There's little debate that Robert De Niro is one of the greatest screen actors of his generation, perhaps of all time. His work, particularly in the first 20 years of his career, is unparalleled. De Niro become known for his deep involvement in his characters, resulting in extraordinary, chameleonic performances. Yet little is known about the off-screen De Niro--he is an intensely private man, whose rare public appearances are often marked by palpable awkwardness, in powerful contrast to his confident movie personae. In this compelling biography, Shawn Levy writes of these many De Niros--the characters and the man--seeking to understand the evolution of an actor who once dove deeply into his roles as if to hide his inner nature, and who now seemingly avoids acting challenges, taking roles which make few apparent demands on his overwhelming talent. Following De Niro's roots as the child of artists who encouraged him from an early age to be independent of vision and spirit, to his intense schooling as an actor, the rise of his career, his marriages, his life as a father, restaurateur, and businessman, and, of course, his current movie career, Levy has written a biography that reads like a novel about a character whose inner turmoil takes him to heights of artistry.--From publisher description.