Robert De Niro‘s grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez has died at the age of 19.
Leandro was the son of De Niro’s adopted daughter Drena, 51, and artist Carlos Rodriguez, with Drena paying tribute to her late son in a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday.
Drena did not reveal his cause of death but shared a picture of her son, who appeared in the movie A Star is Born, and a poignant caption in which she declared ‘I wish that love alone could have saved you.’
The post began: ‘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.’
Tragic news: Robert De Niro ‘s grandson Leandro has died at the age of 19 (pictured with his mother Drena and grandfather)
Heartbreaking: Leandro was the son of De Niro’s adopted daughter Drena and artist Carlos Mare, with Drena paying tribute to her late son in a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday
Final post: Robert De Niro ‘s grandson Leandro De Niro Rodriguez appeared in a heartbreaking final social media post shared by his mother Drena on Mother’s Day
Drena continued: ‘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.
‘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 was immediately flooded with messages of condolences, with one friend commenting: ‘Drena don’t tell me it’s true tell me you’re joking because I can’t believe Leo isn’t with us anymore. It’s an horrible news to digest. Drena my heart is with you and Carlos and your loved ones – I love you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️’
Drena responded: ‘I know I still hope this is a nightmare and I’ll wake up tomorrow.’
Victoria Gotti, the daughter of mob-boss John Gotti, commented she was ‘heartbroken’ and she had ‘no words’ following Leandro’s death.
She wrote of Leandro: ‘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.’
Actress Rosie Perez Brooklyn wrote: ‘Shocked! I’m so sorry! We are all here for you !!! I love you too much!’, while Director and producer Lee Daniels wrote: ‘Drena may God keep you in his arms.’
Leandro’s father Carlos did not pay a public tribute to his late son but shared an image of a black square on his Instagram page without a caption.
MailOnline has contacted De Niro’s representatives for comment.
Aspiring actor and director Leandro was following in his mother and grandfather’s career footsteps, landing small roles in 2018’s A Star Is Born and Cabaret Maxime and 2005’s The Collection.
His mother Drena was adopted by De Niro, and took his surname, after the actor married her mother, Diahnne Abbott, in 1976.
She had a relatively transient lifestyle thanks to her father’s vibrant career and split her time between New York City, Los Angeles, and Italy.
In May, Drena had taken to Instagram – weeks before her son’s death – to share a sweet post to praise him on Mother’s Day.
Family: Drena is pictured with mother Drena and father Carlos Rodriguez
Grieving: Carlos did not pay a public tribute to his late son but shared an image of a black square on his Instagram page without a caption
Leandro was the son of De Niro’s (pictured) adopted daughter Drena, 51, and artist Carlos Rodriguez, with Drena paying tribute to her late son in a heartfelt Instagram post on Monday
Tragic loss: Leandro was the son of De Niro’s adopted daughter Drena (pictured in 2016)
Parents: De Niro adopted Diahnne Abbott’s daughter after the pair married in 1976 (pictured together in New York in 1977)
In the snaps, Drena could be seen beaming alongside Leandro for a selfie, with another shot showing the pair posing with Leandro’s father Carlos Rodriguez.
The post from May 15 post was captioned: ‘Mothers Day ~ A Lil bit of Leo Lil bit of Mare , Lots of Sunny & CleoPipa #AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore. Lots of memories of my soulmate ,fur baby Daisy. Today was a good day ✨♥️ #happymothersday.’
Drena left school and decided to explore the arts, turning her hand to a whole host of career paths including model, DJ and fashion consultant.
She eventually decided to follow in De Niro’s footsteps and soon found her feet as an actress and filmmaker.
Her first role was in Allison Anders’s Grace of My Heart in 1996 and she went on to star in several of her father’s films including 1999’s On The Run, 2002’s City By The Sea and 2002’s Showtime.
De Niro split with Drena’s mother in 1988 but the Hollywood A-lister remained in her life nonetheless.
She made De Niro a grandfather in 2003 when she welcomed Leandro with her then-boyfriend Carlos Rodriguez.
Drena, who currently lives in New York, has since turned her attentions to directing and also describes herself as being trained in Muay Thai and martial arts.
At 51, Drena is five years older than De Niro’s oldest biological child, Raphael, with Abbott. Now 46, he’s a Manhattan estate agent whose celebrity clients have included Jon Bon Jovi and Renee Zellweger.
De Niro also has two children — twins Aaron and Julian, 27, — from his relationship between 1988 and 1995 with former model and actress Toukie Smith. They were conceived by in vitro fertilisation and delivered by a surrogate mother.
In 1998, he also had a son, Elliot, 21, and in 2011, a daughter, Helen, 11, (also born via surrogate) during his stormy 20-year marriage to his second wife, former flight attendant Grace Hightower.
In May, the 79-year-old actor confirmed that he’d welcomed his seventh child Gia Virginia with his girlfriend Tiffany Chan, 43, to whom he has been linked since summer 2021.
New parents: Robert shares the newborn baby girl with his girlfriend Tiffany Chen (pictured together on June 7 in NYC), to whom he’s been linked since summer 2021
His eldest daughter: Robert has two kids – Drena, 51 (pictured with Robert in 2022), and Raphael, 46 – with his ex wife Diahnne Abbott
De Niro (right) is pictured with his son Julian (far left) as well as John David Washington, Danielle Brooks and Samuel L. Jackson in November 2022 in New York City
His son Elliot: De Niro with his son Elliot, who is now 24, in 2011 in France
His girl: De Niro with daughter Helen Grace out for ice cream with their puppies in New York in April 2019
Gia was born on April 6 and weighed 8 pounds and 6 ounces.
In June, De Niro gushed about raising a newborn once again while at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, stating: ‘It feels great.’
In regards to how he has changed as a father, the Goodfellas star said: ‘I have certain awareness — when you’re older you have awareness of certain things in life, dynamics, everything, family dynamics.’
He added: ‘You can’t avoid learning certain things and how you can deal with those and manage them and this and that, the usual.
‘It’s amazing, but I’m very happy about it.’
Shortly after the news of his new family addition came to light, the actor told Page Six that welcoming his seventh child was ‘planned’ and questioned ‘How you could not plan that kind of thing?’