Robert De Niro Welcomes Daughter Helen Grace

12/23/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Mark Von Holden/WireImage

Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower De Niro have welcomed a daughter, his rep tells PEOPLE.

Helen Grace, born via surrogate, weighed in at 7 lbs., 2 oz.

She is the second child together for the couple, who first met back in 1987 in London and are already parents to son Elliot, 13.

The Academy Award winning actor, 68, also has four other children: daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, with former wife Diahnne Abbott, as well as 16-year-old twin sons Julian and Aaron, born via surrogate with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith.

— Sara Hammel with reporting by Julie Jordan

FILED UNDER: Births , News

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Showing 44 comments

Nicole on

How exciting… and random.

Congratulations to the deNiros on their new addition… but why so long after Elliott’s birth?

melissa on

Congratulations Grace & Robert !

Robert’s daughter is 40 so I bet it is a real joy to have another daughter.

Maryanne on

That is random! It must be crazy to have kids aged newborn-40! Congrats to the family!

Katie on

Gramps became a dad again!

GROSS!!! And I don’t care who thinks my comment was wrong.

Ali on

Congrats to them!

I am torn on the issue of elderly men/women having kids as well. I know it sounds mean but it’s not meant to. I am just always more concerned about the child and how that might impact them. Having an 80 year old father HAS to be somewhat strange for a 10 year old. Not to mention the odds of your father even living to see you graduate, marry, have kids…it seems low. So, it just makes me a little sad. But, to each their own! A baby is a blessing and I am sure they are loving people and excellent parents.

You pretty much HAVE to be a loving person to want to go through parenthood again at the age of 70! Heck, I’m in my 30’s and am exhausted! I can’t imagine being 70 with a newborn!!

Sarah S. on

Wow–this came out of left field!!

Congrats to the Hightower-DeNiro’s on their beautiful Christmas present!!

Marky on

What a pretty name! My uncle was in his late 50’s when my cousins were born and I don’t remember them feeling so horrible about it. They had siblings who were 21-35 years older and they thought it was wonderful to get together every weekend for Sunday dinner. Both felt very loved and their father didn’t die until they were grown; he was fine mentally, too. I know people whose fathers were in their early 20s and died, leaving them fatherless at 1 or 2. No one knows what tomorrow brings, so get over it.

J on

Don’t flatter yourself Katie.

Leigh on

Very dear family friends of mine raised children, now in their early thirties and late twenties, but still felt the desire to expand their family. Yes, they are older, but my god, are they involved and engaged in their young children’s (twins) lives. I can hardly think of better parents that I’ve ever seen. My own parents were “young” when was born, but they could not have been less interested in me growing up. My wonderful friends were – and continue to be – amazing parents to their older children, and now they are that and everything that experience adds to their young children.

This is all a very long-winded explanation of my feelings on this subject. Yes, this is rather out of left field, but wonderful nonetheless. Congratulations to Robert, Grace, and Elliot – and also to Julian, Aaron, Raphael, Drena! Despite the differences in ages I hope that the entire family is as pleased as I know Robert and Grace must be. What a wonderful Christmas present for everyone. How wonderful for little Helen to be born into a family with so much love to go around. Welcome to world, little girl.

Bethany on

I think this is ridiculous. The mother is 56 and the father is 68. When the child is 25, her mother will be 81 and the father will be 93. Enough said.

Indira on

My mother is 56 and I can’t imagine her having a newborn.I know she’s not them but, it still seems pretty wild. Most folks in that stage of the game don’t want to do it again. Maybe famous people are different.

Janna on

Well, darn, Bethany… Next time maybe they’ll consult you first before they choose to make life decisions!

Jurnee on

I think this is so crazy! When you’re wealthy you can do anything, even if it’s morally questionable. They already have a lot of children between them to love and enjoy. Why add to their family at this stage in their lives? Seems crazy to me. It would be better IMHO to volunteer with children, even to foster a child who needs a home, rather than create a new life when they are grandparent age. I hope they’re loving parents to this child, though. Maybe the older siblings can act as surrogate parents. They’re more the right age! (P.S. I’m a huge fan of his acting)

meghan on


JM on

It is wonderful that they had their own child!

Anonymous on

JM- I don’t get what you mean. They already had a child of their own-Elliot! Anyway, congrats to them!

kimmie on

To all of you who keep pointing at the old parents not being alive long enough for the child to graduate, marry and blah blah blah… my father was 26 when I was born and died 5 years later. So the young age of parents does not guarantee all these things at all.

Karen on

I agree — selfish!!!! Hopefully the 40 year old child will help raise this one when Dad passes away in the next 10+ years.

I agree w/ the post about volunteering with children…really, a father at 68?! Not what I would want to be doing at that age…no thank you!

Catca on

The fact that young parents can die too is not really a great counter argument to the posts about the age of the parents because you are comparing something that has low odds of happening to something with rather high odds.

Having said that, I don’t see anything wrong with having children at that age as long as there is a good plan in place to take care of the children in case something does happen.

The Chinese actually believe older parents are the better parents because they are more financially stable and, more importantly, have greater life experience that they can impart on their children and therefore guide them better. They also have a greater maturity to deal with childhood meltdowns, etc.

So yes, while there are some negatives to having children later in life, there are also some very big positives that come along with older parents.

To call it immoral to have children at an older age is something I find very difficult to understand as I feel the children born in this situation are highly likely going to have high quality parents (probably much more so than a younger couple for the aforementioned reasons as well as the fact that in your later years you tend to have more time to devote and definitely don’t take the child for granted).

I guess your moral compass is quite a bit different than mine.

Jen DC on

@ Catca: I’m going to have to disagree with your statement, but with particulars. The De Niros are obviously very wealthy. Generally, with great wealth comes great health care, therefore longer life expectancy and ability to afford a broader range of life extending care, should it become necessary.

So while I generally agree that it is less likely that a 25 year old parent will die of natural causes (leaving out the possibility of various unnatural causes that are more or less able to happen to anyone of any age), I think De Niro stands a pretty good chance of seeing his child into adulthood.

@ Katie: Why is it “gross”? Because senior citizens shouldn’t be having sex or…?

I can’t imagine they aren’t going to have significant help. I bet she’s adorable. Congratulations!

Nancy on

Yes these comments about the age of the parents are valid because kids deserve parents who can do things with them. For those of us who don’t have nannies galore and who are raising children in our 30s and 40s, we know how tiring it is.

Kids want to play sports and go swimming and camping and do fun things with their parents. Parents in their 70s are not going to have the energy to do those things.

If they wanted children, why didn’t they adopt an older child instead of raising a baby?

simone on

@JenDC, I couldn’t have said that any better.

look on

They’re rich, they can produce children for as long as they want. if they die, and of course they will like the rest of us, the kids will be taken care of for the rest of their lives without being a burden on society. Plus he’s Robert Di Nero. What woman could say no to him?

Kylee on

I feel so old cuz I remember reading about the births of Elliot and Julian and Aaron in People Magazine’s Passages section many years ago!

Congratulations to the family on the newest bundle of joy!!

Amanda on

Lovely name, very classy.Congrats.

meghan on

“Generally, with great wealth comes great health care, therefore longer life expectancy and ability to afford a broader range of life extending care, should it become necessary.”

Tell that to Steve Jobs’s younger kids.

kimmie on

Karen, how do you know he will die in next 10 years? Do you know something we don’t? Are you issuing a death threat?

Marina on

OMG, poor baby girl! It’s horrible for her to have parents that old.

Let’s protest and make justice give the baby to Brooke Mueller or Mindy McCready. They’re young so they’ll be better parents, right?

JMO on

I think it’s great if this is what they really wanted which if you get a surrogate then it surely means they thought about this before doing it.

I do agree with others though. Yes a parent can die at any age but how much can these parents do with their kids unless they are in really good shape and in good health?

I guess some parents just are not satisfied with becoming grandparents.

sos1more on

He is way to old for that…time to let it go Mr.Deniro…concentrate on being a Grandfather.

Maya on

Congrats to them – that is so great! De Niro is still sexy… 😉

Rusty on

Congratulations to them.

Apparently they’ve had marital difficulties in the past, but have since reconciled and renewed their vows. Since they are so private, so this is just speculation… but I wonder if they had embryos left from from a previous infertility treatment and now that their marriage is in a better place they decided to try those embryos.

Long story short — What’s better having older parents or never existing at all?

Rachelsun on

Actually because of his wealth Jobs did live longer than most w/ his type of cancer. In fact, if he hadn’t tried alternative therapies before traditional surgery he may have lived even longer.

Last I looked people who are married were being moral in having children. As for the age, no comment. It is their life not mine or yours to decide the kind of life their son and daughter will have.

Licia on

It’s obviously unusual for people to have children at that age, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be bad parents! My parents are older parents but they’re in good health and my dad has always been able to play sports with me and such. Congrats to the De Niros on baby Helen!

Kat on

I like the name Helen Grace but I wouldn’t be adding on to my family when I’m 56 and my hubby 68.

guest on

Some of you people are crazy! Keep your mouths shut about the age they are! It absolutely does not matter! If they are mentally and physically able to take care of the child then who cares! they child is loved and wanted! that is all that matters! It is definitely not selfish! Selfish is a 16 year old having a baby and pawning it off on their parents! seriously people ( not all of you) but most GROW UP! Get lives and maybe a job! Then you might have lifes! totally rediculous to critize them for there choices! A BABY IS A BLESSING!

soph on

guest, you sound like an idiot. Do us all a favor and keep your own mouth shut, ‘k?

CC on

So who cares..deniro is an old man, GRAMPA and she is well whatever..suroogate is pathetic..If You cant produce, ADOPT you selfish idiots

jane on

nice. good for them!

Viva on

They are crazy! No child want to have such old mother and father. It is selfish and wrong. That child will be very unhappy and feeling different. They can already look for good psychologist for that child.I feel sorry for all of them us they will not be able to carry for that child. De Niro is old and will not jump on the playground or play ball in a few years! WRONG. Money can not buy youth!

Viva on

Poor little girl! How she will feel by the age of 6 in kindergarten with all those other kids who will have parents in their 30′ or 40′ and old De Niro will be 75. Stupid, selfish people they can not see the world from child perpective. I can see them jump on the playground! Or play with that girl! Money can not buy youth! You would be grandfather not father! I feel sorry for that girl.

juicy81 on

I love De Niro and all, but I do agree that his decision (though not really my business) to have a child at his age is really selfish. If they were really feeling the urge to change dipers, he has enough kids, someone is bound to have a child and voila, changing diapers but with the proper title: Grandma and Grandpa. Come on De Niros SMH

Candance on

A child is a Blessing and who are we to be a judge or jury of anyone that makes decisions to have children at whatever age.

What about some of the less fortunate babies and young children that Grandparents are now taking care of due to a loss of a young parent or neglect. Should we feel that they are too old to take care of infants? Grandparents make decisions because of their love in their hearts and they are trying to make a difference in a child’s life.

Stop being so selfish and think what can you do to make a child have a better life. This world would be a better place if we stopped being so negative about other peoples decisions. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, have you always made the best decisions?

The Bohemian on

These poeple have nannies , maids , cooks , etc, So what the heck ??