Robert DeNiro, 68, and wife Grace, 56, welcome daughter Helen Grace via surrogate

I kind of forgot that Robert DeNiro is actually married. I thought Bob and Grace Hightower were simply “longterm partners.” They’ve been together for a really long time, so why don’t I have any memory of them actually getting hitched? Was it hush-hush? Or is it common-law? Anyway, Grace and Bob have just welcomed their second child together – via surrogate. Grace gave birth to their son Elliot in the 1990s, and now they are parents to newborn Helen Grace. This is Robert’s sixth child overall:

Robert De Niro and his 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 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.

[From People]

God, Robert’s twin sons are already 16? I remember seeing photos of the twins when they were toddlers!! Jesus, I’m old. As is Bob DeNiro. He’s 68 years old!!! And Grace is 56 years old!! I mean, loving parents are loving parents, at any age. But… really? SIXTY-EIGHT. I don’t even know. Congratulations to the happy couple and welcome to the world, baby Helen Grace.

Photos courtesy of Fame.

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69 Responses to “Robert DeNiro, 68, and wife Grace, 56, welcome daughter Helen Grace via surrogate”

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  1. rylan says:

    Doesn’t Beverly De Angelo have twins with Robert DeNiro?

  2. Blue says:

    I think being parents at their age is foolish, but they have the means to keep the child cared for.

  3. lisa says:

    Wow.. first let me say Congrats to them.

    But oMGosh I just say NO. I think it is great that we live in a time when you can become a parent irregardless of age but I say NO. My job sometimes lets me see grandparents that are raising their grandchildren and it is not a good thing. I think children need parents that are going to have a better chance of watching them grow up. By the time the child is 10 Robert will be close to 80 years old. How is that fair to this child. Not to mention her mother will be in her very late 60’s.

    I just think that there is something selfish about it. I so understand wanting more children, but one would think they would be at the stage of life when they want to spoil the grandkids and just enjoy having time together..not changing diapers.

    I’m happy for anyone that is lucky and blessed to be a parent.. I still say that just because you can do something doesn’t meant that you should.

    • Mava says:

      Co-sign this. Very nicely put.

    • mamaT says:

      FYI – irregardless isn’t a word. The word is “regardless”

      • Amea says:

        Yes, and also, if you wanted to say “irregardless,” you can just say “despite the fact that…” Just so you know what to replace the word with

      • Turtle Dove says:

        Is it grammar Monday?

        Irregardless is a word. Although it is an informal word, it is used frequently and is cited in dictionaries.

      • Heine says:

        Turtledive-Irregardless is not a word. However, it has been so commonly (mis)used that it’s become a part of (some folks) vernacular.

        Like ‘conversate’. Not a word but commonly used (by some folks).

        It’s one of those words that would get you the side-eye in more formal settings.

      • Turtle Dove says:

        Here’s my issue… the world evolves, technology changes and the way in which people express themselves changes also.. BUT too many people hang onto these archaic grammar rules.

        The English language is a mutt language made up of Latin and Greek at its base and Germanic mixed in and many other languages adopted. Christ, even Shakespeare MADE UP words which were included in his plays that have now become a regular part of our English vernacular.

        English as a language has survived because of its adoption of new words from other languages, new words via technology and acronyms, portmanteaus and NEOLOGISMS like irregardless.

      • Scarlet Vixen says:

        @turtledove: There’s a difference between adopting words from other languages to fill a void, and using existing words incorrectly.
        “Irregardless” is the misuse of the word “regardless.” It’s actually a double-negative. Why should we dumb down our language because people are too lazy to speak it correctly? Should we not also gently correct people when they say things like, “Ain’t none left”? Also, there are many ESL posters on this site who appreciate the corrections so they can improve their English. I’m sorry, but I hope you don’t plan on going into a job interview using words like
        “irregardless” and the above mentioned
        “conversate” and expect to be taken seriously. They’re not accepted words in the English language, laziness or not. And, “Irregardless” isn’t a neologism–“jeggings” and “sexting” are neologisms. “Irregardless” is just people being so ignorant of word structure that they’ve mis-used a word so much that people finally gave up and said, “Sure, I guess you can say that. *eyeroll*.”

      • Turtle Dove says:

        I don’t buy into the intellectual snobbery. I deal with this at work all the time – dinosaurs, who fancy themselves elitists, correcting another person’s grammar.

        One – It’s the internet, not an academic journal.
        Two – Language evolves. Today’s NEOLOGISM is tomorrow’s proper terminology.
        Three – Different arenas call for different levels of language. The internet, and this blog, are casual and light. This isn’t Harvard, so relax.

        …and jeggings and sexting are PORTMANTEAU words, which is the merger of two separate words into one (jeans + leggings = jeggings and sex + texting = sexting).


      • sally says:

        @ turtle dove:
        Perhaps someday “irregardless” will be considered a word, but right now it isn’t. So don’t use it if you want to be taken seriously. 🙂

    • hooblie says:

      I agree, my son is 2 and my parents are 69 and 71, and I get sad when I think ahead, they won’t be able to see him in his adult years. I think it is selfish to be actual parents knowing that your child will have you for a limited time healthy.

  4. Serena says:

    God I wish he was my daddy lol is that weird?

  5. Victoria says:

    Whatever. It’s their life and their business. Congratulations. If only Beyonce would admit the same. lol

  6. GoodCapon says:

    Congratulations to the couple!

    But there comes a time when you need to think of the child’s future. Robert will be close to 80 by the time Helen turns 10. Who knows if he will be around by then? At least his wife is a decade younger and will be there for their child if Robert couldn’t be, but 56 is already a bit old to have children in my view.

  7. Victoria says:

    Or, is this a child from one of his “assignations?” Or, certainly, a donor egg…she is 56, after all!

  8. SoCalGal in FL says:

    Agreeing with the other posters that note these two will be very old before the child goes off to college. She really will be all alone and her children won’t have maternal grandparents.
    This is beyond selfish on the parents part. I don’t care if they are wealthy celebrities.
    I sure do hope they can find a young nanny that will be this little girls 2nd surrogate mom to do parental things with when her parents are in the nursing home.

  9. keri says:

    Does anyone think she looks like an aged Garcelle Beovois (sp?) or Gabrielle Union? weirds.

  10. barb333 says:

    He has 16 year old twins with an ex, but has been with his wife since 80’S? What am I missing?

  11. lisa says:

    No doctor would go along with this unless they froze their sperm and eggs a long time ago. You can actually do that.

    And they are just too old to raise any more children. It’s nuts!

  12. miss_bhaven says:

    Wow, as soon as the baby is out of diapers, they will be in them. Dumb.

    • macey says:


      At least he’s always been honest about using surrogates, more celebs (coughbeyoncecough)should try that.

    • SoCalGal in FL says:

      Excellent way to sum it up.
      Maybe they did this so they’d have someone young and energetic to look after them and change their diapers when they become unable to take care of themselves.
      She can skip going off to college and stay home to puree their dinner.

  13. guest says:

    I am sure their intentions are good, but it is very selfish at that age to have children. They probably won’t be around for all the events in their child’s life. How sad for that child. All the nannies in the world won’t replace the parents. Also, who would want to deal with a baby at the age 56 or 68. IF they really wanted to bring a child into their life, why not adopt or take care of a foster child. So many children in the world that would love have a family.

  14. Jackson says:

    I’m thinking being wealthy and able to afford the best of everything keeps him a relatively ‘young’ 68 years of age. Not like he’s scrubbing floors and living off of SSI. But I agree with what others have said re: adoption. Geez, they couldn’t find ONE out of the hundreds of thousands of kids that need a good, loving home? Ugh.

  15. aniika says:

    my mom and dad were old when they had me.. i’m 32 now my dad is 93 and my mom is 80 and they raised me just fine… so you never know… she thought she was going through menopause but it was me in there and i have no retardations.. or birth defects problems.. that i know of
    the doctors where shocked but i was an ooops and i never wanted for anything.. I never realized they were so old.. I did all the regular things with my dad … he’s healthy strong no health problems I don’t feel like i missed out!

    • Trek Girl says:

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      It gets on my nerves when people assume that because two people have children when they are older that they will inevitably not be able to care for the child, play with the child, or live long enough to see the child grow up and have children of their own. That’s just not true.

      • aniika says:

        I felt i had to say something because I was this child to a tee my Dad retired from work when i was 5or 6 I remember being in elementary school it was nice he walked me to school picked me up from school.. My mom worked.. I have an older sister she’s 50 and another one who is 42 .. my parents where late bloomers all their children where born later on and they gave us a good life
        I know! my mother got alot of flack when she learned she was pregnant with me.. people even advised her to abort because for sure the baby ( being me) would be retarded and she would die from the birth etc etc she was too old to deliver.. well she birthed me naturally too no drugs! she was also told that she was being irresponsible because she and my father would die and they would eventually saddle some family member or the system with a kid who would be retarded, they stuck with their choice and here i am 30+ years later and happy they are my parents. Having children is not only for the young our lifespans are increasing there is a shift going on in the world we will be seeing more and more”older” parents especially when some women wait till their late 30’s early 40’s to have babies. I am sure Robert and his wife thought about this long and hard.. and felt that they could be wonderful loving parents plus all that $$ doesn’t hurt either.

      • Callumna says:

        Honestly, folks. These two are millionaires and they’re healthy. De Niro is one of the most well respected and beloved people whose ever lived. McConneghy was looking a lot rougher, I’d be more worried about that.

        Most kids are born in no water, no food level poverty while when this little one is 18 she’ll be handed a career (honestly, talented or not) unless she chooses not to work.

        Also, with his wealth he has an excellent chance of living a long life.

        This kid has it made and was WANTED so much that they went to all this expense and trouble. If she’d gotten knocked up and ended it this would be “her business” so in the total reverse case it’s her choice, right?

        It’s a happy story and quirky. Kid was BORN on Christmas … the universe has spoken. The cosmic jackpot was hit by all parties.

    • Mari says:

      Bless you, me too! But my parents were a bit younger, 43 for her, 54 for him. I was very lucky to have him until I was 35 and he passed away because of an accident, my mom followed him 2 years later. Growing up, I knew they were older than my friends’ parents, but I would not have changed them for the world. And I learned a lot from them. They really had lots of stories and facts to share all the time!

    • Fabgrrl says:

      These stories of OLD parents are certainly heart-warming. Love to you and your aged folks. But I see one glaring difference between this story (and others like it) and deNiro’s — you were a surprise baby. Your parents believed that their baby-making days were behind them, but then the impossible happened. Mr and Mrs deNiro, on the other hand, used a surrogate to provide them with a baby at this late stage in their lives. So I think that calling attention to their ages is justified.

      • 6 says:

        I don’t think it matters if it was a choice or not. People live life on their time not everyone else’s and some people arrive at decisions later than others. We have no idea what brought them to this decision.

  16. Cerulean says:

    Too old for a new baby. Unfair. 10 years ago would have been better.

  17. Psyren says:

    They loved each other and wanted another child of their own to love. Why are so many finding fault in that?

    So they’re old, who cares??? It’s not like they’re decrepit ancients who’re hobbling around and can barely take care of themselves. And even when they’re in their 80s when that kid is only 10 or 12 years old there’s no reason to assume they’ll be that way then either.

    So they might not be able to run around and play catch with their kid. Neither can my wheelchair bound co-worker. Should he not have had kids?

    So they’re old and could possibly die sooner. People of all ages die everyday for a multitude of reasons.

    I’m sure they thought long and hard about this before doing it and weighed all the pros and cons and even if they didn’t, who are you to judge? A loving couple just had a baby. Why not just be happy for them?

    • aniika says:

      i completely agree i am a child of older parents my father was 61 when i was born and my mom was in her 50’s and all worked out they are still alive i was loved! they said i helped keep them young! my dad is an slick texter he’s faster than me and my mom is addicted to Facebook ha ha !!

    • Mr.Smurf says:

      I agree too. My grandma has a friend who cares for SIX grandkids, because her daughter won’t. The youngest is just a newborn. She’s not as old as De Niro, in her late fifties I’d say but still. It’s choices. He seems to be a great father, and now that he has the baby he’ll take care of her.

  18. truthful says:

    Congrats to the couple!!

    they used a surrogate, they are filthy rich and will have help-what’s the big deal??

    people tend to think, once your kids are grown, when you’re older- its time to do things and see the world–they’ve done all of them and had the means to do so.

  19. Trek Girl says:

    I think this is great!

    Congratulations, Robert and Grace, and welcome to the world Helen Grace!

  20. Violet says:

    I’m sorry but I think they’re too old to be having babies. Robert is going to be 86 if he lives long enough to see this baby graduate, which is not a given considering the average live expectancy for an American male is only about 75.

    Another issue is that older men’s sperm raises the risk of genetic abnormalities. Let’s hope Helen Grace gets lucky and dodges that bullet.

    Robert and his wife should be focusing on being good GRANDparents at this stage of their lives.

  21. Trashaddict says:

    Well, from the parent side of this, it is a little freaky being the oldest parent at the school play, etc. And retirement is NOT an option right now, no matter how tired I am of working a fairly demanding job. Three college tuitions to get through yet. Starting a little earlier might have made my life easier now. That being said, I can’t imagine life without them and they bring me so much joy.

  22. Gigohead says:

    At this point, Bobby DiNiro and his gal are more closer to being grandparents than actual parents. I assume the eggs were donated as she is too old to have any at this point.

  23. hollywoodpinata says:

    Hope they like changing diapers…and by “they” i mean their kids.

  24. Turtle Dove says:

    (Correcting posting in wrong spot)

  25. Palermo says:

    They are both too old, period.

  26. crtb says:

    I really feel sorry for their baby. I had my daughter at 35. I am now 58 and I don’t have a quarter of the energy that I had 20 years ago. If I had a baby now, she would miss out on so many wonderful experiences because I just don’t have the stamina that I use to have. Bobby can’t possibly feel youthful @ 68. And why adopt if you are just going to have nanies raise your kids? The people who posted stories about their wonderful elder parents are the exception. Most people in their 70’s and 80’s lack energy, have some form of memory lost, have to make visits the doctor often, have hearing and eyesight problems, cognitive decline, need an increse of rest, don’t have much paitence, arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, shaky balance, can’t walk far the list goes on with a sh1t load of things that break down the body as we age. Mother nature knows what she is doing. There is a good reason women go through menopause at the age they do. There is also a reason why men become impotent as thy get older. We are not suppose to have babies after a certain age. It is not meant to be. We are suppose to be grandparents!

    • aniika says:

      As i posted Earlier my parents are old.. My father is 90 and he is not experiencing any of the health issues you are citing, nor is my mother. these two have been active all their lives. My father farmed and worked as an engineer and my mother helped out and worked as well. We were taught to be active use our hands, minds and bodies .. my grandparent lived to be 100 and 98 on both sides possibly due to a combination of two things. good wholesome food no fast foods, they ate alot of what they grew themselves and they were involved in alot of activities choir, sports etc. they passed away but right up to the very end they were active and healthy and they didn’t die due to old age they died unexpectedly. my father is a man’s man at 90 years of age.. he’s 6ft 5 and 200 lbs of muscle.. If i have a problem with my car he fixes it.. his mind is sharper than mine.. Deniro Strikes me as this sort of man he is very robust, active quick witted… they’ll be fine. oh yes the money doesn’t hurt either.

  27. Callumna says:

    Thank you to everyone who explained so nicely that “irregardless” is not a word. It’s not an incorrectly borrowed word or anything else either.


    Just so you know why it’s not slang but actually incorrect, both “ir” and “less” negate the root. You can’t use both together if you want to make sense.

    Around my way this is all a bit more of a daily issue so we have to have some fun with it. I still plan on using colloquialisms though.

    For example, this story had me thinking: DAYUM! And lol’ing my a$$ off. Celebs have now officially pushed their lives into the mad, mad world of science fiction.

  28. Dena says:


  29. dahlia says:

    if they wanted children so badly, they should have adopted. There are too much abandoned children out there, no need to go through surrogates.

  30. Kim says:

    r u kidding me???! Why didnt they adopt? Its desperate & pathetic when people of this age, who shouldnt even be having a baby at their old age anyhow, use a surrogate when there are so many wonderful children who need adopting. Im embarrased & ashamed for them! I just lost all respect for Deniro.

  31. 6 says:

    WHo gives a hoot!! We live in an age obsessed society where if you aren’t young then how could you possibly do anything. Our society treats the elderly like garbage but I think it is clear that if you take care of yourself you can live a healthy life in your golden years. Our society sucks. At least they will be level headed at this stage in their life unlike all of the teen moms who couldn’t raise a pet rock.

  32. janie says:

    This makes me really sad. They might be fine raising the child at their current ages, but in two years Deniro will be SEVENTY. That’s my grandma’s age, and while she is unsually alert and active for her age she definitely does not have it in her to be a parent of an energetic child. When the child is my age (20), her father will be pushing 90. Not many men even live that long, and it would be very sad to grow up knowing that my dad would probably be dead by the time I was 30.

  33. Viv says:

    Totally agree about the adoption option. I love DeNiro, but being a wealthy man he should have jumped at the opportunity to adopt some needy children instead. There are kids of all colors of the rainbow in need of parents in the USA and that would have been setting a good example.

    Although they may have tried and may have been turned down due to their age. I think sometimes you can foster but not adopt once you are over 50 or 60. Sad. But if they could have, adoption would have been the better option IMO. Steven Spielberg adopted a bunch, I think, but he was younger.

  34. Francesca says:

    I am a major fan of Robert. I am liking him more…more.. congrats to the family.