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Robert De Niro named Golden Globes' 2011 Cecil B. DeMille honoree

November 9, 2010 | 10:33 am


The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. enlisted the help of actor Kevin Spacey Tuesday morning to announce  2011's Cecil B. DeMille award winner Robert De Niro.  Said Spacey of De Niro: "He's unafraid to transform himself inside and out for a role. Some of cinemas most unforgettable moments have been created by him."

De Niro has been nominated for eight Golden Globes in his career in comedy and drama. He's earned two academy awards -- for "The Godfather: Part II" and "Raging Bull." He can next be seen in the upcoming "Little Fockers" and the thriller "Dark Fields."

Previous DeMille recipients include Martin Scorsese (2010), Steven Spielberg (2009), Warren Beatty (2007) and Anthony Hopkins (2006).

HFPA President Philip Berk's 24-year-old grandson is a key reason the organization chose De Niro for the honorary award. The actor was an inspiration to the younger man and an equally impressive figure to his grandfather. Berk points primarily to De Niro's two most iconic roles in "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull." He notes that it was his physical commitment to the character Jake La Motta in "Bull" that was so unique for the times. "When De Niro put on 40 pounds for "Raging Bull," no one at that time had made that kind of commitment for a role." 

The group waited until Monday afternoon to vote on the award in hopes of keeping its decision quiet until the news conference Tuesday. Three other names were also put forth but Berk said normally the president's choice is selected. Indeed, DeNiro sailed through in the first round of voting.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Robert De Niro. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times