De Niro saved The Deer Hunter by paying for co-star’s medical insurance when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer

The Deer Hunteris best known for its on and off-screen bust ups, all-star cast and a production process shrouded in mystery. 

Yet only now – 40 years after the five-time Oscar-winner was released – has a tragic and touching secret emerged which could have changed the course of Hollywood history.

The iconic 1978 film, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep and John Savage, was set to be filmed without their co-star John Cazale. 

Cazale had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was set to be pulled from the production because the studio could not afford cover his insurance. 

It was only because De Niro “put his career on the line” and told EMI FILMS and Universal that “if…

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