Born Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio on November 11, 1974 in Los Angeles, California, he is known as an actor famous during the 21st century. His first name, Leonardo, was attributed to him by his mother as a result of the 'kick' he gave her at the time she was standing in front of Leonardo Da Vinci painting at a museum in Italy. He is the son of an Italian-American comic books distributor, George DiCaprio and a German former legal secretary, Irmalin Idenbirkin who both got divorced at Leo first year age. Since his parents divorce, Leo spent his time in Echo Park, a particularly dirty and poor, drug-dominated area of Los Angeles where he and his stepbrother named Adam Farrar were raised by his mother and stepfather. During his childhood, Leo used to be a naughty and misbehave child that was nearly kicked out from Romper Room educational program he took when he was 3 years old. Spent time passing his ordinary life just like any young boys of his age, Leo then reached school age and attended Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies before then enrolled at the John Marshall High School in Los Angeles.
It was never came easy for Leo when he began his early acting career as he had ever been rejected by an agent who perceived his name as sounded too foreign so that they suggested him to change his name into Lenny Williams. But he refused it and kept using his name, for which in January 1999 his lawyer even filed an application for Leo to allow him to copyright his "prestigious" name. After that refusal, Leo went on to cast for the role of Garry Buckman in the 1990s TV comedy drama series, "Parenthood" where he met fellow actor Tobey Maguire and so both be best friends ever since. Still in 1990, Leo moved on appearing in an American soap opera "Santa Barbara", as Mason Capwell, which ran on NBC for 2137 episodes from July 30, 1984 to January 15, 1993. During that period of time, Leo was also busy playing the role of a homeless boy, Luke Brower, in the sitcom "Growing Pains." Playing in a bunch of movies, he was mostly famous for his roles in theatrical motion pictures, mainly for his debut role as Josh in "Critters 3" released in 1991.
One year later, in 1992, Leo's career breakthrough came as he played the role of Toby in the drama "This Boy's Life" (1993), being in the same scene with Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin. His part in the movie had, later on, led the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics to name him runner-up for Best Supporting Actor, after which he got more offers to play in various movies and gained more fame of it. The following year, Leo was billed to portray a mentally retarded boy in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and his acting was so convincing that some people thought he really was. As a reward he was then bestowed an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in A Supporting Role and Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by An Actor in A Supporting Role in A Motion Picture. This achievement brought good luck charm for Leo who next got the main role in the 1996 updated modern day version of Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet."
Subsequent to the success of the flick, more and more film offers approached Leo but it was the role of Jack Dawson he portrayed in the 1997 romantic drama movie "Titanic" that really capitulated him into the galaxy of superstardom. Not only it held the record for the highest-grossing film of all time, generating over US$1.8 billion worldwide, but also spent 15 weekends atop the weekend box office, making it second only to "E.T." (16 weekends) as the movie with the most weekends at that position. Greater than that, "Titanic" was nominated for fourteen Academy Awards and won eleven, including the title of 1997's Best Picture. It, moreover, also gave Leo his 2nd Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama. This biggest hit in cinema history automatically made Leo a household name while earned him the title of 'teenage heart-throb' and sex symbol as well. From that point on, finding a high profile and promising film projects was no longer hard for him to do.
After the one-two punch of "Romeo" and "Titanic," Leo continued playing in the 1998 remake of "The Man in the Iron Mask," delivering another dashing performance with the dual role of French King Louis XIV and his doppelganger. Then in 2000 he teamed with hard-edged director Danny Boyle for "The Beach", which sadly provoked controversy because of clashes with the Thai authorities over the use of the island of Ko Phi Phi in 1999. The result was obvious, the film garnered bad press and did not score as well as expected at the box office. Things turned the other way around when in 2001 Leo was cast in director Martin Scorsese's 19th Century drama "Gangs of New York," playing Irish-American immigrant Amsterdam Vallon, released from prison and intent on taking on the gangs that killed his father. Those post-Titanic roles, sadly, were all considered as non-success before the hunk regained his status as one of the rare young actors who could command both commercial and critical success through an appearance in Steven Spielberg's 2002 "Catch Me If You Can". Perfectly cast, he delivered his most charming and mature performance to date, proving himself again as both movie star and actor.
Two years later Leo re-teamed with Scorsese for the 2004 drama "The Aviator." Delivered one of his strongest performances, his portrayal of the young Howard Hughes earned him some of the best reviews of his career as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. With such marvelous track record, Leo confidently adding more and more film projects to his resume, naming some were "The Departed" (2004) and "Blood Diamond" (2006), both earned him the 2006 Golden Globes and Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) nominations for Best Actor. That's not all as in the same year he also received two nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards for a lead actor nomination for "Blood Diamond" and a supporting actor nomination for "The Departed" plus Oscar nomination for lead actor for "Diamond" and a BAFTA nod for lead actor for "Departed."
Following the remarkable attainment, it certainly was unsurprising to see Leo found no difficulties at all in landing more serious roles afterwards. Next set to appear in "Blink" (2007), he has already been billed to act in a number of big screen features for 2008 releases namely "The Chancellor Manuscript", "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", "Conspiracy of Fools", "Revolutionary Road", and "Body of Lies" as well as an untitled noir flick directed by Michael Mann. Except for the latter three, all titles also spotted him taking the producer's seat along with those of "In Dark Woods" (2008), "Confession of Pain" (2009), "Cat's Cradle" (2009), and "The Wolf of Wall Street" (2010), which he also stars in.
As of his love life, the women's man was romantically linked to numerous beauties, including Emma Bunton, Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey, Carmen Electra, Paris Hilton, Bijou Phillips, and Alicia Silverstone among others. By the year 2002 he dated Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bundchen and split up in 2005. And in the year 2006 he was reported dating Israeli model Bar Refaeli.