It’s a special day today for movie lovers, as Hollywood legends and acting buddies Robert De Niro and Sean Penn are both being celebrated for their work on their shared birthday. Of course, both of these performers have had very impressive careers of their own, with each winning two Academy Awards. Cinephiles will also know that the two friends have shared the screen on multiple occasions as well, such as when they co-starred in the 1989 comedy We’re No Angels. On Aug. 17, De Niro turned 77 while Penn turned 60, and both actors have begun trending on social media as a result.
Certainly, both Robert De Niro and Sean Penn are considered to be among the greatest actors of all time. With so many acclaimed roles to choose from, it could be very difficult for fans to pick a favorite performance from De Niro. Many birthday posts highlight his legendary performance in Taxi Driver, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. He is very well known for starring in other classic Martin Scorsese movies as well, winning a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Raging Bull. Some of his other most talked about roles include The Godfather Part II, Cape Fear, Goodfellas, and Casino. De Niro also has a memorable role in the Meet the Parents series and appeared as TV host Murray Franklin in last year’s Joker.
Meanwhile, it can be just as hard to choose a favorite role from Penn. We all remember how he shined as Spicoli in the classic comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though he also showed his diversity in more serious crime dramas like At Close Range and Carlito’s Way. He’d later be given Academy Award nominations for roles in movies like Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, and I Am Sam. Penn would then win two Best Actor Oscars for his starring roles in Mystic River and Milk. He has since found acclaim behind the camera as well, with his movie Into the Wild earning him two more Academy Award nominations as a director.
In 1989, De Niro and Penn co-starred in director Neil Jordan’s We’re No Angels remake, which also starred Demi Moore. The movie featured the Oscar-winning actors playing two convicts who masquerade as priests to escape from jail during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The two actors would later collaborate for Barry Levinson’s 2008 indie comedy movie What Just Happened. In that movie, De Niro starred as a veteran Hollywood producer with Penn playing a fictionalized version of himself.
Because both Hollywood legends are so popular with fans, tribute posts have been flooding social media from those wishing them both a happy birthday. Some fans have been posting images of the two of them from We’re No Angels, while others are using pictures of the two posing together in real life. From Twitter, you can take a look at some of the many fan tweets paying homage to De Niro and Penn below. Happy birthday to both of these veterans of the screen!