Is Robert De Niro’s Son, Elliot De Niro An Autistic? His Full Bio

By Anuja Uprety | Published on: February 10, 2024 | Updated on: February 10, 2024
Facts checked by editors at A-List Arena
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Elliot De Niro is the son of two-time Oscar-winning American actor Robert De Niro and his second wife Grace Hightower. Besides being a star kid, Elliot became the talk of town after his father revealed his autism to the media.

Growing up as an autistic child, Elliot found strength in himself by playing tennis. Do you know that the star kid has been featured in the Special Olympics due to her incredible tennis skills?

Read the article to find more interesting details about Robert’s fifth child.

Key Takeaways

  • Elliot De Niro is the fifth child of American actor Robert De Niro.
  • His mother Grace Hightower is an Actress, singer, socialite, philanthropist, and a flight attendant for Trans World Airlines.
  • Elliot was diagnosed with autism as a child but tennis played a significant role in improving him mentally and physically.
  • He is a great tennis player and he was featured in the 2019 ESPN series Special Olympics: 50 Game Changers.

What Is Age In 2023?

Born on March 18, 1998, in New York, Elliot is currently 25 years of age. He is the fifth child of his father Robert De Niro and the first of his mother Grace Hightower.

Elliot is in his mid-20s
Elliot with his dad

For the first five years, the star kid was raised alone by his mom and later when his parents worked on their relationship, he grew up under the care of both his parents.

His Ethnicity And Nationality

Talking about his ethnic background, Elliot is of mixed descent. He is African-American from his mother’s side and is Italian, Irish, German, Dutch, English, French Huguenot, and Scottish from his father’s. Further, De Niro is American by nationality.

Was Diagnosed With Autism As A Child

The 25-year-old Elliot has autism. During the screening controversies of the anti-vaccination documentary Vaxxed in the 2016  Tribeca Film Festival, Elliot’s famous father openly talked about his autism and said,

“Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined,

Though it was the first time The Untouchable actor clearly mentioned Elliot’s diagnosis with autism, he has hinted about it a lot previously.

Elliot has autism
Young Elliot with his father. Source: DailyMail

Elliot’s dad indirectly reflected on his experience of raising a child with special needs back in 2013 in an interview with Katie Couric during the promotion of the film Silver Linings Playbook which is about Director David O. Russell’s son’s Bipolar Disorder. In the meantime, relating himself to David, Robert said, ” I don’t like to get emotional, “But I know exactly what he goes through.”

Elliot’s Mother Saw Some Sort Of Changes In Him After He Was Vaccinated

During his appearance in Today, Elliot’s dad Robert talked about vaccination that can have a life-changing effect on an autistic child. He said,

There are many people who will come out and say ‘I saw my kid change overnight,’

Further, in an interviewer questions if he had the same kind of experience with Elliot who has autism, he personally denied it but said that Elliot’s mom experienced it a little bit. The Bad Grandpa actor stated, ” My wife says that. I don’t remember.” He also focused on the fact that vaccines may work differently from child to child.

Is A Tennis Player

Despite being an autistic child, Elliot started playing tennis from a very young age. It was his mom and dad who chose tennis for him amidst his struggle with autism. Now, the celebrity child completely loves playing tennis and it has actually helped him develop physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

De Niro’s inspirational journey from being a budding tennis player to accomplished one was featured in the 2019 ESPN series Special Olympics: 50 Game Changers, where his dad Robert said,

“Finding things for kids to do is a hard part of the whole situation with parents of kids with special needs.

The actor further added,

[Playing tennis] helps him. He is more confident when he sees that he is actually good at this. That’s the best self-motivator anyone can have,”

Elliot is a tennis player
Elliot while playing tennis. Source: YouTube

The video displayed on ESPN showed Elliot’s athletic talent that he garnered through years of practice. Inspired by Elliot’s progress, his socialite mom Grace joined the Special Olympics New York Board of Directors in 2019 so that she could raise awareness among people who have undergone the same kind of condition.

Details On Elliot’s Parents’ On And Off Relationship

His parents Robert and Grace remained married for almost 21 years before calling it quits in the year 2018.  Their marriage was full of the Ups and Downs. The former couple had their first meeting at a London nightclub in 1987 and decades later, in June 1997 the two wedded in an intimate wedding ceremony.

A year later, they welcomed their first child together but within a year, Robert ended up filing a divorce against his then-wife. The ex-duo battled for the custody of their only child Elliot at a time but some years later in 2004, they renewed their vows. For the next 14 years, Elliot’s mom and dad led their nuptial gracefully but for some reason, they permanently split after 20 years of marriage.

Has A Bunch Of Siblings

Elliot is not the only child of his parents together. He has a little sister named Helen Grace De Niro. Her only biological sibling was born via surrogate on December 23, 2011.

Elliot has many siblings
Elliot with his siblings and parents

Further, from his father’s first marriage, he has two older half-siblings, Raphel De Niro and Drena De Niro. He is also the half-brother to his twin brothers Aaron Kendrick De Niro and Julian Henry De Niro who was born from his dad’s relationship with his former girlfriend Toukie Smith.

Recently, in April 2023, Elliot’s patriarch welcomed a new baby girl  Gia Virginia Chen-De Niro with his current girlfriend Tiffany Chen.

Relationship; Does He Have A Wife?

Well, Elliot isn’t married at present and doesn’t have a wife. Further, the 25-year-old star kid is most likely to be single since he has a special condition. Regardless of his disability, he is currently working on his athletic ability. He is fully occupied with tennis.

His Net Worth

According to some sources, Elliot has a net worth of $250k. On the other hand, his actor dad Robert De Niro owns a fortune of $500 million in 2024. No doubt that he earned a massive amount of money from his entertainment career.