Friday, July 17, 2009

Leonardo Dicaprio Biography

Date of Birth
11 November 1974, Hollywood, California, USA

Birth Name
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio

Lenny D

6' (1.83 m)

Mini Biography

His name allegedly derives from his German mother Irmalin's having experienced a sudden kick from her unborn boy while enjoying a DaVinci painting at the Uffizi. In the year following his birth, she and his Italian father, George, were divorced. He grew up in Echo Park, then a particularly seedy, drug-dominated area of Los Angeles. At five he appeared on his favorite TV show "Romper Room" (1953) and was nearly thrown off for misbehaving. After a string of commercials, educational films ("Mickey's Safety Club"), occasional parts in TV series, a debut film role as Josh in Critters 3 (1991), a continuing role as the homeless boy Luke in the TV series "Growing Pains" (1985), he got his break-through part as Toby in This Boy's Life (1993), co-starring with Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin.

The part led the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics to name him runner-up for Best Supporting Actor. His first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations came for the difficult role of Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). Equally challenging parts were a drug-troubled Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries (1995), the tormented homosexual poet Rimbaud in Total Eclipse (1995), and the angry teenage son of a harried mother in Marvin's Room (1996). He made a major impact with his starring role in a very updated Romeo + Juliet (1996). Superstardom came to DiCaprio playing Jack Dawson in Titanic (1997), highest grossing film ever, tied with Ben-Hur (1959) for most Academy Awards, though Leo himself was not nominated. His performance in the remake of The Man in the Iron Mask (1998/I) was poorly received, but the film still turned a profit. His next major film, The Beach (2000/I), was not a success, but he made another comeback in Catch Me If You Can (2002) and remains an A-list star.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <>


While filming The Beach (2000/I) off the coast of Thailand, Leonardo and others were swept off a camera boat by strong winds and waves. No one was injured. [16 April 1999]

His first publicity spot was about MILK.

Sues Playgirl magazine over plans to publish pictures --including full frontal nudity -- of himself. [March 1998]

Ranked #75 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." [1997]

Was considering starring in a movie about actor James Dean but turned down the role because he felt he wasn't experienced enough to do the film. [1996]

Screen tested for the part of Robin in Batman Forever (1995).

When five years old, he was in an educational TV program, called "Romper Room" (1953) and was nearly kicked off for uncontrollable behavior.

Chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." [1998]

Attended John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California.

Has a stepbrother, Adam Farrar.

He and his family funded a state-of-the-art computer center at the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, which was rebuilt after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

A Manhattan appeals court decided to go ahead with a $45 million lawsuit against DiCaprio by actor and screenwriter Roger Wilson for allegedly encouraging his friends in a street fight with Wilson over advances DiCaprio's friends made toward Wilson's girlfriend, Elizabeth Berkley. [2000]

At age 10, his agent advised him to change his name to a more American- friendly Lenny Williams. Needless to say, he did not follow that advice.

Was initially set to star as Alan Jensen in Harvard Man (2001), but the film's low budget could not afford to pay his salary, so he dropped out and Adrian Grenier took the lead.

Was set to star in American Psycho (2000) but had to drop it due to scheduling conflicts. Christian Bale took the part instead.

In January 1999, his lawyers filed an application to allow DiCaprio to copyright his own name.

Attended Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies before attending Marshall High

Attended Seeds Elementary School at UCLA where he took summer courses in performance art

Ranked #42 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. Had ranked #74 in 2002 and #60 in 2001.

Ranked #6 in Star TV's "Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s" (2003).

Childhood friends with Tobey Maguire and the late Christopher Pettiet.

When his camera went missing, he offered a substantial reward of many thousands of pounds for its return. [November 2003]

Was once attached to star in American Psycho (2000) and was reputedly offered over $20 million for the role.

Openly supported John Kerry in the 2004 election. He went around 11 states and gave 20 speeches about the environment and how the Bush Administration has damaged it.

Was offered the role of the porn star Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights (1997) at around the same time as he was offered his role in Titanic (1997). The Dirk Diggler role eventually went to Mark Wahlberg.

Mentioned in an interview with Katie Couric that while filming The Aviator (2004), it brought back his own obsessive-compulsive disorder that he had as a child. (December 23, 2004).

He is an environmental conservationist and often advocates and supports natural causes.

Considered for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man (2002).

Filed police charges after being attacked with a bottle by an animal-rights activist while leaving a nightclub in June 2005. Although the wound was very close to his jugular vein, it was not expected to delay production on his latest movie.

Won the role of Rimbaud in Total Eclipse (1995) after the death of actor River Phoenix in 1993.

Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson are his favorite actors.

He can speak a little German.

Boyfriend of Gisele Bündchen [2002-2005]

Was considered for the role of Anakin Skywalker for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002). But much to the relief of hardcore Star Wars fans, the role went to Hayden Christensen instead.

He and Jason Robards received Oscar-nominations for portraying Howard Hughes. Robards played Hughes in Melvin and Howard (1980) and Leonardo played him in The Aviator (2004)

Was originally cast in The Good Shepherd (2006).

He and Gisele Bündchen were chosen by People Magazine as the "Most Beatiful Couple in the World", in 2004.

Very good friends with actress Kate Winslet and Vincent Gallo.

He once said that playing Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) was "the most fun I've ever had".

Appeared in the television series "Parenthood" (1990), in the role originally played by Joaquin Phoenix. In the original film, Phoenix's grandfather is played by Jason Robards, who, like DiCaprio, has played Howard Hughes.

He purchased a 104-acre island off the coast of Belize in 2005 and plans to develop a resort with renewable energy sources. Purchase price for the island, Blackadore Caye, was estimated to be $1.75 million.

Good friends with Lukas Haas, Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Connolly.

In 2006 in "The Independent", he named his ten favorite movies as: Ladri di biciclette (1948), Taxi Driver (1976), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), 8½ (1963), The Third Man (1949), Yojimbo (1961), Sunset Blvd. (1950), The Shining (1980) and East of Eden (1955).

Was cast in the lead role in Baz Luhrmann's doomed Alexander The Great-project.

In his childhood, he and his mother lived in poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles which he describes as "Ghettos of Hollywood".

Early in his career he appeared as a contestant on a game show called "Fun House" where stunts were performed - his involved trying to catch fish in a small pool with only his teeth.

Attended the same high school as Bo Barrett, Heidi Fleiss, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Julie Newmar.

His favorite food is pasta. His favorite drink is lemonade.

Refers to his German grandmother as "Oma".

Turned down Michael Pitt's role in The Dreamers (2003) because he felt he was too old to play a twenty-year-old student.

Was trained by renowned Hollywood Gun Coach Thell Reed, who has also trained such actors as: Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Edward Norton, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster and Girard Swan.

Has once said his favorite female performance is Gena Rowlands' Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence (1974).

Has said his two favorite performances are Robert De Niro's Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976) and James Dean's Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955).

Martin Scorsese is his favorite director.

Named #36 on Empire Magazine's 100 Sexiest Movie Stars. (2007).

His German grandmother died at the age of 93 in August 2008.

Has a Dutch song about him called "Ik ben verliefd op Leonardo DiCaprio/I'm in love with Leonardo DiCaprio" by Flemish girl band K3 (Kathleen Aerts, Karen Damen and Kristel Verbeke).

His father, George DiCaprio, is of German and Italian descent and is an underground writer, editor and distributor of comic books. His mother, Irmelin DiCaprio, is German and a former legal secretary.

In 1994, he became the seventh youngest actor ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor at the age of 19 years. He was nominated for his performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).

When he was a child, his favorite films were Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Watership Down (1978) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).

Thanked by Blink 182 in the liner notes of their album "Enema of the State".

Ranked #8 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of the '90s.

In May 2009, DiCaprio, along with Kate Winslet and director James Cameron, publicly pledged to support the financial future of the last living Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, after it was reported that she had been forced to sell her mementos to pay for nursing home bills.

Bought Kate Winslet an inscribed gold ring, after they finished filming Revolutionary Road (2008) together. The inscription, however, Winslet keeps a secret.

Campaigned for the role of John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009), but Johnny Depp was cast in the part instead.

Personal Quotes

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.

People want you to be a crazy, out-of-control teen brat. They want you miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes; what they want is to see you fall.

On working with Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York (2002): "He's a perfectionist, obsessed with detail. That's why he went over budget and over schedule."

You can either be a vain movie star, or you can try to shed some light on different aspects of the human condition.

It's a really obvious thing to say, but the more people know too much about who you really are, and it's a fundamental thing, the more the mystery is taken away from the artist, and the harder it is for people to believe that person in a particular role.

On fame: "As soon as enough people give you enough compliments and you're wielding more power than you've ever had in your life, it's not that you become an arrogant little prick, or become rude to people ... but you get a false sense of your own importance and what you've accomplished. You actually think you've altered the course of history."

I don't really have many extravagances. I don't fly private jets and I don't have bodyguards and I don't buy crazy things. I have a couple of houses here and there. I bought a very expensive watch, and I am going to buy a really expensive movie poster, the original for The Thief of Bagdad (1940). I love movie posters.

On turning 30: "I kind of feel like the same person except more time has gone by. I hate to say that I feel like an adult now. I have to admit I wish I was still 18. After all, even through the time while I was representing that wild kid, I really wasn't. I was just living my life. I was just not making movies at the time."

On Martin Scorsese: "Martin has brought so much to the art form of film, and he is not the type of person who would be upset by not receiving an Oscar, although it is a practical joke that he has not won an Academy Award after all these years. Whatever opinions critics will have of The Aviator (2004), I really think that this is a great piece of art: once again, he has made a great classic film."

The great thing about turning 30 in this business is that you get to perpetuate being young or old as long as we want.

On whether there are any aspects of fame he dislikes: "You kidding? I feel very fortunate. A lot of people would love to be in my position. There are so many people out there who are suffering trillions of times more than I could ever suffer, and would love to be me. I am a lucky little bastard."

Yes, I can play younger than my age. But I can play characters older than I am, too. I'm not an actor who can just play the kid.

I think people read the tabloids because they want to see you eating a burger, or out of your makeup or doing something stupid because they just want to see that you're like everyone else. And that's OK. I don't want to catch myself anymore saying that my life is hard, because the good far outweighs the bad in my life. And it's easier to focus on those things, on the things that are important.

You learn after you've been in the business for a while that it's not getting your face recognized that's the payoff. It's having your film remembered.

I lived in Hollywood and, ironically, I didn't know you could just go out and get an agent and go on auditions and try and become an actor, I thought it was like a Masonic thing, like a blood line you had to belong to - until I was 13. Then I realised what you had to do. It is the one thing I know I want to do for the rest of my life.

"I wasn't surprised that Jamie got the award. But I knew that cameras would be stuffed up my face so I had my response ready. Anyone who says they don't practice is a liar." -on losing out on the Oscar to Jamie Foxx during the 2005 Academy Awards.

"I was behind a woman at the checkout counter who was looking at the magazines. She turned to me and goes, 'There he is again, that Leonardo DiCaprio. Don't you wish he'd just disappear?' I said (to myself), this is the moment where I either go, 'Do you know who I am?' or put my hat further down, pay for my corn-nuts and get out of there....I choose to avoid that." (2005)

My first date was with a girl named Cessi. We'd had a beautiful relationship over the phone all summer long. Then she came home and we met to go out for the first time to the movies. When I saw her I was petrified. I couldn't even look her in the eye to talk to her.

I don't know if I'm ever getting married. I'm probably not going to get married unless I live with somebody for 10 or 20 years. But these people took a chance and they did it. We don't have the guts that Romeo did.

As a little kid growing up in Hollywood, I was called 'a little crazy'. And now I guess I'm still that way.

I cheated a lot, because I just couldn't sit and do homework. I usually sat next to someone extremely smart.

I'm not really the quiet type, although some people think I am. But I'm the rebel type in the sense that I don't think I'm like everyone else. I try to be an individual.

I like to help the whales, the otters, and the dolphins. When I'm acting and I take a break, the first thing on my list is spending time by the sea.

I insist on keeping a level head. I've maintained the same exact home life that I've had for 20 years. All I see is more people looking at me than before. But, you know, who cares? You just can't obsess yourself with this fame stuff."

My mom and I lived at Hollywood and Western, a drug-dealer and prostitute corner. It was pretty terrifying. I got beat up a lot. I saw people have sex in the alleys. I remember I was 5 years old, and this guy with a trench coat, needles and crack cornered me. Early on, seeing the devastation on my block, seeing heroin addicts, made me think twice about ever getting involved in drugs. It's evil. Once you take that step and experiment, drugs can take over your life. You are not yourself anymore. That's something I never wanted. I didn't have a lot of friends growing up. It was kind of just me and my parents. But because of them, the neighborhood did not have a bad effect on me. My dad introduced me to artists, and every few months we'd go to some hippie doo-dah parade as Mudmen in our underwear, carrying sticks and covered in mud. My mother did everything to get me into the best schools she could find.

When a role for a young guy is being offered to me, I think of River Phoenix. It feels like a loss.

When I was young, I used to have this thing where I wanted to see everything. I used to think, 'How can I die without seeing every inch of this world?'

On his life: "What I would do in order to be popular was, I'd put myself on line and joke around and be funny, and I was always known as the crazy kid."

Bridget Hall and I hung out for a week. The whole thing was blown out of proportion.

I don't have the guts that Romeo did. [on marriage]

On love: I like girls who are intelligent, somewhat funny, and pretty with a nice personality.

It's a weird adjustment living alone, because you don't realize how much you really miss Mumsie until she's not there.

Dark green is my favorite color. It's the color of nature and the color of money and the color of moss!

I'm not really the quiet type, although some people think I am. But I'm the rebel type in the sense that I don't think I'm like everyone else. I try to be an individual.

I'm absolutely clean. I've never tried anything. That's not a lie!

I'm not the sort of person who tries to be cool or trendy. I'm definitely an individual.

I don't have emotions about a lot of things. I rarely get angry, I rarely cry. I guess I do get excited a lot, but I don't get sad and enormously happy. I think a lot of people who talk about all that crap are lying. Right now I'm just trying to maintain happiness - that's all I really care about. Anyway, when you're my age and your hormones are kicking in, there's not much besides sex that's on your mind.

I hate speaking in front of a large audience. I don't know where it came from...but its just this gut-wrenching fear of slipping up and doing something horrible.

One of my passions is to meet people and then imitate them. I love doing that.

I have the same problem as Edward Furlong. I'm so thin!

I'm nothing like Romeo in real life.

I'm shy, but when the time comes to be wild, I'm fun-loving, adventurous, and mysterious.

It's tricky stuff. If you're not perfect in every film, then people say 'see, he was just lucky in one role'.

On his career: "I admit I've done a few lousy roles in the beginning of my career, like my role in Critters 3 (1991). But at that age, you'll do anything for attention!"

People want you to be a crazy out-of-control teen brat. They want you to be miserable, just like them. They don't want heroes. What they want is to see you fall.

Everywhere I go, somebody is staring at me. I don't know if people are staring because they recognize me or because they think I'm a weirdo.

On rumors: I've heard some pretty bad rumors...that I'm gay. If I want to go to a party with a few male friends, it doesn't mean that I'm gay. I don't see why I can't have friends of both sexes without rumors being spread about me. It's crazy.

People always like to make up stories. I am not planning on getting married. Then again, I might wake up tomorrow and decide to get married!

If you hear of any incident about me - a fight, a change of clothes, a little extra gel in the hair, don't believe it till you talk to me.

I hate being selected as 'Babe of the Month' and being called 'hunk'.

Fame is not the worst thing. I went to dinner the other night, and the girls in the restaurant ignored me. It was so annoying.

I insist on keeping a level head. I've maintained the same exact home life that I've had for 20 years. All I see is more people looking at me than before. But, you know, who cares? You just can't obsess yourself with this fame stuff.

My God, no! I hate this whole hunk thing! I feel when I see myself in that, and these other cute faces, that I'm just part of this meat factory, like, 'Wow! Here's the hunk of the month! This month we're shoving Leonardo DiCaprio down your throat! Isn't he cute. Let's put him on the cover and we'll sell so many more magazines...' That's definitely not what I want to be, and I've tried real hard to get away from that whole situation.

If you can do what you do best and be happy, you're further along in life than most people.

The main thing for me right now is just to live my life with my family and friends. They treat me like Leo, not 'Leonardo, Master Thespian'. That's all I need to keep my sanity.

The last thing I want to turn into is a fat Hollywood jerk. I was brought up without much money and I was happy. I don't think that I will strive for money or success and end up greedy or big-headed. That only leads to unhappiness. I can still be down-to-earth and do this job as long as I enjoy it.

On success: "I've just been jolting along from one film to another. . . . Now, it's sort of a shock to realize what I've achieved."

Portraying emotionally ill characters gives me the chance to really act.

I'm just starting to scratch the surface of what makes me happy, and it has taken me a while to admit that acting like a child and a jerk is fun.

On acting: "Don't think for a moment that I'm really like any of the characters I play. That's why it's called acting."

"It was pretty disheartening to be objectified like that. I wanted to stop acting for a little bit. But it changed my life in a lot of ways, but at the same time, I can't say that it didn't give me opportunities. It made me, for the first time, in control of my career." - On Titanic (1997)

A consensus has emerged in our scientific community that global warming is no longer merely a theory but a reality, a crisis with truly global implications for planet Earth and all of us who share it. - Told to thousands at the New Jersey concert for Live Earth

On working with Jack Nicholson on The Departed (2006): One table scene in particular, I remember coming in, we did it one way, and I remember Jack speaking to Marty (Martin Scorsese), saying that he didn't feel he was intimidating enough. And then, the next day we came in and the prop guy told me, 'Be careful, he's got a fire extinguisher, a gun, some matches, and a bottle of whisky!'

Blood Diamond (2006) $20,000,000
The Departed (2006) $20,000,000
The Aviator (2004) $20,000,000
Catch Me If You Can (2002) $20,000,000
Gangs of New York (2002) $10,000,000 + Gross Points
The Beach (2000/I) $20,000,000
Titanic (1997) $2,500,000
The Basketball Diaries (1995) $1,000,000

Where Are They Now

(March 2006) Currently shooting the movie Blood Diamond (2006) in South Africa.


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