With his breathtaking 1973 breakthrough performance in Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets De Niro forged an enormously fruitful collaboration—resulting in Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas, films which, alongside his roles in the likes of The Godfather Part Two, The Deer Hunter, and Once Upon a Time in America, read like a list of the top Hollywood films of the last 30 years. As a method actor De Niro lives and breathes his roles, notoriously gaining 60lbs for Raging Bull and learning to play the saxophone for New York, New York, while in recent years, films such as Analyze This and Meet the Parents have found him honing a previously unheralded talent for comedy acting. Offscreen, De Niro is notoriously reluctant to discuss his life, though his relationships with supermodels such as Toukie Smith and current wife Grace Hightower have often made the news. His forays into the director's chair as well as setting up his own production company, TriBeCa Productions, have seen him more willing to discuss his work, and he's been vocal about his politics. He is an active supporter of the Democrat Party, lending his support to Barack Obama, and has pledged to revitalize the TriBeCa region of New York following September 11.