Acclaimed actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro have recently come under fire for expanding their families late in their lives, with Pacino awaiting his fourth child at 83 and De Niro welcoming his seventh offspring at 79.
The announcement of Pacino’s impending fatherhood, with his 29-year-old partner, and De Niro’s recent addition to his family have stirred up a critical response. Detractors have labelled their decisions as imprudent, given their advanced ages. Pacino will be 101 years old when his forthcoming child reaches adulthood at 18, while De Niro will be 97 years old when his youngest child reaches the same milestone.
Journalist Jaci Stephen expressed strong disapproval regarding their late fatherhood, denouncing them as “selfish” and “creepy.” In her opinion piece for the Daily Mail, she wrote, “In contrast to the gushing celebrations from De Niro’s celeb pals, I found the whole thing rather creepy – and not a little bit sad.”
Highlighting the potential consequences, she remarked, “The hard reality for geriatric dads like De Niro, and now Pacino, is that they’ll barely live long enough to be remembered by their new babies.” Stephen went further to draw a somewhat distasteful parallel, comparing the situation to picturing characters from The Muppet Show in intimate circumstances, and decrying a perceived double standard in societal acceptance of older parents based on gender.
Interestingly, Pacino had previously expressed his regret over his father leaving him when he was two years old, emphasizing his desire to be present in his children’s lives unlike his own father. In a 2014 interview with The New Yorker magazine, Pacino confessed, “It’s the missing link. Having children has helped a lot. I consciously knew that I didn’t want to be like my dad. I wanted to be there.”
The trend of older fatherhood isn’t limited to Pacino and De Niro. Other high-profile figures like former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who announced his fourth child at 89, and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who welcomed his eighth child at 73, have faced similar scrutiny. Stephen reiterated in her piece, emphasizing the inevitable reality faced by older parents.