56TH Life Achievement
Recipient, 2019

Robert De Niro

ROBERT DE NIRO: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Leo. Thank you. For those generous, generous words, thank you. As actors we don't take victory laps. We are too worried about what our next job will be, so it makes me very happy to know that my next job is working with you and Marty; at least I know that I have another year of health insurance. I have been puzzling over what to say to express my appreciation for this award tonight, but more than that for being a part of this community of actors, for being able to have a career with dignity and creative fulfillment.

We, as actors, don't do it all alone. We can't do it alone. We depend on each other for a collaboration and our work and support and fellowship, both on screen and off, and for that I am so grateful. I thank SAG-AFTRA for tirelessly fighting on our behalf for workplace and economic gains and respect, and that is especially -- and that especially bears remembering these days when there is so much hostility towards unions. Political leaders who support unions are more likely to support Affordable Care Act, equitable taxes, humane immigration regulations, a safe environment, a diverse citizenry, and reproductive rights, sensible gun control, and fair wages and benefits. We owe them our support, and we owe them our vote.

I can imagine some of you are saying, all right, all right, let's not get into politics, but we are in such a dire situation, so deeply concerning to me and to so many others, I have to say something. And I thought I said it pretty well to Variety the other day, so I am going to quote myself. "There is right and there is wrong, and there is common sense and there is abuse of power. And as a citizen, I have as much right as anybody, an actor, an athlete, a musician, anybody else to voice my opinion. And if I have a bigger voice because of my situation, I am going to use it whenever I see a blatant abuse of power, and that is all I am going to say about that tonight.

So I am so happy to share this with so many friends here tonight. My dear friends Julian Barry, Fiona and Art, Maryanne, and Josh, Jane, Stan, my beautiful son Julian, all of my beautiful sons and daughters watching at home, the whole Netflix Irishman crew, and especially my SAG-AFTRA brothers and sisters, I will treasure this life achievement award because it comes from you, my comrades in arms, and my fellow actors, my friends, thank you. Thank you.

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Robert De Niro

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ROBERT DE NIRO: Thank you. Thank you. Thank

4 you. Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Leo.

5 Thank you. For those generous, generous words,

6 thank you. As actors we don't take victory laps. We are

7 too worried about what our next job will be, so it makes

8 me very happy to know that my next job is working with

9 you and Marty; at least I know that I have another year

10 of health insurance.

11 I have been puzzling over what to say to express

12 my appreciation for this award tonight, but more than

13 that for being a part of this community of actors, for

14 being able to have a career with dignity and creative

15 fulfillment.

16 We, as actors, don't do it all alone. We can't

17 do it alone. We depend on each other for a collaboration

18 and our work and support and fellowship, both on screen

19 and off, and for that I am so grateful.

20 I thank SAG-AFTRA for tirelessly fighting on our

21 behalf for workplace and economic gains and respect, and

22 that is especially -- and that especially bears

23 remembering these days when there is so much hostility

24 towards unions. Political leaders who support unions are

25 more likely to support Affordable Care Act, equitable
1

 


1 taxes, humane immigration regulations, a safe

2 environment, a diverse citizenry, and reproductive

3 rights, sensible gun control, and fair wages and

4 benefits. We owe them our support, and we owe them our

5 vote.

6 I can imagine some of you are saying, all right,

7 all right, let's not get into politics, but we are in

8 such a dire situation, so deeply concerning to me and to

9 so many others, I have to say something. And I thought I

10 said it pretty well to Variety the other day, so I am

11 going to quote myself. "There is right and there is

12 wrong, and there is common sense and there is abuse of

13 power.

14 And as a citizen, I have as much right as

15 anybody, an actor, an athlete, a musician, anybody else

16 to voice my opinion. And if I have a bigger voice

17 because of my situation, I am going to use it whenever I

18 see a blatant abuse of power, and that is all I am going

19 to say about that tonight.

20 So I am so happy to share this with so many

21 friends here tonight. My dear friends Julian Barry,

22 Fiona and Art, Maryanne, and Josh, Jane, Stan, my

23 beautiful son Julian, all of my beautiful sons and

24 daughters watching at home, the whole Netflix Irishman

25 crew, and especially my SAG-AFTRA brothers and sisters, I
2

 


1 will treasure this life achievement award because it

2 comes from you, my comrades in arms, and my fellow

3 actors, my friends, thank you. Thank you.

 

 

De Niro is the recipient of a SAG Award® for his work as a member of the cast of American Hustle.  He received Screen Actors Guild Awards cast nominations for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, for which he also earned an individual nomination, and Marvin’s Room. De Niro is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, a six-time BAFTA nominee and a nine-time Golden Globe nominee.  De Niro, who made his directorial debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale, in which he also starred, can currently be seen in Joker.

 

De Niro’s breakthrough role was in the 1973 film Mean Streets, where he began the first of nine collaborations with director Martin Scorsese.  Other films created out of their special partnership include GoodfellasCape FearCasino and the recently released Netflix film, The Irishman.

 

De Niro’s incredible repertoire of films includes his Academy Award-winning roles in The Godfather II and Raging Bull, as well as Oscar®-nominated turns for his work in The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Awakenings, Cape Fear and Silver Linings Playbook.  De Niro has proven his versatility with his memorable dramatic roles in The Untouchables, Jackie Brown and Backdraft, and several successful comedies in his career, including Meet the ParentsMeet the FockersLittle FockersAnalyze This and the dramedy Midnight Run.


Accomplishments in Television
 

De Niro’s career has spanned into television where he has received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and four EMMY® nominations for his work both on- and off-screen.  For his performance as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff in the HBO miniseries The Wizard of Lies, De Niro received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series, as well as EMMY and Golden Globe nominations.  He won a Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for his portrayal of Madoff.   

He also earned EMMY nominations for his work as an executive producer on The Wizard of Lies and, again this year, as executive producer alongside Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Jonathan King, Jane Rosenthal, Jeff Skoll and Berry Welsh, on the Netflix drama When They See Us, based on events surrounding the 1989 Central Park jogger case.

De Niro served as an executive producer for the NBC series About a Boy, starring Minnie Driver. 

 

Philanthropist and Activist

New Yorkers know him as one of the driving forces behind the revitalization of downtown Manhattan into a center for the film industry. In 1989 he and Jane Rosenthal founded the Tribeca Film Center, the first commercial space in Tribeca dedicated to housing film, television, and entertainment companies.

After the attacks of 9/11, De Niro and Rosenthal co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to breathe new life into their neighborhood and spur economic development through the arts. Now welcoming its 19th year, the festival brings hundreds of thousands of visitors downtown each year and is a prominent cultural event not only for New Yorkers, but for the entire film industry. Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal were the 2011 recipients of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership.

He is also co-founder and co-Chair of the Tribeca Film Institute, which supports the work and stories of underserved filmmakers. 

In addition to his entertainment and philanthropic work, De Niro is involved in several capital ventures including part ownership of restaurants Nobu and Tribeca Grill, as well as The Greenwich Hotel in New York City and the Locanda Grill, located inside the hotel.

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