Aging Bull

updated 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY SAY "YOU TALKIN' TO ME?" WHEN EVERYONE YELLED "Surprise!" but the 50th-birthday bash for Robert De Niro was just that—a surprise—even though the invitations had gone out months before. Lured out by producer-director Irving Winkler on the pretext of a quiet dinner at a fictitious Manhattan restaurant, De Niro instead found himself in a cavernous loft, surrounded by directors who have directed him (Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Penny Marshall), actors who have acted with him (Robin Williams, Harvey Keitel) and women who have married or dated him (ex-wife Diahnne Abbott, ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith, current girlfriend Uma Thurman)—not to mention his mother, Virginia, his daughter, Drena, 25, his son, Raphael, 16, and superagent Mike Ovitz. After dinner (rack of lamb, poached salmon, vegetable pasta and lots of caviar, followed by berries and cream), Williams, egged on by Marshall, got up to make what was supposed to be a birthday toast—but it (no surprise) turned into a manic tour de force of impersonation that included a squint-eyed takeoff on the birthday boy.

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