Cover image for De Niro : a biography
De Niro : a biography
Baxter, John, 1939-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : HarperCollinsEntertainment, 2003.

Physical Description:
ix, 406 pages : illustrations portraits ; 20 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London: HarperCollins, 2002.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.D37 B37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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The life of Hollywood's number one movie actor, the elusive Robert De Niro, who shuns the limelight and rarely gives interviews, written by the leading film critic and biographer of Spielberg, Kubrick, Woody Allen and George Lucas.

Robert De Niro is the pre-eminent Hollywood character performer of our time: film portraits like the young Don Vito Corleone in THE GODFATHER II, Jake La Motta in RAGING BULL and Travis Bickle in TAXI DRIVER are some of the most vivid ever put on celluloid. De Niro cannot be cast to type, prefers to work for old friends like Martin Scorsese, and (apart from FRANKENSTEIN) has never played anything but 20th-century roles.

John Baxter calls him 'the archetypal empty bottle which only becomes visible when it's filled by a role' which makes him such a tempting subject for one of Hollywood's finest historian/biographers.

As well as his film roles, Baxter examines De Niro's often controversial private life, his collaborations with directors like Martin Scorsese and performers like Harvey Keitel and Meryl Streep, and his increasingly ambitious off-screen activities.

Author Notes

John Baxter was born in Randwick, New South Wales in 1939. He is an Australian-born writer, journalist, and film-maker. He has lived in Britain and the U.S. as well as in his native Sydney, but has made his home in Paris since 1989. He began writing science fiction in the early 1960s for New Worlds, Science Fantasy and other British magazines. His first novel was published as a book in the US by Ace as The Off-Worlders. He was Visiting Professor at Hollins College in Virginia in 1975-1976. He has written a number of short stories and novels in that genre and a book about SF in the movies, as well as editing collections of Australian science fiction.

For a number of years in the sixties, he was active in the Sydney Film Festival, and during the 1980s served in a consulting capacity on a number of film-funding bodies, as well as writing film criticism for The Australian and other periodicals. Since moving to Paris, he has written four books of autobiography, A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict, We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light, Immoveable feast : a Paris Christmas, and The Most Beautiful Walk in the World : a Pedestrian in Paris. In 2015 his title, Five Nights in Paris: After Dark in the City of Light, made The New Zealand Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

According to prolific film biographer Baxter (The Hollywood Exiles, etc.), ?Rage is Robert De Niro?s gift to the cinema.? In this unauthorized, carefully researched biography, Baxter traces the enigmatic actor?s life, starting with his formative years in Greenwich Village, where De Niro tagged along with Italian street gangs and had a complicated relationship with his gay artist father, a fact that Baxter suggests has greatly informed the actor?s choice of morally conflicted characters. Using numerous interviews and anecdotes, Baxter sketches a picture that is never quite flattering, but is empathetic and fascinating. He tells De Niro?s story through the prism of the actor?s most notable cinematic endeavors (including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) as well as through his biggest failures. As a result, the book is equal parts life story and film analysis. This works to great effect, since De Niro?s artistic choices, many of which involved physical transformations and psychological sparring with his fellow actors, reveal as much, if not more, about his own character as any exposition on the actor?s life experience. As Baxter portrays him, De Niro appears more comfortable being anyone other than himself. His total immersion into characters such as Travis Bickle spooked his co-stars but won him great acclaim, despite what the author describes as a career decline that began with The King of Comedy. In subsequent years, Baxter notes, De Niro has rested on his reputation, choosing mediocre but commercially viable projects that would, in turn, fund his entrepreneurial pursuits in his beloved lower Manhattan neighborhood. De Niro remains one of cinema?s most enduring presences, a human puzzle, perhaps even unto himself. 40 b/w photos. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

Robert De Niro's ability to inhabit his characters completely makes him one of our greatest actors. Despite his fame-or perhaps because of it-he rarely gives interviews, which may explain the dearth of material available on him. Drawing on his own research and interviews with friends and colleagues, Baxter, a British film critic and the author of more than 15 film books, has written a detailed, unauthorized overview of De Niro's life and career. A native of New York City, De Niro was the only child of artist parents who had an unconventional marriage (Baxter asserts that De Niro's father was gay). At 17, shy, lonely, and with few prospects, he decided to train as an actor, toiling long and hard before his breakthrough in Taxi Driver. Though there are some juicy tidbits here, the book's strength lies in Baxter's detailed critique of De Niro's movies and career and the inclusion of a filmography. Unfortunately, the text is marred by an irritating, sometimes overly dramatic point of view, as when Baxter puts thoughts in De Niro's head and words in his mouth. Nevertheless, given the scarcity of literature on the actor, this will make a welcome addition to performing arts collections.-Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Free Libs., Salinas, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vi
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 The Last Actor Alivep. 1
2 New Yorkp. 6
3 My Father's Businessp. 21
4 Stellap. 39
5 Sally, Candy, Andy and the Othersp. 50
6 Shelley and the Boysp. 62
7 The Year of the Turkeyp. 77
8 Boyz of the 'Hoodp. 93
9 An Offer You Can't Refusep. 109
10 Sleeplessp. 130
11 If You Can Make it There ...p. 145
12 Going for a Soldierp. 169
13 Jakep. 185
14 A Harp with Classp. 203
15 The Epic that Never Wasp. 227
16 The South American Picturep. 241
17 Falling Angelp. 254
18 The Man Upstairsp. 277
19 A Made Manp. 295
20 Rabbit in a Mazep. 313
21 In Cop Landp. 329
22 Ageing Bullp. 348
Filmographyp. 377
Indexp. 393