Robert DeNiro is Golden Globes pick for Cecil B. DeMille honor

Robert DeNiro may have won just one of his eight Golden Globe nominations — Best Drama Actor, “Raging Bull” (1980) —  but he was the top pick of the HFPA for this year’s Cecil B. DeMille award. At 67, DeNiro is the same age as last year’s honoree, his good friend and frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese. The notoriously shy actor even presented the prize to the director.

While the HFPA is comprised of journalists from around the world, their choices for this top honor have been centered on white Hollywood men of a certain age. It has been a decade since a woman took home this prize — Globe darling Barbra Streisand — and the only minority ever honored was Sidney Poitier back in 1982.

The list of other honorees over the past decade includes only one foreigner — Anthony Hopkins (2006). The others were: Al Pacino (2001), Harrison Ford (2002), Gene Hackman (2003), Michael Douglas (2004), Robin Williams (2005), Warren Beatty (2007), and Steven Spielberg (2009, postponed from 2008 due to writers’ strike).

DeNiro will receive this tribute at the 68th annual Golden Globes which take place on Sunday, Jan. 16 at the Beverly Hilton. Ricky Gervais returns to host the free-willing kudocast which will air live on NBC.

Photo: Martin Scorsese receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 2009 Golden Globes from Robert DeNiro (NBC)

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