How Did Leonardo De Niro Die? Robert De Niro's Actor Grandson Dies Suddenly Aged 19 as Mother Drena Posts Heartbreaking Tribute

Leandro De Niro, the young actor, had a role alongside his mother Drena in the 2018 film "A Star Is Born."

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Robert De Niro's grandson Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez has died aged just 19. On Monday, Drena De Niro, the 51-year-old adopted daughter of the Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro and his former partner Diahnne Abbott, announced the heartbreaking news on her Instagram account.

Drena De Niro did not reveal the cause of her son's death but she posted a photo of him, who appeared in the movie "A Star is Born," along with a poignant caption. In her caption, she expressed her heartfelt wish that love alone could have been enough to save him, indicating the depth of her sorrow and the profound impact of the loss.

Tragic and Sudden Death

De Niros
Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez, Drena De Niro and Robert De Niro Twitter

Drena De Niro began the heartbreaking post by writing: "My beautiful sweet angel. I have loved you beyond words or description from the moment I felt you in my belly.

"You have been my joy my heart and all that was ever pure and real in my life. I wish I was with you right now. I wish I was with you. I don't know how to live without you but I'll try to go on and spread the love and light that you so made me feel in getting to be your mama," the heartbroken mom continued.

"You were so deeply loved and appreciated and I wish that love alone could have saved you I'm so sorry my baby, I'm so sorry @carlosmare. Rest in Peace and Eternal Paradise my darling boy," she added.

Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez
Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez Twitter

Drena also mentioned Carlos Mare, Leandro's artist father, and shared her condolences with him. Carlos Mare posted a blacked-out image on his Instagram page, potentially symbolizing his mourning and grief.

Carlos Mare shared his tribute separately by writing: "Words aren't enough to express the joy he gave us or the loss we now endure with our families and friends.

"He is God's child now. On this full moon his spirit luminates what could not be seen in the dark.

"You can't spell LOVE without LEO."

Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez
Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez with his mother Drena De Niro Twitter

Leandro De Niro, the young actor, had a role alongside his mother Drena in the 2018 film "A Star Is Born." In the movie, he portrayed the character of George "Noodles" Stone's son, played by Dave Chappelle. George Stone played the best friend of Jackson Maine, portrayed by Bradley Cooper.

The mother and son shared the screen in multiple other films. They appeared together in the movies "The Collection" in 2005 and "Cabaret Maxime" in 2018, showcasing their on-screen collaboration and shared passion for acting.

Tributes Pour In

Upon sharing the tragic news, Drena De Niro and Leandro's loved ones and friends immediately started posting messages of condolences. One friend, in particular, left a comment expressing disbelief and desperately hoping that the news was a joke, as it was difficult to accept the reality that Leandro was no longer with them.

Robert De Niro
Instagram grab/ Robert De Niro

"It's an horrible news to digest. Drena my heart is with you and Carlos and your loved ones - I love you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️"

Drena replied: "I know I still hope this is a nightmare and I'll wake up tomorrow."

Victoria Gotti, the daughter of notorious mob-boss John Gotti, expressed her profound grief over the news of Leandro's death. In her comment, she mentioned being "heartbroken" and finding herself at a loss for words to fully express the depth of her emotions. Victoria Gotti's response highlighted the impact that Leandro's passing had on those who knew him.

"You were such a playful handsome amicable and amazing young boy who grew into an amazing young man! May you rest my dear boy and I was so blessed to have shared thanksgiving with you—such a bright intelligent and well mannered young man. A young life cut far too short," she wrote.

On Mother's Day, Drena De Niro had shared heartwarming images of her and Leandro spending time together while watching the 1974 comedy film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore." She affectionately described the photos as a combination of both Leandro and his father, Mare.

Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez
Leonardo De Niro Rodriguez with his grandfather Robert De Niro and father Carlos Mare Twitter

Drena also included pictures of Leandro spending quality time with his dad and their family dog, further showcasing the love and bond they shared as a family.

"Lots of memories of my soulmate, fur baby Daisy. Today was a good day," Drena captioned the post.

In May, Leandro's grandfather, Robert De Niro, 79, celebrated the arrival of his daughter Gia Virginia Chen De Niro with his girlfriend, Tiffany Chen. This marked the couple's first child together and also made it the seventh child for the Oscar-winning actor. The family expanded with the joyous addition of Gia Virginia Chen De Niro, bringing new generations into their fold.

Drena De Niro was adopted by Robert De Niro and took on his surname after he married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976. Due to her father's active career, Drena had a somewhat transient lifestyle, dividing her time between New York City, Los Angeles, and Italy. This dynamic upbringing allowed her to experience different cultures and environments throughout her life.

During his second marriage to former actress and model Toukie Smith, Robert De Niro became a father to twin boys named Julian and Aaron. Born in 1995, the twins were brought into the world through a surrogate.

Following that, De Niro and his then-wife Grace Hightower had a son named Elliot in 1998. In 2011, they welcomed a daughter named Helen, who was also born via surrogate. The De Niro family expanded with the addition of these children, bringing joy and love into their lives.

This article was first published on July 3, 2023