Robert De Niro might have turned a new leaf and stuck to one woman, but back in the days when he was married to Diahnne Abbott, the story was the exact opposite. Their marriage was plagued by Rob’s habitual womanizing and drug abuse.
Diahnne endured the marriage for a little over a decade before calling it quits with him in the late 1980s. Here is everything you need to know about the legendary actor’s first wife.
Diahnne Abbott Bio (Age, Race and other Background Info)
The former Mrs. De Niro was born Diahnne Eugenia Abbott on January 1, 1945, in New York City, New York, United States. Not a lot of information is known about Abbott’s upbringing or the family she grew up in, however, it is a well-known fact that she is the cousin of the 1980s hit musician Gregory Abbott.
They have the same surname which means that Diahnee and Gregory are paternal cousins. Diahnne’s race can be traced to the Island of Antigua where her father hails from. Details of her mother’s origin are unknown, but her cousin Gregory’s mother was from Venezuela.
Artistic genes seem to flow in the Abbott family. Diahnne’s cousin Gregory is not only a singer but a composer, and producer. He hit it big back in the mid-1980s with his song Shake You Down which was certified platinum by the RIAA. Greg continues to record music to this day.
Abbott was unknown in the mainstream until she got hitched by her longtime boyfriend Robert De Niro. Her acting career is said to have officially begun in 1976, the year she married Robert. Abbott made her debut in Robert’s 1976 film Taxi Driver as directed by Martin Scorsese. Set in a post-Vietnam war New York, Abbott played the role of a Concession Girl in the film which received much critical acclaim and earned many award nominations.
Also in 1976, Abbot appeared in Welcome to L.A.; the film which earned actress Geraldine Chaplin a British Academy Film (BAFTA) Award for Best Supporting Actress. Abbott’s next two films also starred her husband Robert.
They include the musical drama film New York, New York (1977) where she portrayed a Harlem Club singer and sang Fats Waller’s classic torch song, Honeysuckle Rose, as well as The King of Comedy (1983) a satirical black comedy film where she played the character of Rita Keane the love interest of De Niro’s character. Both films were directed by Robert’s friend, Martin Scorsese.
Diahnne Abbott’s subsequent films would include Love Streams (1984), Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986), Before Night Falls (2000), and Soliloquy (2002). In 1988, she appeared in three episodes of NBC’s crime drama series, Crime Story.
Her Ex-husband Robert De Niro, and Kids
Abbott began dating Robert De Niro in the 1970s and after a long-term relationship, they got married in 1976. By the 1980s, Robert had become famous and began living wild, frequenting nightclubs while engaging hugely in doing drugs.
Additionally, he began womanizing despite being married to Abbott. De Niro’s party partners included comedian, John Belushi, and filmmaker Martin Scorsese. The former would later die in 1982 from a drug overdose.
Abbott and De Niro lived for a while in a rented condo in Bel Air. The house which was often filled with their friends also included many pets. The New York Times revealed that when they moved out, the landlord sued for $10,000 as a result of the damages the pets had inflicted on the house.
De Niro adopted Abbott’s child, a daughter named Drena whom she had from a previous marriage. In 1981, the couple welcomed their own child, a son named Raphel.
By 1988, Abbott had had enough of Robert’s womanizing and they got a divorce.
Over the years, details about who the real father of Abbott’s daughter is has been concealed from the public. She goes by the name Drena De Niro. Drena has followed in the footsteps of her parents to become an actress. Some of her films include Death of a Dynasty (2003), The Lovebirds (2007), New Year’s Eve (2011), The Intern (2015), Joy (2015), and more.
1. Abbott vanished from the limelight in 2002. However, in 2013, she resurfaced and was seen attending “The King of Comedy” Closing Night Screening Gala during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.
2. Her son Raphael began a career as an actor before switching to real estate.
3. Abbott is a grandmother to at least three children. Her son Raphael has a child with his wife Claudine De Matos (married March 8, 2008) while her daughter Drena has a child named, Leandro Anthony DeNiro Rodriguez.