"You can either be a vain movie star, or you can try to shed some light on different aspects of the human condition." Leonardo DiCaprio.
Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio proved prominent while playing the role of Howard Hughes in the movie Aviator (2004). He was first shot to superstardom as Kate Winslet's love interest in the mega blockbuster movie Titanic (1997) and in an updated version of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996).
Besides having been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for Aviator, Leo has been recently honored with the French highest cultural award, Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed Leo, who was noted in People's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1997), has been linked to several models. He dated such curvaceous beauties as Bridget Hall, Amber Valetta, Vanessa Hayden and Kristen Zang and highlighted media headlines with his on-off relationship to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Recently, Leo stated, "I've been with Gisele for four years now and we're happy together. Monogamy is the key to a good relationship. When I was younger I had a lot of fun. I've had my fair share of models."
This Hollywood prince lately donated to the UNICEF's tsunami relief efforts in Thailand, where he once worked in the movie The Beach in 2000. He also established LeonardoDiCaprio.org, his own environmental foundation. For his environmental work, Global Green USA awarded him the Environmental Leadership Award.
Leo Versus Math
Childhood and Family:
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974. His mother named him after the famous painter when the unborn Leo kicked her while she was viewing Da Vinci's painting at the Uffizi. Leonardo DiCaprio is the son of Italian father George DiCaprio, a comic-book distributor, and German mother Irmalin DiCaprio, a former secretary. Leo spent his childhood in Echo Park, a sordid, drug infested area in Los Angeles, following the divorce of his parents.
Often cheating in math, Leo finally finished his studies at California's Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School, Center for Enriched Studies and John Marshall High School.
Romeo on Titanic
"Dad, I really want to become an actor, but if this is what it's all about I don't want to do it."... "Someday, Leonardo, it will happen for you. Remember these words. Just relax." (Conversation between 10-year-old Leo and his father after a casting rejection)
Introduced by his mother to several auditions and TV infomercials, Leo finally landed a contract with an agent at age 14. Besides advertisements, he appeared in films, the educational Mickey's Safety Club and How to Deal With a Parent Who Takes Drugs. He made several unmemorable TV appearances in shows like Parenthood (1990), Romper Room, The New Lassie and Santa Barbara (1990). Leo was first noticed while playing the brief role of Luke Brower (1991-1992) in the TV series Growing Pains. Meanwhile, he debuted in the feature film Critters 3 (1991) and followed it up with Poison Ivy (1992, alongside Drew Barrymore). He made another breakthrough cast as Toby, costarring with the renowned actor Robert De Niro, in This Boy's Life (1992). In 1993, Leo was challenged with a difficult role when he was cast as Johnny Depp's autistic brother in Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
Unfortunately, 1995 movies like The Quick and the Dead (starring Sharon Stone), The Basketball Diaries and Total Eclipse, proved to be box-office flops and did little for his career. However, in the following year, Leo gained recognition again while costarring with Claire Danes in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and worked with Meryl Streep in the highly praised Marvin's Room.
In the world's booming movie Titanic (1997), DiCaprio's fame skyrocketed when he portrayed Jack Dawson in the voyage sensation. After his role in the James Cameron's movie, Leo became one of the most sought-after and highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
Adored by teenage girls around the globe, Leo received offers to work in such films as Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) and The Beach (2000, with French actress Virginie Ledoyen). In 2002, he costarred with Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York and shared the screen with Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's runaway hit, Catch Me if You Can.
Leo scored excellent praise in early 2005 and won a Golden Globe award for his acting in Aviator (2004), a movie that received 11 Oscar nominations. As for 2006, two movies await him. DiCaprio will be seen in the title role in The Untitled Alexander the Great project and share the spotlight with superstars Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg in The Departed.
"The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it. It's a great outlet. As for myself, I'm not sure who I am. It seems that I change every day." Leonardo DiCaprio.
- Golden Globe: Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture, Aviator, 2005
- MTV Movie Award: Best Male Performance, Titanic, 1997
- Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear: Best Actor, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, 1997
- National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actor, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993
- Los Angeles Film Critics: New Generation Award, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, 1993
- Los Angeles Film Critics: New Generation Award, This Boy's Life, 1993