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Actor Robert De Niro Honored with Harry Ransom Center Endowment

The legendary star will celebrate the research center’s 65th anniversary at the “A Celebration of Film” gala in September

UPDATE: Actress Meryl Streep and film critic Leonard Maltin will join Robert De Niro for the Harry Ransom Center’s “A Celebration of Film” Gala on Sept. 24. Maltin will act as the master of ceremonies for the event that will mark the Ransom Center’s 65th anniversary and its newly established endowment honoring De Niro. Also, for the first time ever, a public post-gala party will take place at 9 p.m. Actors Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson and Andrew Wilson will be honorary co-hosts of this late-night event, which will celebrate the Ransom Center’s fall exhibition, “The Writers: Portraits by Laura Wilson.”

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin will soon establish an endowment fund in honor of Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro.

The De Niro Curator Film endowment will be a continuation of the actor’s long-term relationship with the Harry Ransom Center. In 2006, De Niro donated an archive of materials documenting his career in cinema, which he’s continually added to over the years, contributing significantly to the Center’s collection of records related to important films from American history.

“I strongly believe in and support what the Harry Ransom Center does to open the creative process of filmmaking to students and the community,” says De Niro. “The Center has done a remarkable job curating a breadth of collections underscoring the history of the art form and the business.”

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Still from De Niro’s acclaimed film Taxi Driver. © 1975 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Materials donated by De Niro over the years include scripts and books with handwritten notes, costumes from several of De Niro’s prominent projects and research materials from the actor’s preparation for film roles.

In recognition of its 65th anniversary, the Ransom Center will host its “A Celebration of Film” gala on Sept. 24 at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center. De Niro himself will attend the event to commemorate film history and the art of filmmaking.

“It is a privilege to welcome Robert De Niro, a great friend of the Ransom Center and ardent supporter of the arts, to Austin as we celebrate 65 years of archiving important American cultural history,” said Harry Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “This endowment will support the ongoing work to preserve film history and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.”

The gala will benefit the Center’s film collection and research mission, with funding going to the new De Niro Curator Film endowment as a part of UT’s What Starts Here campaign.

For more information about the gala or to purchase tickets, visit