Robert De Niro says his father was gay.
The legendary actor makes the personal revelation in an upcoming documentary which he “felt obligated” to make about the late artist Robert De Niro Sr., who died 21 years ago after a bout with cancer.
“It was my responsibility to make a documentary about him,” the Taxi Driver star tells OUT magazine, admitting a pang of regret over the wall of silence surrounding his patriarch.
“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.”
The Cape Fear star, whose parents split when he was just 3-years-old, said he figured his father probably had inner turmoil over his sexuality, due to the social climate of his day, “being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate.”
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The ultra-reclusive Oscar winner, in the chat, opened up a bit about the inner working of the relationship with his father. “We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise. But we had a connection … he was absent in some ways. “He was very loving. He adored me … as I do my kids.” The documentary, Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr., hits HBO June 9.