Nov. 11th, 1974
Hollywood, California, USA
Leonardo DiCaprio's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Leonardo DiCaprio's name allegedly derives from his German mother Irmalin's having experienced a sudden kick from her unborn boy while enjoying a DaVinci painting at the Uffizi. In the year following his birth, she and his Italian father, George, were divorced. He grew up in Echo Park, then a particularly seedy, drug-dominated area of Los Angeles. At five he appeared on his favorite TV show Romper Room (1953) and was nearly thrown off for misbehaving. After a string of commercials, educational films ("Mickey's Safety Club"), occasional parts in TV series, a debut film role as Josh in Critters 3 (1991), a continuing role as the homeless boy Luke in the TV series Growing Pains (1985), he got his break-through part as Toby in This Boy's Life (1993), co-starring with 'Robert De Niro' and 'Ellen Barkin'.
The part led the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics to name him runner-up for Best Supporting Actor. His first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations came for the difficult role of Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). Equally challenging parts were a drug-troubled Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries (1995), the tormented homosexual poet Rimbaud in Total Eclipse (1995), and the angry teenage son of a harried mother in Marvin's Room (1996). He made a major impact with his starring role in a very updated Romeo + Juliet (1996). Superstardom came to DiCaprio playing Jack Dawson in Titanic (1997), highest grossing film ever, tied with Ben-Hur (1959) for most Academy Awards, though Leo himself was not nominated. His performance in the remake of The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) was poorly received, but the film still turned a profit. His next major film, The Beach (2000), was not a success, but he made another comeback in Catch Me If You Can (2002) and remains an A-list star.
- Was offered the role of the porn star Dirk Diggler in _Boogie Nights (1997)_ (qv) at around the same time as he was offered his role in _Titanic (1997)_ (qv). The Dirk Diggler role eventually went to 'Mark Wahlberg (I)' (qv).
- Ranked #8 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the '90s.
- Has once said his favorite female performance is 'Gena Rowlands' (qv)' Mabel Longhetti in _A Woman Under the Influence (1974)_ (qv).
- Considered for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in _Spider-Man (2002)_ (qv).
- Was set to star in _American Psycho (2000)_ (qv) but had to drop it due to scheduling conflicts. 'Christian Bale' (qv) took the part instead.
- Openly supported 'John Kerry (I)' (qv) in the 2004 election. He went around 11 states and gave 20 speeches about the environment and how the Bush Administration has damaged it.
- Was initially set to star as Alan Jensen in _Harvard Man (2001)_ (qv), but the film's low budget could not afford to pay his salary, so he dropped out and 'Adrian Grenier' (qv) took the lead.
- He can speak a little German.