AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two Hollywood A-listers will be in Austin this weekend, celebrating the acting career of Robert De Niro, and the University of Texas’ work to preserve artifacts that document it.
De Niro will be joined by his friend and former co-star Meryl Streep on Saturday to raise money for an endowment at the Harry Ransom Center, which houses De Niro’s collection of scripts, notes, posters and costumes from his acting career.
The visit comes as the Ransom Center is putting many of those items on display for the first time in an exhibit dedicated to De Niro’s career.
“It is a large collection he started collecting when he was a young man, really keeping costume pieces for auditions and things like that,” said Ransom Center Film Curator Steve Wilson. “But also keeping his scripts and notes and things like that.”
The 150 items, which are available for viewing to the public, document De Niro’s career from when he first started sending out his headshot and resume in 1965, up until 1980 when he won an Oscar for best actor for his role in “Raging Bull.”
Among the artifacts included, his two Oscar awards. De Niro won the first in 1974 for best supporting actor for his role in “The Godfather Part II.”
“He started out just like every other actor, “Wilson said. “Got his resume and his headshot, and things like that. He’s going out for auditions and trying out for parts and doing his best when he did get the part.”
How De Niro’s collection made it to Texas
De Niro’s archive first came to the Ranson Center in 2006 when the actor was looking for a place to store his collection. Wilson says he was contacted then by De Niro’s teacher after De Niro read an article in the New York Times about the Ransom Center’s work.
Although De Niro doesn’t have any obvious Texas connections, the university offered to keep all of De Niro’s film artifacts together in one home, rather than break them up, something the other universities he spoke with weren’t willing to do.
“He’s been adding to it from time to time and we’re very grateful for that,” Wilson said. “He’s been very supportive of us for a long time now.”
Tickets to Saturday’s banquet range from $2,500 for a pair and go up to $25,000 for a table for 10.