Leonardo DiCaprio Biography: Leonardo DiCaprio, born November 11, 1974, is an American actor and producer known for his work in biographical and period films. He has received numerous awards, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and three Golden Globe Awards. His films have grossed over $7.2 billion worldwide as of 2019, and he has been listed eight times among the world’s highest-paid actors. DiCaprio began his career in the late 1980s with television commercials and gained recognition in the early 1990s with roles in TV shows like Parenthood and his first major film, This Boy’s Life (1993).


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He achieved international fame with Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Titanic (1997). Over the years, he diversified his roles, collaborating with directors like Martin Scorsese and starring in acclaimed films such as The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006), The Revenant (2015), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). Additionally, DiCaprio is the founder of Appian Way Productions and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, supporting environmental causes and serving as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. He was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2016 and was voted one of the 50 greatest actors of all time in a 2022 Empire readers’ poll.

Early life and acting background

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974, in Los Angeles, California, to parents Irmelin Indenbirken and George DiCaprio. Raised in Echo Park, DiCaprio’s parents divorced when he was young, and he developed a close bond with his stepbrother Adam Farrar. Despite financial struggles and a turbulent neighborhood, DiCaprio attended various schools before dropping out to pursue acting.

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He began his career with commercials and TV roles, eventually gaining recognition for his performances in shows like Parenthood. DiCaprio’s early struggles in the industry led him to consider giving up acting, but he persevered, landing roles that set the stage for his future success.


Career

1991–1996: Early work and breakthrough

Leonardo DiCaprio began his film career with a role in the low-budget horror sequel Critters 3 in 1991. He later appeared in the sitcom Growing Pains, but left before its end due to stagnant ratings. DiCaprio’s breakthrough came with This Boy’s Life (1993), where he starred alongside Robert De Niro. His performance earned him critical acclaim and marked the start of his rise in Hollywood.

In the same year, he portrayed a developmentally disabled boy in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, garnering his first Academy Award nomination. DiCaprio continued to impress with roles in films like The Quick and the Dead and The Basketball Diaries (both 1995), establishing himself as a versatile actor. His portrayal of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) further solidified his status as a leading Hollywood figure, earning him a Silver Bear for Best Actor. DiCaprio’s talent was evident in each role, drawing praise from critics and audiences alike.

1997–2001: Titanic and worldwide recognition

Leonardo DiCaprio turned down a role in Boogie Nights (1997) to star in James Cameron’s Titanic opposite Kate Winslet. Initially hesitant, DiCaprio eventually took on the iconic role of Jack Dawson, which propelled him to superstardom. The film, with a budget of over $200 million, became a global phenomenon, earning over $2.1 billion worldwide. Despite not receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance, DiCaprio’s portrayal of Jack Dawson garnered immense popularity, leading to what was termed “Leo-mania.”

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DiCaprio later expressed detachment from the Titanic phenomenon, focusing instead on choosing roles that resonated with him personally. His subsequent projects included Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1998) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), where he played dual roles. Additionally, he was initially cast in American Psycho (2000) but left the project due to creative differences with the director. Instead, he starred in The Beach (2000), based on Alex Garland’s novel, which received mixed reviews. DiCaprio also appeared in the black-and-white short film Don’s Plum, which later faced legal issues over its release.

2002–2009: Venture into film production

DiCaprio declined the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), feeling unprepared at the time. He then starred in Catch Me If You Can, a biopic about Frank Abagnale Jr., directed by Steven Spielberg. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success, marking one of DiCaprio’s most adventurous filmmaking experiences. He earned his third Golden Globe nomination for his performance.

In the same year, DiCaprio starred in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, portraying Amsterdam Vallon, the leader of an Irish-American street gang. Despite production challenges and budget issues, the film was a commercial success and received positive reviews. DiCaprio founded his production company, Appian Way Productions, in 2004, focusing on unique source material.

DiCaprio collaborated with Scorsese again in The Aviator (2004), a biopic about Howard Hughes, which earned critical acclaim and multiple award nominations, including a Golden Globe win for DiCaprio. He continued his successful streak with roles in The Departed (2006) and Blood Diamond (2006), receiving praise for his performances and earning nominations for prestigious awards.

In 2007, DiCaprio produced Gardener of Eden and The 11th Hour, a documentary on the environment. He also starred in Body of Lies (2008) and Revolutionary Road (2008), the latter opposite Kate Winslet. Both films received mixed reviews but showcased DiCaprio’s versatility as an actor. He rounded off the decade by producing the successful horror thriller Orphan (2009).

2010–2013: Films with high-profile directors

DiCaprio teamed up with Scorsese once again for the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), portraying U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels investigating a psychiatric facility on a remote island. Despite mixed reviews, DiCaprio’s performance was praised as his most haunting yet. The film was a commercial success, grossing $294 million worldwide.

In the same year, DiCaprio starred in Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed sci-fi film Inception, playing Dom Cobb, a skilled “extractor” who delves into dreams to steal secrets. The movie became his second highest-grossing film, earning $836 million worldwide. DiCaprio’s pay cut for a share in the film’s profits proved to be a lucrative decision, netting him $50 million.

DiCaprio portrayed J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar (2011), delving into the life of the controversial FBI director. Despite mixed reviews, DiCaprio’s performance was widely praised for its depth and nuance. In 2012, he starred as Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, delivering a chilling performance that earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Taking a break from acting in 2013, DiCaprio produced and starred in several films, including Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, where his portrayal of Jay Gatsby earned critical acclaim. He also produced and starred in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), portraying real-life stockbroker Jordan Belfort. DiCaprio’s performance earned him a Golden Globe win and Academy Award nominations.

Personal life

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DiCaprio maintains agnostic views but doesn’t label himself as an atheist. He’s notoriously private, granting few interviews and avoiding discussions about his personal life. However, his relationships, particularly with women significantly younger than him, have often made headlines. From Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen to Israeli model Bar Refaeli, DiCaprio’s romantic history has been scrutinized. He’s also been linked to German model Toni Garrn and, more recently, American model and actress Camila Morrone.

In terms of property, DiCaprio owns residences in Los Angeles, apartments in New York City, and even purchased an island, Blackadore Caye, off Belize, with plans to develop an eco-friendly resort. Additionally, he acquired the Dinah Shore residence in Palm Springs in 2014.

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In a disturbing incident in 2005, DiCaprio suffered severe injuries when model Aretha Wilson attacked him with a broken bottle at a Hollywood party, resulting in seventeen stitches to his face and neck. Wilson was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.

In 2017, amidst the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal involving The Wolf of Wall Street producer Red Granite Pictures, DiCaprio surrendered gifts received from business associates, including a Marlon Brando Oscar trophy, a Pablo Picasso painting, and a Jean-Michel Basquiat collage, to the US government.


Awards & Nominations

Leonardo DiCaprio, the renowned American actor, boasts an impressive array of accolades. Including nominations for seven Academy Awards, six British Academy Film Awards, and eleven Screen Actors Guild Awards. He clinched victories in each category, along with three Golden Globe Awards out of thirteen nominations.

DiCaprio’s early career saw him earning three Young Artist Award nominations for his television roles in the early 1990s. Followed by his film debut in “Critters 3” (1991). His breakthrough came with his portrayal of a mentally challenged boy in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993). Which garnered him nominations for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Subsequently, he starred in “Romeo + Juliet” (1996) and achieved widespread acclaim for his role in the blockbuster “Titanic” (1997). Earning accolades such as the MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance and his first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor.

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Throughout the 2000s, DiCaprio’s career continued to soar. With notable roles in “Catch Me If You Can” (2002), “Gangs of New York” (2002), and “The Aviator” (2004), the latter of which earned him his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. His diverse performances in films like “The Departed” (2006), “Blood Diamond” (2006), and “Revolutionary Road” (2008) garnered further critical acclaim and nominations for various awards.

In the following decade, DiCaprio continued to impress with roles in “Shutter Island” (2010) and “Inception” (2010). Both of which earned him nominations for the Saturn Award for Best Actor. However, it was his portrayal of Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) that earned him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.




DiCaprio’s crowning achievement came with his portrayal of Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” (2015). Which garnered him the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Actor. Most recently, his performance in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019) earned him nominations for an Oscar. A Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

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