Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. Known for his work in biopics and period films, DiCaprio is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and three Golden Globe Awards. As of 2019, his films have grossed over $7.2 billion worldwide, and he has been placed eight times in annual rankings of the world's highest-paid actors.
DiCaprio portrayed Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004) and received acclaim for his performances in the political thriller Blood Diamond (2006), the crime drama The Departed (2006), and the romantic drama Revolutionary Road (2008). In the following decade, DiCaprio starred in several high-profile directors' projects, including the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), the western Django Unchained (2012), the biopic The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the survival drama The Revenant (2015)—for which he won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role—and the comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), all of which were critical and commercial successes.
DiCaprio is the founder of Appian Way Productions—a production company that has produced some of his films and the documentary series Greensburg (2008–2010)—and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to promoting environmental awareness. He regularly supports charitable causes and has produced several documentaries on the environment. In 2005, he was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contributions to the arts, and in 2016, he appeared in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974, in Los Angeles, California. He is the only child of Irmelin (née Indenbirken), a legal secretary, and George DiCaprio, an underground comix writer, publisher, and distributor of comic books; they met while attending college and moved to Los Angeles after graduating. His father is of Italian and German descent; DiCaprio is conversant in German. His maternal grandfather, Wilhelm Indenbirken, was German, and his maternal grandmother, Helene Indenbirken, was a Russian-born German citizen. In an interview in Russia, DiCaprio referred to himself as "half-Russian" and said that two of his late grandparents were Russian. DiCaprio was raised Catholic.
DiCaprio was named Leonardo because his mother, then pregnant with him, first felt him kick while she was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy. His parents separated when he was one year old; they initially agreed to live next door to each other to not deprive DiCaprio of his father's presence in his life as he mostly lived with his mother. For a while though, DiCaprio lived with his father, stepmother and older stepbrother, Adam Farrar, with whom he was close growing up. DiCaprio and his mother later moved around to multiple Los Angeles neighborhoods, such as Echo Park and Los Feliz, while she worked several jobs. He went to the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies for four years and later Seeds Elementary School, before moving onto the John Marshall High School.[ DiCaprio has said he hated public school and often asked his mother to take him to auditions instead to improve their financial situation. He dropped out of high school following his third year, eventually earning his general equivalency diploma.
DiCaprio has said his career choice as a child was to become a marine biologist or an actor but eventually favored the latter, as he was fond of impersonating characters and imitating people. When he was two, he went on stage at a performance festival and danced spontaneously; the cheerful response from the crowd started his interest in performing. His stepbrother earned $50,000 for a television commercial, which fascinated DiCaprio and helped him decide to become an actor. In 1979, DiCaprio, at age five, was removed from the set of the children's television series Romper Room for being disruptive. He began appearing in several commercials at age 14 for Matchbox cars by Mattel, which he considered his first role,and later for Kraft Foods, Bubble Yum, and Apple Jacks. In 1989, he played the role of Glen in two episodes of the television show The New Lassie.
At the beginning of his career, DiCaprio had difficulty finding an agent. When he did find one, he suggested DiCaprio change his name to Lenny Williams to appeal to American audiences, which he declined to do. DiCaprio remained jobless for a year and a half, even after 100 auditions. Disillusioned at this, he initially decided to quit acting, but his father encouraged him to further explore his creative side, introducing him to underground art and art in general. Motivated by his father and the need to financially support his mother, he began acting regularly on television by the early 1990s, starting with a role in the pilot of The Outsiders (1990) and one episode of the soap opera Santa Barbara (1990), in which he played the young Mason Capwell. DiCaprio got a break that year when he was cast in Parenthood, a series based on a successful comedy film of the same name. Before being cast in the role of Garry Buckman, a troubled teenager, he analyzed Joaquin Phoenix's performance in the original film. His work that year earned him two nominations at the 12th Youth in Film Awards—Best Young Actor in a Daytime Series for Santa Barbara and Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series for Parenthood. DiCaprio was also a celebrity contestant on the children's game show Fun House, on which he performed several stunts, including catching the fish inside a small pool using only his teeth.
'Devil in the White City' in Development at Hulu from Leo DiCaprio, Scorsese
February 11, 2019
'Frozen' tops 'Catching Fire,' but 'Furnace' generates no heat
December 8, 2013
'Robin Hood' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying
November 20, 2018
'The Departed,' the Oscars and the Non-Campaign Campaign
October 4, 2016
'The Revenant': Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro G. Inarritu On Epic Movie
December 15, 2015