See Robert De Niro's Sweetest Quotes About Fatherhood, Raising 6 Kids

Big fan of his brood! Robert De Niro has spoken fondly of his six children over the years.

The Oscar winner welcomed his first son, Raphael, in 1976 with his then-wife, Diahnne Abbott. The director also adopted the actress’ daughter, Drena, from a previous relationship.

Following his split from his Taxi Driver costar, De Niro also became the father of twin sons Julian and Aaron with model Toukie Smith. Their baby boys arrived via surrogate in 1995.

The Irishman star went on to marry philanthropist Grace Hightower two years later. They welcomed son Elliot and daughter Helen in 1998 and 2011, respectively. (De Niro also has four grandchildren — three from Raphael and one from Drena.)

Between Elliot and Helen’s births, the couple briefly separated. The director filed for divorce in 1999 and sued his estranged wife over custody of Elliot at the time. By 2004, the pair had reconciled and renewed their vows.

In 2013, the singer spoke to Katie Couric about the key to their happy marriage. “[It’s] a lot of give and take, standing your ground, because then you keep the respect you started out with,” Hightower explained.

Us Weekly confirmed in November 2018 that she and De Niro had split after more than 20 years together. Later that same month, the Golden Globe winner said in a statement to Us: “We are entering a period of transition in our relationship, which is a difficult but constructive process.”

De Niro added at the time: “I honor Grace as a wonderful mother and ask for privacy and respect from all as we proceed to develop our roles as partners in parenting.”

Five months later, the Meet the Parents star told Us exclusively about the challenges of fatherhood. “I love my children, just being with them,” he gushed in April 2019. “It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s fun and you love your kids, and sometimes you want to kill them!”

Keep scrolling to read what the New York native has said about Raphael, Drena, Julian, Aaron, Elliott and Helen over the years.

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