Robert De Niro has said he ''can't imagine'' life without Martin Scorsese, as the pair have been close friends for more than 40 years.

The 76-year-old has been pals with the 77-year-old filmmaker for more than 40 years, with their friendship beginning back in 1973 when De Niro starred in Scorsese's 1973 movie Mean Streets.

Speaking to People magazine about their special bond De Niro said he "can't imagine my life" without Scorsese.

''I consider myself very lucky to have that long of a relationship with him. I can't imagine my life without it.," he said.

The talented pair have worked together on a total of nine films, including their most recent collaboration The Irishman, which is nominated for 10 Oscars at this year's ceremony.

''Doing this film was so special for all of us no matter what happened. The good reception is the icing on the cake.

''Marty is very sensitive about people and actors. He takes what actors give him and uses it. He is aware and well-informed about things and likes to read stuff.

"Directors have to be well-rounded in many facets of life. He's really great.''

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In December Scorsese has revealed he worked with Netflix on his latest film The Irishman out of "desperation". 

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