988. Diahnne and Robert co-starred in Taxi Driver in 1976, and worked together again in the film King of Comedy, directed by Martin Scorsese in 1983.
In 1976, they had their first and only son together, Raphael De Niro. While they were married, De Niro also legally adopted Diahnne Abbott’s daughter from a previous relationship, Drena (who was born in 1971). While Robert is not Drena’s biological father, that doesn’t seem to have any impact on their closeness. Drena has posted many photos with her dad on her Instagram, and her famous father appears to play an active role in her life to this day.
2. Drena Is an Actress & Filmmaker
Like her famous father, Drena has established herself as an actress and filmmaker. According to her IMDb profile, she has a number of film and television acting credits, including roles in projects such as Mozart in the Jungle, Boardwalk Empire, and When They See Us. Her latest project, Love & Orgasms, is scheduled to come out in 2020.
Drena has appeared in several projects that Robert De Niro held starring roles in. She played “Hotel Manager” in The Intern and “Ahern Waitress” in New Year’s Eve.
Her website bio details some of her accomplishments in filmmaking. It highlights her 2001 short film documentary “Girls and Dolls,” which wrote, directed and produced. According to her bio, “the 24 minute film was about a young woman’s journey growing up in inner city poverty and chaos, and finding solace, creativity, her sexuality and ultimately a successful career in her unique and outrageous doll collection. It won her an award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival for Best Directorial Debut in Documentary.”
3. Drena Is the Mother of Her Teenage Son Leo
In 2005, Drena became a mother for the first time to her son, Leandro De Niro Rodriguez. Leandro, who she affectionately refers to as “Leo Rock” on social media, is Robert De Niro’s oldest grandchild.
Drena proudly shares photos with her teenage son on Instagram. When Leo turned 16 on August 11, 2019, she shared a series of throwback photos of Leo with the caption “Happy 16 Years Of Running Circles Around The Sun To The Love Of My Life.”
According to IMDb, Leo has been following in his mother and grandparents’ footsteps and has acquired a few professional acting credits of his own. In 2018, he played Leo Stone in A Star Is Born, in a scene alongside his mother (who played Paulette Stone).
4. Drena Began Her Career as a DJ, Model & Fashion Consultant
Before she started acting and filmmaking, Drena established herself in the fashion industry as a model and a consultant. One of her highest-profile clients was Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, for which she not only modeled but also served as Music Design Consultant. Her consultant position for Armani makes sense considering she also has a background as a DJ.
In addition to her professional successes, she also served as one of the founding Orphan Sponsorship Coordinators for the not for profit organization Kageno. Kageno works to help impoverished communities succeed by implementing self-sustaining programs within them.
5. Robert De Niro Bought Drena a $2.85 Million Manhattan Penthouse Apartment
If their time spent together isn’t evidence enough of Drena and Robert De Niro’s close father-daughter relationship, his financial support of her shows how much he cares for his daughter and grandson’s happiness and lifestyle. According to the New York Daily News, in 2014 De Niro purchased a penthouse apartment for Drena and her son Leandro to live in New York City.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the West Village sold to De Niro for $2.85 million. Its views overlook Manhattan and the Hudson River.