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Celebrate Robert De Niro’s 75th By Watching 10 of His Best Scenes

Bobby D has stolen a scene or 10 during his more than 50 years as an actor.

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Gangster, boxer, father of a daughter who marries a guy named Focker … name it, and Robert De Niro has played it.

Since first appearing in an uncredited role as a patron at a diner in 1965’s Three Rooms in Manhattan when he was in his early twenties, De Niro has appeared in dozens of classic films including The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and The Godfather: Part II, for which he took home an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

That’s not the only piece of hardware Bobby D has up on his mantle as he’s also been recognized with the AFI Life Achievement Award (2003), the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (2010), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016) over the course of his lifetime.

Possibly the best actor of his generation marks his 75th birthday today and while De Niro will probably celebrate hitting the three-quarters century mark with good wine and better company, we’re going to commemorate it by watching 10 of the best scenes of his distinguished career.

We suggest you do too, capisce?

Year: 1976
FilmTaxi Driver
Role: Travis Bickle
Why it’s great: That’s a lot of characters in a scene with one actor. 

Year: 2000
Film: Meet The Parents
Role: Jack Byrnes
Why it’s great: He’s funny, and still very intimidating at the same time. 

Year: 1990
FilmGoodfellas
Role: James Conway
Why it’s great: The highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a minute. 

Year: 1997
FilmJackie Brown
Role: Louis Gara
Why it’s great: The art of understatement, mastered. 

Year: 1991
Film: Cape Fear
Role: Max Cady
Why it’s great: Accent, check. Solid fight scene, check. Casual wear, check. 

Year: 1995
FilmHeat
Role: Neil McCauley
Why it’s great: Two bad, bad men talking it out over bad, bad coffee.

Year: 1995
Film: Casino
Role: Sam “Ace” Rothstein
Why it’s great: Smoking a cigarette becomes a contemptuous act. 

Year: 1974
Film: The Godfather: Part II
Role: Vito Corleone
Why it’s great: Extreme silence leads to extreme violence. 

Year: 2012
FilmSilver Linings Playbook
Role: Pat Sr.
Why it’s great: No one knew the tears were coming – they were unrehearsed.

Year: 1980
FilmRaging Bull
Role: Jake La Motta
Why it’s great: When a boxer has no one left to fight, he turns on himself.