Movie star Danny Aiello has blasted Robert De Niro for turning his back on quality roles to become nothing more than "a funny faced dunce" in box office hits.

Purist Aiello fears his old pal's greatest roles will be forgotten as he appears in more films like Meet The Parents and Meet The Fockers.

He rages, "Bobby is doing pictures now like POPEYE. I don't understand it.

"Barry Sullivan was a wonderful actor, who played in many movies and I remember reading his obituary - they talked about a soap opera that he was in and that really bothered me.

"You either get out of it or don't do anything so ridiculous as to have an obituary that says you are a great soap actor when you've had an entire life of great movies.

"I've seen a million stories about Bobby, saying, `What is he doing?' For the longest period of time he never made money. He and I had the same financial manager. There was no money to be made but he was doing great, did great movies.

"People were looking at him like, `That's the guy...' Then, all of a sudden, The Fockers comes up and Meet The Parents and they got worse and worse. It became a career of funny faces. You need no ability to do that; just make a stupid looking face, act like a dunce."

26/03/2005 01:28