The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Robert De Niro, the legendary two-time Oscar winner who is now in serious contention for his first Oscar nomination in 21 years for his performance in David O. Russell's dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, will receive the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award at the 16th annual Hollywood Film Awards -- the first awards show of the 2012 Oscar season -- when its gala ceremony is held Oct. 22 at the Beverly Hilton.
The Hollywood Film Awards, which are associated with the Hollywood Film Festival and determined by HFF founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu and his advisory team, recognize individuals for both career achievement and work released within the calendar year. Previous recipients of the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award include Geoffrey Rush (2003), Matthew Broderick (2005), Ben Affleck (2007), John Travolta (2008), Christoph Waltz (2009), Sam Rockwell (2010), and Christopher Plummer (2011).
De Abreu tells THR, "Robert De Niro is not only highly regarded for his body of work as an actor, producer, and director, but also for the passion, integrity, and dedication he brings to his performances on camera, as well as his intense off-camera preparation and study of the characters he brings to life. His performance in Silver Linings Playbook is outstanding."
De Niro, of course, is widely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of not only his generation, but any generation. The list of films in which he has given memorable -- and, in several cases, iconic -- performances, in a career that now spans six different decades, includes: Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973), Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974), Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978), Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1983) Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985), Roland Joffe's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987), Martin Brest's Midnight Run (1988), Penny Marshall's Awakenings (1990), Scorsese's GoodFellas (1990), Scorsese's Cape Fear (1991), his own A Bronx Tale (1993), Michael Mann's Heat (1995), Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997), Scorsese's Casino (1995), Barry Levinson's Wag the Dog (1997), Harold Ramis's Analyze This (1999), Jay Roach's Meet the Parents (2000), and John Curran's Stone (2010).
Silver Linings Playbook, meanwhile, generated great acclaim following its world premiere earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the audience award, and will be released nationwide on Dec. 21. In it, De Niro plays the father of a depressed high school teacher (De Niro's Limitless co-star Bradley Cooper) who, after being institutionalized for four years, returns home to live with him and his wife (Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver).
THR recently reported the names of several other Hollywood Film Awards honorees, including the recipients of the Hollywood Actress Award, Hollywood Producer Award, Hollywood Animation Award, Hollywood Comedy Award, New Hollywood Award, Hollywood Breakout Performance Award, Hollywood Cinematographer Award, and Hollywood Visual Effects Award.
In the past nine years, Hollywood Film Awards honorees went on to garner a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars.