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Robert De Niro was offered the role of mob boss, Frank Costello in The Departed. He declined and the part was given to Jack Nicholson.
One of De Niro's earliest roles was the smalltime mafia hood "Johnny Boy" alongside Harvey Keitel's "Charlie" in Mean Streets. This led to a very successful relationship between the pair in films such as Taxi Driver (1976), New York, New York (1977), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991) and Casino (1995). In these films, De Niro has primarily played charming sociopaths. Taxi Driver is particularly important to De Niro's career; his iconic performance as Travis Bickle shot him to stardom and forever linked De Niro's name with Bickle's famous "you talkin' to me?" monologue, which De Niro himself improvised.
Robert De Niro co-starred alongside Al Pacino in the epic 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film, The Godfather Part II. In 1978, De Niro played "Michael Vronsky" in the acclaimed Vietnam War film The Deer Hunter. Another notable role was in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America as the Jewish gangster "David 'Noodles' Aaronson". In 1987 De Niro appeared in The Untouchables as Al Capone.
Robert De Niro made his directorial debut in the 1993 film, A Bronx Tale. In 1995, De Niro starred in the Michael Mann film Heat. Fearing he had become typecast in such roles, from the mid-1980s, De Niro began expanding into occasional comedic roles, and has had much success there as well with such films as The King of Comedy (1983) Brazil (1985), Midnight Run (1988), Wag the Dog (1997), Analyze This (1999), Analyze That (2002), Meet the Parents (2000) and Meet the Fockers (2004).
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