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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
De Niro receives lifetime honour
De Niro
De Niro is one of the most respected actors in the business
Actor Robert De Niro received a lifetime achievement award at a star-studded dinner on Thursday.

The American Film Institute (AFI) paid tribute to the star for his three decades in the movie business.

Martin Scorsese presented the award, having directed him in him eight films, including Raging Bull which earned De Niro a best actor Oscar.

De Niro's friends and colleagues - including Billy Crystal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Street and Jodie Foster - were due to attend the tribute dinner at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 59-year-old is one of the most respected actors working in Hollywood today, with fellow stars lining up to appear with him in films.

He has created a host of memorable screen characters such as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas.

The first of two Academy Awards was a best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, which was widely regarded as being superior to its predecessor.


But as well as serious roles, De Niro is now equally comfortable in comedies with Meet the Parents and Analyze This among his credits.

De Niro was the young Vito in The Godfather, Part II
De Niro was the young Vito in The Godfather, Part II
De Niro has also turned his hand to directing with movie A Bronx Tale, as well as producing the Queen musical We Will Rock You.

He also founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 as a way of promoting culture and tourism in the downtown districts of New York that were suffering in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

The AFI awards lifetime achievement hands out honours to ensure "great accomplishments of the past are recognised to the end that the masters of film may take their deserved place in history beside leaders in other arts."

Previous recipients have included Barbra Streisand, Alfred Hitchcock and Clint Eastwood.

A tribute to De Niro with be televised in America on the USA Network on 23 June.

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