Pop Culture

Robert De Niro presented with Cecil B. DeMille Award

With numerous exceptions, Robert De Niro's filmography has generally been divided between early drama and late comedy. In accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, De Niro leaned heavily on the latter.

Sunday at the Golden Globes, De Niro — never one for self-congratulation — declined to play up his iconography, and instead was happy to parody it.

Rather than tout accomplishments such as his performances in "Taxi Driver" or "The Godfather, Part II" or "Goodfellas," De Niro joked that some of his less acclaimed films — "Frankenstein" or "Jacknife" or "Stone" — were missing from the introductory reel.

"All of them are like my children," he said of his films, using the old cliche. After a beat, he added that the exception was his children can't be remade in 3-D to increase grosses.

De Niro even guessed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association might not have chosen him for the award had they first had the opportunity to screen his widely panned "Little Fockers." Those "Meet the Parents" movies — along with 1999's "Analyze That" — revealed De Niro's comedy chops, which frequently leaned on satirizing his serious, intimidating presence.

But, of course, even if the HFPA had first seen "Little Fockers," De Niro was an easy, unquestionable choice for the honor, which has previously gone to Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand.

After all, such awards have become somewhat old hat for De Niro.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Mario Anzuoni / X90045

    Image: Actress Natalie Portman from the film 'Black Swan' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    Check out the biggest stars from television and film as they walk the red carpet in Beverly Hills.

  • Image: Actress Natalie Portman from the film 'Black Swan' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Natalie Portman -

    Pregnant Natalie Portman, a nominee for best actress in a movie drama for "Black Swan," arrives at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 16 in a pink satin Viktor & Rolf gown.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie -

    Angelina Jolie, nominated for best actress in a comedy for her work on "The Tourist," wore an emerald green Versace gown, as well as her handsome actor-partner, Brad Pitt on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Johnny Depp -

    Johnny Depp, who was nominated for best actor in a movie comedy for "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Tourist," arrives at the Globes in a Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Emma Stone

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Emma Stone -

    Emma Stone, nominated for her work in "Easy A," arrives in a nude-colored Calvin Klein gown

    AP / AP
  • Image: Carrie Underwood

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Carrie Underwood -

    Carrie Underwood strikes a pose in a glittery Badgley Mischka strapless gown on the red carpet.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Robert Pattinson -

    The "Twilight" series star takes in the screams of his adoring fans on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Sandra Bullock -

    The actress wears a beaded nude Jenny Packham gown and new bangs.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Leighton Meester -

    The "Country Strong" star strikes a demure pose in a cream-colored Burberry gown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Scarlett Johansson -

    The newly single actress arrives at the Golden Globe Awards in a nude beaded gown with fluttery sleeves and a tulle train.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Heidi Klum and Seal -

    The "Project Runway" host, with her singer-husband at her side, goes with a 70s-inspired Marc Jacobs gown on the Globes' red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Halle Berry -

    The actress, nominated for best actress in a movie drama for "Frankie and Alice," wears a Nina Ricci gown.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    January Jones -

    The "Mad Men" star goes for the bold with a bright red Versace gown on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image:

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Christina Hendricks -

    The "Mad Men" star is awash in red ruffles by Romona Keveza on the red carpet.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jeremy Renner -

    The actor, nominated for best supporting actor in a movie for "The Town," takes a knee for photographers on the Golden Globes red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image:

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Nicole Kidman -

    The actress, nominated for best actress in a movie drama for "Rabbit Hole," arrives in a pale yellow Prada gown.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Ricky Gervais -

    The actor-comedian, who is the host of the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, was all smiles on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jane Krakowski -

    The pregnant "30 Rock" star was a vision in blue on the Globes red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image:

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Robert Downey Jr. -

    The actor arrives with his wife Susan Downey, right, for the Golden Globe Awards.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Anne Hathaway -

    The actress, a nominee for her work in "Love and Other Drugs," wears an amber-toned, bejeweled Armani Prive gown at the Golden Globes.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Mark Ruffalo -

    The actor and his wife Sunrise Coigney arrive at the The Beverly Hilton.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Ryan Gosling -

    The actor, nominated for best actor in a movie drama for "Blue Valentine," strikes a pose for photographers on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Actress Megan Fox and actor Brian Austin Green arrive at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Megan Fox -

    The actress, with her husband, actor Brian Austin Green, wears a pale pink Armani Prive gown as she arrives at the Beverly Hilton.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Actress Elisabeth Moss from the TV series 'Mad Men' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Elisabeth Moss -

    The 'Mad Men' star arrives in a strapless emerald green Donna Karan gown. She is a nominee for best actress in a drama series.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Claire Danes -

    The actress, a nominee for best actress in a TV miniseries or movie for her work in "Temple Grandin," is radiant in a pink Calvin Klein halter gown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Amy Adams -

    The actress, nominated for her work in "The Fighter," was stunning in a glamourous navy gown with cutout.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Mila Kunis -

    The actress, nominated for her work in "Black Swan," wears a one-shoulder emerald green Vera Wang gown on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Michelle Williams -

    The actress, nominated for best actress for her work in "Blue Valentine," stands out on the red carpet crowd in a flowery Valentino gown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Kevin Spacey arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Kevin Spacey -

    The actor, who is the executive producer of "The Social Network" and a nominee for best actor in a movie comedy for "Casino Jack," arrives at the Globes.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon -

    The actress, a nominee for best actress in a drama series for "The Closer," arrives in a yellow silk chiffon gown with her actor-husband at her side.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Julianne Hough -

    The singer/dancer arrives in a black gown with a beaded collar for Sunday's show.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jim Parsons -

    The "Big Band Theory" star, and nominee for best actor in a comedy series, opted for a classic tuxedo for the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Helena Bonham Carter -

    The actress, a nominee for best supporting actress for "The King's Speech," opts for a very bohemian look.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Justin Bieber -

    The teen pop idol tries his best not to smile on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jayma Mays -

    The "Glee" star sports a slinky, beaded black gown for Sunday's red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jennifer Lawrence -

    The actress, nominated for best actress in a drama for 'Winter's Bone,' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Christina Aguilera -

    The singer-actress hit the red carpet in a Zuhair Murad gown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Mark Salling -

    The "Glee" star was among the only stars sporting a mohawk at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Tina Fey -

    The writer-actress, a nominee for best actress in a TV comedy for "30 Rock," wears navy blue on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Kevin McHale -

    Actor Kevin McHale arrives at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Jennifer Love Hewitt -

    The actress arrives at The Beverly Hilton in an ice-blue Ramona Keveza gown. She is a nominee for best actress in a miniseries or TV movie for "The Client List."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Olivia Wilde -

    The "TRON: Legacy" star, a presenter at Sunday's show, flashes her golden Christian Louboutin heels and her Marchesa dress on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image:

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Gabourey Sidibe -

    The actress arrives for the Globes in a sparkly purple print dress.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Ryan Kwanten -

    The "True Blood" star was among the stars on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Edie Falco -

    The "Nurse Jackie" star, and nominee for best actress in a TV comedy, arrives at The Beverly Hilton.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Zac Efron

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Zac Efron -

    The actor arrives at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Actress Eva Longoria arrives on the red

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Eva Longoria -

    The "Desperate Housewives" star steps out in a black Zac Posen gown, one that featured a very long train.

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Hailee Steinfeld -

    The 14-year-old "True Grit" star arrives strikes a fetching and age-appropriate pose on the red carpet.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Tilda Swinton -

    The actress goes very minimal on the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Sarah Hyland -

    The "Modern Family" star arrives at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Julia Stiles -

    The actress, nominated for best supporting actress in a TV series for "Dexter," arrives in a black one-shoulder gown.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Bryan Cranston -

    The "Breaking Bad" star and nominee for best actor in a drama arrives at the Beverly Hilton.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

    Golden Globes red carpet

    of

    Kelly Osbourne -

    The former "Dancing With the Stars" finalist was among the first stars to walk the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

    Getty Images / Getty Images

Just last year, he was on the same podium presenting Martin Scorsese with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He joked that after 20 years making movies together, the two had spent the last decade presenting each other with awards.

Like Scorsese, the 67-year-old De Niro is still thoroughly involved in moviemaking. In 2010, the same year that celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Goodfellas," De Niro starred in "Little Fockers," "Stone" and Robert Rodriguez's "Machete." Among his many projects awaiting release is an action film, "The Killer Elite," a thriller, "The Dark Fields," and a planned biography of the great football coach Vince Lombardi.

"I plan to be around for a long time, hopefully," De Niro said Sunday.

De Niro has become increasingly prominent behind-the-scenes, too. Aside from occasionally directing and frequently producing, the media company Tribeca Enterprises, which he co-founded, runs the Tribeca Film Festival. The company's forward-looking distribution initiative, Tribeca Film, since last year has sought to get independent films to viewers by way of video-on-demand and other platforms.

The Tribeca Film Festival — established 10 years ago to revitalize De Niro's New York neighborhood in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks — won't be his only festival this year, either. He's set to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

It's a remarkable arc for De Niro, who began by playing roguish, violent outsiders in classic films, and yet has established himself as a savvy insider and entrepreneur, with ventures including upscale restaurants and the luxurious Greenwich Hotel.

The New York-born De Niro studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory and Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio, a schooling that trained him in method acting. His film career began briskly, and he quickly fell in with Scorsese, beginning with 1973's "Mean Streets."

It was the start of one of the most famous director-actor combos in movie history, leading to films including "Raging Bull," "Goodfellas," "Cape Fear," "The King of Comedy" and "New York, New York."

After "Mean Streets," Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather, Part II," soon followed, for which De Niro won the first of his two Academy Awards. He again won for his performance as boxer Jake LaMotta in "Raging Bull," which also accounts for his lone Golden Globe Award out of eight nominations.

De Niro's influence on many of the actors present Sunday night was widespread. Earlier in the broadcast, supporting actor winner Christian Bale, shouted his admiration of De Niro while the band played him off the stage.

Presenter Matt Damon, who co-starred in De Niro's "The Good Shepherd" (one of the two movies De Niro has directed) didn't even try to laud him with esteem or fawning praise, instead settling for parodying the idea of anyone being unfamiliar with him.

Damon confused De Niro's roles and credits before finally giving in with the simple, matter-of-fact introduction of "one of the greatest careers an actor has ever had."

De Niro, though, got the last laugh.

Having quickly silenced the standing ovation like an extravagant overreaction, he turned to Damon and said: "And I loved you in 'The Fighter.'"

0:00
 
0:00
Your video begins in
0:00
TOP