Robert De Niro Shares Memories of His Gay Father

05/27/2014 at 04:15 PM EDT

Robert De Niro Shares Memories of His Gay Father
Robert De Niro
Franck Crusiaux/Getty
Artistic talent runs in Robert De Niro's family.

Robert De Niro, Sr., was a figurative painter, and his final home and studio in New York City has been preserved by his Academy Award-winning son, who shares his memories in a new HBO documentary called Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr.

"To me, he was always a great artist," De Niro tells OUT magazine in its June/July issue, which features an interview with the actor about his father's legacy and his sexuality – Robert De Niro, Sr., was gay.

"Yeah, he probably was [conflicted about being gay], being from that generation, especially from a small town upstate," says De Niro, 70. "I was not aware, much, of it. I wish we had spoken about it much more. My mother didn't want to talk about things in general, and you're not interested when you're a certain age."



De Niro says that although he didn't spend a lot of time with his father, they were close.

"We were not the type of father and son who played baseball together, as you can surmise. But we had a connection," he says. "I wasn't with him a lot, because my mother and he were separated and divorced. As I say in the documentary, I looked after him in certain ways."

"He was absent in some ways. He was very loving. He adored me … as I do my kids."

Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro, Sr. premieres June 9 on HBO.

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