Actors Celebrity Spouses

The Untold Truth Of Robert De Niro’s Ex-Wife – Diahnne Abbott

Diahnne Abbott

Diahnne Abbott is a former American actress, who is also famous for being the first wife of Robert De Niro, a Hollywood star, who is well-known worldwide.

Early life and family

Diahnne Eugenia Abbott was born on 1 January 1945, in New York City USA, so holds American nationality, and her zodiac sign is Capricorn. Little is known about her family, yet she once shared that her father was from Antigua, and Diahnne’s cousin is Gregory Joel Abbott, a famous singer, composer, musician and producer. Diahnne spent most of her childhood in New York; since her early years she’s done a lot of sports, enjoying football and volleyball; however, she always knew she wanted to be an actress, not a professional sportswoman. So, she used her passion for active games to her benefit, to keep fit from her teenage years and to care about her health.

Educational background

Diahnne matriculated from her local high school in New York in 1963. There is no information about her further educational path, however, it is known that she took drama and acting courses in order to pursue her acting career.

Career

Starting her acting career

Diahnne debuted as an actress in 1976, when she played opposite her future husband, Robert De Niro, in Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” – Diahnne landed the role of Concession Girl, while De Niro played the main character of Travis Bickle. The movie was a great success, and Diahnne later admitted it was true luck for her to start her acting career in such a movie. “Taxi Driver” won Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival of 1976, and Robert De Niro was named the Best Actor, getting his Academy Award, while the movie was named the Best Picture, also getting an Oscar.

It is worth saying that Jodie Foster, who played Iris, also won an Academy Award as the Best Supporting Actress – she was 12 years old when she was cast for the role, and there were a lot of controversy over the situation of such a young girl filming in the movie depicting so much violence.

Further success

In the same year, Diahnne also appeared as Jeanette Ross in Alan Rudolph’s “Welcome to L.A.”. The movie was very successful, and Newsweek called it ‘an extraordinary debut’ for Alan Rudolph; critics also praised the work of actors and actresses of the movie.

The next year, Diahnne landed a supporting role in another Martin Scorsese movie,“New York, New York”, portraying one of the Harlem Club singers, performing the song of Fats Waller entitled “Honeysuckle Rose”; the theme song from the movie was nominated for the Golden Globe Awards as Best Original Song, while Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro were nominated as Best Actress and Best Actor.

In 1983 Diahnne had the role of Rita Keane in Martin Scorsese’s black comedy “The King of Comedy”, then in 1084 she played Susan in “Love Streams”. In 1986, she appeared as Mother in Richard Pryor’s “Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling”; Pryor also produced the movie and played the main character. In 1988 Diahnne appeared in three episodes of the TV series “Crime Story”, portraying the character of Sonia.

Latest works and life after quitting acting

After an almost 12-year-long gap between filming, Diahnne returned to acting in 2000, appearing as Blanca Romero in “Before Night Falls”, a biographical drama, directed by Julian Schnabel. In 2002 Diahnne landed the role of Leah in “Soliloquy”; she hasn’t played in any other movie or TV series ever since.

Personal life, ex-husband Robert De Niro

Diahnne married the legendary Hollywood actor Robert De Niro at the beginning of 1976, when he was 33 years old, and she had just turned 31. Diahnne already had a daughter from her first relationship, Drena, and De Niro adopted her as soon as he and Diahnne married. On 9 November 1976, Diahnne gave birth to their first child, a son the named Raphael.

Robert De Niro

In 1988 the couple divorced. Diahnne has never been noticed in any other relationship, while Robert De Niro had an affair withformer model Doris A. “Toukie” Smith – they had twin-sons – Aaron and Julian – delivered from a surrogate mother. In 1997, Robert De Niro married the actress Grace Hightower, his second official wife. They separated in 1999, but then started living together again in 2004. In November 2018 the couple announced that they were separating after more than 20 years of on-off marriage; they had two more kids – Elliot and Helen, both born via a surrogate.

Robert De Niro’s successful acting career

Diahnne’s ex-husband, Robert Anthony De Niro Jr., is a popular Hollywood actor, director and producer, who is famous for his numerous successful works.

He started his acting career in 1965, appearing in such movies as “Trois Chambres à Manhattan”, “Encounter” and “Les Jeunes Loups”. His career became that successful not without the influence of Martin Scorsese, who was a good friend of De Niro, and often invited him to appear in his movies. Thus, Robert appeared in more than a dozen films directed by Scorsese, including “Mean Streets” (1973), “New York, New York” (1977), “Casino” (1995) and “The Irishman” (2019). However, his biggest success in his ‘30s was De Niro’s starring in the sequel to “The Godfather”, directed by Francis Ford Coppola – in “The Godfather: Part II” De Niro played the role of Vito Corleone, opposite Al Pacino, Diane Keaton and Robert Duvall.

Among his latest works one can see “Joker” (2019), starring Joaquin Phoenix and Zazie andBeetz; “The Wizard of Lies” (2017), starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Alessandro Nivola; “War with Grandpa” (2020), in which Robert landed the role of Ed.

Diahnne’s daughter, Drena De Niro

Diahnne’s elder daughter from her relationship with the unknown male person is named Drena. She is a former model who now works as an actress. Born on 3 September 1967, Drena started her modelling career when she was not even 18 years old, while her acting career started in 1996, appearing as a Receptionist in “Grace of My Heart”.

Later she landed roles in such films as “Wag the Dog” (1997), “Too Tired to Die” (1998) and “Great Expectations” (1998), in which she played Marcy. Later she could be seen in such movies as “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” (2000), “City by the Sea” (2002) in which she landed the role of Vanessa Hansen, and “Freezerburn” (2005), in which she portrayed Nada the Handler. Drena appeared as a supporting actress in “Welcome to New York” (2014), “The Intern” (2015) and “Joy” (2015), and the list of her latest works includes “Hands of Stone” (2016), “Furlough” (2018) and “A Star Is Born” (2018), a biopic on Lady Gaga’s music career, in which Drena landed the role of Paulette Stone.

Diahnne’s son, Raphael De Niro

Born on 9 November 1976, Raphael De Niro is a former actor, who is now busy working in the New York real estate market. While he pursued his acting career, patronized by his famous father, he could be seen in such movies as “Awakenings” and “ Raging Bull”. He also acted as a producer of the documentary movie “James Abbott is Gone” (2013). Later, partly because his grandmother from his father’s side, Virginia Admiral, invested in real estate in New York, Raphael switched to this activity. As of 2020, Raphael also holds membership of the Board of Directors of the Tribeca Film Institute.

Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts

Diahnne has always been keen on sports, but had to give up all her sporting activities due to her age, however, she does some yoga from time to time.

She spends most of her time with her family, taking care of her four grandchildren, as Drena has one child, and Raphael has three kids.

Appearance, clothing style

Diahnne has long dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. She is 5ft 7ins (1.70m) tall and weighs around 140lbs (64kgs); her vital statistics are not available at the moment. As to her clothing style, Diahnne prefers long dresses with oriental patterns; she hates wearing high heels, and can often be seen wearing sandals.

Net worth and salary

As of 2020, Daihnne’s net worth is estimated to be around $10 million, while her ex-husband Robert De Niro has a fortune reputedly over $500 million.

About the author

Olivia Clarke

Joined Biography.Today in February 2020. Formerly Assistant Editor of Radar Magazine. Studied Journalism at City University.

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