In this article, we’ll cover all there is to know about Grace Hightower – an American actress, singer, socialite, and philanthropist. She’s famously known as the ex-wife of Hollywood legend Robert De Niro, who is widely recognized as one of the finest actors in history. Grace and Robert split in 2018, but she made a name for herself in many different areas and became well-known.
Her Early Life and Career Beginnings
Grace Hightower, born on April 7, 1955 in Kilmichael, Mississippi, grew up in poverty with her nine siblings. As of 2023, Grace is 68 years old. Her mom and dad, Eugene Hightower Sr. and Addie Lee Hightower, used to be farmers. What they did before that isn’t known yet. When she was in high school, Grace worked many different jobs to help take care of her family. Despite her busy schedule, she enjoyed playing sports and performing in school plays. After graduating in 1973, she did not pursue a college education.
In 1980, Grace’s life took a turn when she was discovered by individuals from Saks Fifth Avenue’s publicity department. This led to modeling opportunities with the department store and other brands.
Grace Hightower’s Diverse Career and Philanthropic Efforts
Grace Hightower started her job as a flight attendant with Trans World Airlines. After that, she lived in Paris, France and then moved to London, England. Grace Hightower started her job as a flight attendant with Trans World Airlines. After that, she lived in Paris, France and then moved to London, England. While not officially dating, it is believed that De Niro helped her financially over the years.
In addition to her career pursuits, Grace is also a singer who performed the song “Something’s Comin’ My Way” for the film “Precious” in 2009. Vogue magazine wrote about her 55th birthday celebration in 2010. She also gave film director Lee Daniels an award called the Creative Spirit Award from Pratt Institute.
Grace’s philanthropic efforts include founding the charity organization Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda in 2013 to market Rwandan products internationally, which is known as Coffee of Grace now. She serves as a board member for various organizations, including the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, Women’s Heart Health Advisory Council, and New York Women’s Foundation. Grace has received recognition and awards for her charitable work, including an award from the American Cancer Society of New York City.
Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro: A Rocky Marriage and Eventual Split
Meeting in 1987 at London’s famous Mr. Chow’s restaurant, Grace Hightower and Robert De Niro began dating and eventually got married in 1997 after Grace became pregnant. The marriage hit a rocky patch, with Robert filing for divorce in 1999 and suing for custody of their son. The couple managed to reconcile and renewed their vows in 2004 before welcoming their second child in 2011 via surrogacy.
In November 2018, the couple separated after being married for 20 years, with Robert filing for divorce. Despite the difficulties, they have remained on friendly terms to co-parent their children. However, there have been public tensions between the two, including an incident on a cruise where Grace reportedly caught Robert with another woman, leading to a physical altercation and a subsequent legal battle over custody and alleged drug and alcohol addiction. Although the couple eventually reconciled, their marriage ended for good in 2018.
Grace Hightower’s Acting Career
- Grace appeared in “NYPD Blue” (Season 1 Episode 18) in 1994, playing the role of an E.S.U Woman.
- In 1997, Grace acted in “Brotherhood,” a fan-made action film where she played the role of Cris.
- Grace’s breakthrough role came in 2009 when she portrayed a Social Worker in the critically acclaimed drama “Precious“. The role was small, but the movie went on to win two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique).
- Grace played Yardley’s Girlfriend in Lee Daniels’ crime mystery “The Paperboy” in 2012. Lee Daniels is a family friend, which is how Grace landed both roles in “Precious” and “The Paperboy”.
- Grace’s only other role was in the 2017 action movie “Unspoken: Diary of an Assassin” where she played a small role. The movie failed to receive attention from critics.
Synopsis of Each Role
- In “NYPD Blue,” Grace plays an E.S.U. Woman in a 1994 episode titled “Zeppo Marks Brothers”.
- In “Brotherhood,” Grace portrays Cris, a supporting character in a 1997 fan-film.
- In “Precious,” Grace plays the Social Worker in the Academy Award-winning 2009 drama film.
- In “The Paperboy,” Grace appears as Yardley’s Girlfriend, a supporting role in the 2012 crime mystery film.
- In “Unspoken: Diary of an Assassin,” Grace plays a small role in a 2017 action movie.
Offsprings of Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower
The first child of Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower was born on March 18, 1998 and was named Elliot De Niro. It should be noted that Grace was 42 years old when Elliot was born.
Following Elliot’s birth, the couple went on to have another child, their daughter Helen Grace De Niro, who was brought into the world via a surrogate mother in December of 2011. Helen weighed a total of 7 pounds and 2 ounces during her delivery and is 13 years younger than her elder brother, Elliot.
Grace Hightower is an accomplished actress, singer, socialite, and philanthropist who has gained recognition in various fields. Despite her turbulent marriage to Robert De Niro, she has managed to establish herself independently and make significant contributions to various charitable endeavors. Her acting career, while brief, included notable roles in acclaimed films such as “Precious”. Overall, Grace serves as an inspiration to many individuals worldwide for her achievements both on and off the screen.