De Niro's breakthrough came with two 1973 movies: Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, which began a long association with director Martin Scorsese. The next year, De Niro's bravura portrayal of young Vito Corleone in The Godfather: Part II earned him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He later gained 60 pounds to play boxer Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), which resulted in the Academy Award for Best Actor.
The enigmatic star was also Oscar-nominated for Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978) and Cape Fear (1991) and was memorable in The Untouchables (1987), GoodFellas (1990) and the blockbuster Meet the Parents (2000). In 2011, more honors came De Niro's way with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.