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Robert De Niro talks tearfully about the tortured life of his gay artist father

Robert De Niro talks tearfully about the tortured life of his gay artist father

In a new documentary about his late father, actor Robert De Niro tearfully shares his regrets over not getting to know his father better as an artist and as a man.

‘He died on his 71st birthday of prostate cancer. The reason I kept his (art) studio is for my kids, for them to know what their grandfather did. … I realize now how up it is for children to appreciate the things that their parents did if they want to share them with you. Because I regret certain things with my parents that I didn’t follow through on.’

In Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr, the two-time Oscar winning actor admits that he did not have much interest in his dad’s art exhibits when he was younger. He also never spoke to him about being homosexual.

‘Obviously, I realize now that it was hard for him. He had a lot of classic conflicts about all of that. … I’m his son, I’m the last person to know.’

But through his father’s paintings and his extensive journals, De Niro has gotten to intimately know his parent posthumously and shares what he has learned in the documentary that premiered on HBO this week.

‘I feel it’s my obligation to document what he did – to keep it going.’