At 79, Robert De Niro becomes one of world’s oldest celebrity dads
With Robert De Niro announcing this week that he’s welcomed his seventh child at age 79, the Academy Award-winning movie star has become one of the oldest male celebrities to ever take advantage of a biological fact: Men produce sperm until they die.
Certainly, 79 sounds like an advanced age to be tasked with constantly changing diapers or walking a fussy newborn around in the middle of the night. Wouldn’t he rather just go on a cruise? Of course, it’s entirely possible that his much-younger partner Tiffany Chen, or a nanny, will handle those parenting duties.
Actually, the “Raging Bull” actor already has experience with advanced paternal age. He was 68 in 2011 when he and his ex-wife, Grace Hightower, welcomed their daughter, Helen Grace, via surrogate.
Still, if he’s looking for emotional support as he embarks on this awesome but exhausting new responsibility, he could form a dad’s group with some other well-known older fathers, including Mick Jagger, Steve Martin and fellow New Yorker Alec Baldwin, who, at 65, has seven children under the age of 9. De Niro can also take heart in the fact that some rich and famous men became fathers past the age of 79. Then again, some of these men sadly didn’t get to spend much time with their new children.
Here is a list of some famous older dads, and the ages at which they welcomed their children.
Julio Iglesias Sr., the Spanish gynecologist father of singer Julio Iglesias and grandfather of singers Enrique Iglesias and Julio Iglesias Jr. was 90 in 2004 when his second wife, Ronna Keith, gave birth to his third child, a boy named Jaime. His fourth child, Ruth, was born in 2006, seven months after he died.
Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Saul Bellow was 84 in 2000 when his fifth wife, Janis Freedman, gave birth to his fourth child and first daughter. Bellow died in 2005.
Anthony Quinn, the Academy Award-winning “Zorba the Greek” star, was 81 when his secretary and girlfriend Katherine Benvin gave birth to the youngest of his 12 children in 1996. Quinn died five years later.
“Star Trek” star James Doohan’s third wife, Wende Braunberger — whom he married when he was 54 and she was 18 — gave birth to his youngest child, a daughter, in 2000, when he was around 80. Unfortunately, the actor, famous for playing Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott on “Star Trek,” was in poor health in his final years and withdrew from public life in 2004, due to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the BBC reported. He died in 2005.
Tony Randall, star of TV’s “The Odd Couple,” was 78 when he and his second wife, Heather Harlan, welcomed their second child, a boy, in 1998. Randall was 75 and Harlan 25 when they married in a ceremony officiated by then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Randall died in 2004.
As for other famous older fathers, two members of The Rolling Stones continued to procreate in their 60s and 70s, Parents magazine reported. Mick Jagger, 79, welcomed his eighth child — a son, with girlfriend Melanie Hamrick — at the age of 73 in 2016. Ronnie Wood and his wife Sally Humphreys, who is 31 years his junior, welcomed twin girls in May 2016, just two days before his 69th birthday.
Other famous men having kids in their 60s include Clint Eastwood, who was 66 when his second wife, former TV anchor Dina Ruiz, gave birth to his youngest child, Morgan, in 1996.
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas was 69 when he and his wife Mellody Hobson welcomed their daughter, Everest, in 2014. In 2012 and at age 67, Steve Martin became a first-time father with his wife Anne Stringfield, while singer Billy Joel was 68, when his fourth wife, Alexis, welcomed their second daughter in 2017.
Celebrity-world’s most famous older procreator these days is probably 65-year-old Alec Baldwin, who has a total of eight children, starting with his 27-year-old daughter Ireland, from his marriage to his first wife Kim Basinger. At age 55 in 2013, Baldwin welcomed the first of seven children with his second wife, influencer and yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin. The children, known as Baldwin’s “Baldwinitos,” are ages 7 months to 9 years.
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