Robert De Niro has left his marks in Hollywood. The 69-year-old movie veteran had his handprints and footprints cemented in a ceremony taking place Monday, January 4 at the famed TCL Chinese Theatre, which was formerly known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre. He placed his hands and feet in concrete near those of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
"Joe Pesci always said I'd end up with my feet in cement. I don't think this is what he had in mind," the New York-born star joked, before adding, "They say everyone in the film industry has three homes - the home where they live, the home where their first wife lives, and Hollywood. I love New York, and I'm proud to be a citizen of Hollywood. Thank you for this honor and thank you for making me feel at home here."
Billy Crystal, who played De Niro's therapist in 1999's gangster comedy "Analyze This", took the podium to praise his good pal's talent to deliver in comedy and drama genres. "Even in his darkest performances, even in 'Raging Bull' ... he could make you laugh, and that he did in spades in 'Analyze This," Crystal gushed. "I'm not used to playing straight for anybody, but it was a thrill of a lifetime to be on the opposite side of that genius."
David O. Russell, meanwhile, applauded De Niro for emotionally connected to his character as the father of a bipolar son in "Silver Linings Playbook". "When we first read the script together he cried because he has known people who struggled with PTSD or bipolar disorder," the director said. "Many families are no stranger to these challenges and they have to find the magic and the love that Bob brought in his soul, and he did bring his soul to this movie."
After getting his hands dirty at the ceremony outside the TCL Chinese Theatre, De Niro dashed to the 85th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Coming with his wife Grace Hightower, he was joined by his on-screen son Bradley Cooper and the likes of Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway.