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.
- Attended Seeds Elementary School at UCLA where he took summer courses in performance art
- Good friends with 'Lukas Haas' (qv), 'Mark Wahlberg (I)' (qv) and 'Kevin Connolly (I)' (qv).
- 'Martin Scorsese' (qv) is his favorite director.
- Was cast in the lead role in 'Baz Luhrmann' (qv)'s doomed Alexander The Great-project.
- Has a stepbrother, 'Adam Farrar' (qv).
- When he was a child, his favorite films were _Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)_ (qv), _Watership Down (1978)_ (qv) and _Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)_ (qv).
- Ranked #6 in Star TV's "Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s" (2003).
- Has said his two favorite performances are 'Robert De Niro' (qv)'s Travis Bickle in _Taxi Driver (1976)_ (qv) and 'James Dean (I)' (qv)'s Cal Trask in _East of Eden (1955)_ (qv).