Robert De Niro - who celebrated his 75th birthday recently - still does occasional workouts in the ring in which he portrayed the role of Jake LaMotta for the Martin Scorsese-directed movie Raging Bull.
According to the Mirror newspaper, De Niro had the actual boxing ring set placed on a structure atop the basketball court at his 78-acre estate, in the town of Gardiner, some 80 miles north of Manhattan. He bought the residence in 1997.
The actor gained 60 pounds to portray the elder version of La Motta and trained assiduously in the ring for months to play the younger version of La Motta.
"I sparred with people with gear on, but we were careful," he told Time magazine in 2013. "We weren’t looking to kill anyone. Then I trained with Jake. He would say, 'Hit me, don’t worry, don’t worry. He was 55, but he was really tough. I didn’t realize until I got to his age that you could still take a punch.'
La Motta died in 2017 at the age of 95. De Niro issued an affectionate statement at his passing, as follows: 'Rest in peace, champ' in the wake of the boxer's death.
Robert de Niro won Best Actor at the 1980 Academy awards for his fearless portrayal of the boxer.