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Robert De Niro Reminisces about His Openly Gay Dad

May 28, 2014 Robert De, Jane Rosenthal

In an interview with Out magazine, Robert De Niro displays his father’s artwork in a documentary.

"I felt I had to. I felt obligated," De Niro says of the film, which is called Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. and airs on HBO Jun. 9. "It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him. I was always planning on doing it, but never did. Then Jane Rosenthal, my partner at Tribeca [Enterprises], said, ‘We should start doing that now.' It was not intended to be on HBO. It was just something I wanted to do."

The documentary states that his father was confused about his homosexuality.

"Yeah, he probably was, being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate," the 70-year-old actor says. "I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age. Again, for my kids, I want them to stop and take a moment and realize that you sometimes have to do things now instead of later, because later may be 20 years from now—and that's too late.

The Oscar winner has preserved his father’s home and art studio in SoHo till date. "It was the only way to keep his being, his existence alive," De Niro explained. "To me, he was always a great artist."

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By: Maverine Lane

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