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ldc - Man Celebrities/Music


Leonardo DiCaprio
Born: Nov 11, 1974 in Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Actor, Writer
Active: '90s-2000s
Major Genres: Drama, Film, TV & Radio
Career Highlights: What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Titanic, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
First Major Screen Credit: Critters 3 (1991)
As the blond, blue-eyed icon for millions of teenage girls and more than a few boys everywhere, Leonardo DiCaprio emerged from relative television obscurity to become perhaps the hottest under-30 actor of the 1990s. After leading roles in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet and James Cameron's Titanic, the actor became a phenomenon, spawning legions of websites and an entire industry built around his name.

Born in the town that would later make him famous, DiCaprio came into the world on November 11, 1974, in Hollywood, CA. The son of a German immigrant mother and an underground comic book artist father who separated shortly after his birth, DiCaprio was raised by both of his parents, who encouraged his early interest in acting. At the age of two and a half, the fledgling performer had his first brush with notoriety and workplace ethics when he was kicked off the set of Romper Room for what the show's network deemed "uncontrollable behavior." After this rather inauspicious start to his career, DiCaprio began to hone his skills -- and, presumably, his professional behavior -- with summer courses in performance art while he was in elementary school. He also joined the Mud People, an avant-garde theater group, with which he performed in Los Angeles, earning the title of "The Littlest Mud Person."

In high school, DiCaprio acted in his first real play and began doing commercials, educational films, and the occasional stint on the Saturday morning show The New Lassie. In 1990, after securing his first full-time agent at the age of 15, DiCaprio landed a role as a teenage alcoholic on the daytime drama Santa Barbara. He also continued to appear on other TV shows, such as The Outsiders and Parenthood, and made his film debut in the 1991 horror film Critters 3.

The actor got the first of many big breaks with a recurring role on the weekly sitcom Growing Pains. His portrayal of a homeless boy won him sufficient notice to get him an audition for Michael Caton-Jones' upcoming screen adaptation of Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life. DiCaprio won the film's title role after beating out 400 other young actors and it proved to be his career breakthrough. The 1993 film, and DiCaprio's performance, won raves and the actor further increased the adulation surrounding him when, later that year, he played Johnny Depp's mentally retarded younger brother in Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape. DiCaprio won an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, and at the tender age of 19, found himself being hailed as an actor to watch.

Subsequent roles in three 1995 films, Sam Raimi's Western The Quick and the Dead; Total Eclipse, in which he played the bisexual poet Rimbaud; and The Basketball Diaries, in which he starred as a struggling junkie, all put the actor in the limelight, but it wasn't until the following year that he became a bona fide star. This transition was made possible by his portrayal of Romeo in the hugely popular William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet opposite Claire Danes. The success of the film gave DiCaprio international fame, many lucrative opportunities, and a slew of comparisons to actors such as James Dean.

After starring with Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, and Robert DeNiro (his father in This Boy's Life) in Marvin's Room (1996), DiCaprio was catapulted into the stratosphere of international fame with his starring role in James Cameron's epic about a big boat and an even bigger piece of ice. Starring opposite Kate Winslet in the 1997 smash Titanic, DiCaprio got to be part of film history, as, in addition to being the highest-grossing movie ever, the film garnered 14 Oscar nominations, winning 11, including Best Picture and Best Director. DiCaprio's much discussed exclusion from the nominations did nothing to hurt his popularity, and somewhat ironically, he next chose to parody his own celebrity with an appearance in Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998) as a badly behaved movie star.

After displaying his nastier side, he won back the hearts of teens everywhere with his title role in the same year's swashbuckler The Man in the Iron Mask. The film allowed him to explore his good and bad side, as well as the perils of bad wigs, playing twins alongside such older and well-respected personages as Jeremy Irons, Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich, and Gérard Depardieu. Following the commercial success of the film, DiCaprio went in a completely different direction, with a lead role in Danny Boyle's screen adaptation of Alex Garland's novel The Beach. The film met with eager anticipation from its first day of shooting, as Leo fans everywhere waited with baited breath to see what kind of impression their golden child would next make on the film world; unfortunately, the muddled Beach drew neither praise nor box-office success. DiCaprio pushed forward with an appearance in the small independent film Don's Plum (2001). Cast alongside future Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, the film followed a rambling group of young adults as they made their way through city streets in search of a good time. Drawing fairly lukewarm reviews overseas, the obscure film would ultimately be relegated to a curiousity for stateside audiences as DiCaprio and Maguire sued to prevent a U.S. release of the film.

These initial post-Titanic roles, however, could be considered a regrouping before DiCaprio regained his status as one of the rare young actors who could command both commercial and critical success. He began collaborating with another famous Italian-American in the industry, Martin Scorsese, for the epic Gangs of New York (2002), in which DiCaprio was cast as the protagonist in a tale of gangland violence in early America. Long marred in rumors of disagreement between director Scorsese and producer Harvey Weinstein regarding the film's running time, the film that was originally to be released in December of 2001 was finally delivered to audiences in time for the 2002 holiday/Oscar season.

As if Scorsese's massive crime epic wasn't quite enough to give audiences their fill of DiCaprio, moviegoers got yet another dose of the tireless actor with the release of Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can (2002). A decidedly lighthearted effort from the director who had recently labored on such high-concept sci-fi films as A.I. (2001) and Minority Report (2002), Catch Me if You Can told the true-life tale of Frank Abagnale, Jr., a scam artist so effective that he eluded authorities while assuming a number of high-profile false identities and racking-up over $2.5 million in fraudulent checks while jet-setting in twenty-six countries. Where his work in Gangs seemed a bit leaden, his fleet-footed, cocky turn in Catch played better with audiences and critics, although he would not receive Oscar nods for either film.

Two years later he reteamed with Martin Scorsese, earning some of the best reviews of his career as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor playing the young Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Tapping into an energy that was lacking in Gangs, DiCaprio and Scorsese would both achieve further heights two years later with The Departed, a crime drama in which DiCaprio played an undercover cop trying to bring down criminal Jack Nicholson. Doubling up during Oscar season yet again, that same year he played the lead in Edward Zwick's The Blood Diamond, as an Afrikaner who must team up with a South African mercenary in order to find a rare gem of great value to both of them. Both films opened to praise and box-office success, resulting in dual Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor -- Drama. Perhaps pushing its luck, Warner Bros. -- the studio behind both films -- campaigned DiCaprio for a lead Oscar in Diamond and a supporting one in Departed; Oscar voters only nominated him for Diamond.

The hybrid-car driving DiCaprio has also been an outspoken proponent of environmentalism, a topic he is so passionate about he was allowed to interview then President Bill Clinton on the issue in a 2000 televised prime-time special

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

Birth name Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio
Born November 11 1974 (1974--) (age 32)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Notable roles Romeo Montague in
[[William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet]]
Jack Dawson in
Frank Abagnale Jr. in
Catch Me If You Can
Amsterdam Vallon in
Gangs of New York
Howard Hughes in
The Aviator
Billy Costigan in The Departed
Danny Archer in
Blood Diamond
Academy Awards

Nominated for Best Actor:
2004 The Aviator
2006 Blood Diamond
Nominated for Best Supporting Actor:
1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Golden Globe Awards

Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
2005 The Aviator
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (born November 11, 1974[1]) is a three-time Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor well known for his roles in blockbuster movies such as [[William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet]] (1996), Titanic (1997), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), and Blood Diamond (2006), and was, as a young man, famed for his global celebrity influence dubbed as "Leomania" in the late 1990s following his role as heartthrob protagonist Jack Dawson in Titanic. More recently, he has worked regularly with director Martin Scorsese which has led some to compare their partnership to that of Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro.


Early life
DiCaprio was born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, the son of George DiCaprio, a distributor of comic books, and Irmelin Indenbirken, a former legal secretary. DiCaprio's German mother moved from Oer-Erkenschwick, Germany to the U.S. during her childhood, while his father is of half Italian and half German descent.[1] DiCaprio's parents met while attending college together and subsequently moved to Los Angeles.[1] His last name means "from Capri" in Italian; he was named after artist Leonardo da Vinci, as his pregnant mother was standing in front of a da Vinci painting at a museum in Italy when DiCaprio first kicked; his paternal grandfather's middle name was also "Leon".[1] DiCaprio's parents divorced when he was a year old, and he subsequently lived mostly with his mother, although his father was also around. During his childhood, DiCaprio was interested in baseball cards, ...

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