De Niro Makes Offer School Can't Refuse

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AUSTIN (June 7, 2006) — Robert De Niro made an offer the University of Texas could not refuse.

The Academy Award-winning actor is donating his collection of film-related materials — scripts, costumes and correspondence — to the cultural archive at the university’s Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.

The collection will give students, film buffs and scholars a behind-the-scenes look at the career of one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation.

“This is what the Ransom Center is all about, the creative process,” said Steve Wilson, associate curator of the center’s film collection. “I know of no other actor’s archive that is as large and comprehensive as this one.”

There are more than 3,000 costume items and props from De Niro’s films, including some from his Oscar winning roles in “The Godfather: Part II” and “Raging Bull.” It even includes a full body cast used in the 1994 production of “Frankenstein” when De Niro played the monster.

Several items will be on display in the lobby until June 18: De Niro’s military dog tags and a script with his notes from “The Deer Hunter,” his real New York City taxi license from his days driving the streets to research “Taxi Driver,” and photographs as makeup artists tested different broken noses for his role as boxer Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull.”

After that the collection will be housed for research, although a few costumes may be rotated into the Ransom Center gallery.

“One of the most important things about the Harry Ransom Center is that the material will be accessible to students and the public,” De Niro said in a statement released by the center.

“Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.”

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