Robert De Niro to Receive Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award

Robert De Niro Tribeca Film Festival - H 2013
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Robert De Niro Tribeca Film Festival - H 2013

The award has previously been presented to Tom Cruise, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra and Douglas Fairbanks.

Robert De Niro is to be honored by The Friars Club, which will present him with its top honor, the Entertainment Icon Award, at a gala dinner on Oct. 7 at New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. 

He becomes only the fifth recipient of award in the club's 109-year history. The award has previously been given to Tom Cruise, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

Friars Club Abbot Jerry Lewis, said in a statement, "He is the reason we have the words 'great actor.'"  Commented De Niro, "I"m very happy to be part of an evening that raises money for such good causes. Thank you, Friars! Who am I giving an award to?"

New York's Friars Club is best known for its celebrity roasts. De Niro, notorious for being publicity-averse and sometimes willfully inarticulate in interviews, proved while promoting Silver Linings Playbook at the 2012 Hollywood Film Awards that he could be loose and sharply funny, and he has been even more public promoting the new documentary about his father, Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro, Sr., currently airing on HBO.