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Real Name: Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio
Birthday: November 11, 1974
Place of Birth: Los Angeles,CA
Education: Center for Enriched Studies, Los Angeles, CA

 

Biography:

This tall, lean, young looking and handsome actor proved charming in television family sitcoms "Parenthood" and "Growing Pains", and tolerated a cheap horror terror sequel "Critters 3" in 1991 before winning out over six hundred other actors to win the role of Tobias Wolff in "This Boy's Life" (1993) after a six month casting and production search. Based on Wolff's award winning autobiographical story, the film showed a young boy's coming of age in the 1950's in a explosive domestic situation. The film also starred Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin, but young Leonardo DiCaprio walked away with the most attention. While the film tanked at the box office, this young boy's career was off and running.

DiCaprio was next cast next to Johnny Depp in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" (1993), Lasse Halstrom's variation of Peter Hedges' young teen boy growing up story. The good looks of the green eyed blond nearly lost him the role of the shoddy looking Arnie, Gilbert's mentally challenged but cheery younger brother. The 18 year-old actor again grabbed the best reviews, as well as a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance.

Leo lost out to Christian Slater in his attempt to secure the small but critical role of the young boy reporter in "Interview With the Vampire" (1994) starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. He then tried his hand at another extremely chic project with a supporting role in Sam Raimi's rambling western film "The Quick and the Dead" (1995). He brought energy and cynicism to his role of the Kid, a smart young gunslinger who may be the son of bad guy Gene Hackman. 

He then stared in the much anticipated revision of "The Basketball Diaries" (also 1995) with Mark Wahlberg, Jim Carroll's diary of a young teen that incorporated good grades, local basketball stardom and a heroin addiction. He won praise for his highly tender performance.

Next, the actor portrayed the young French poet and egotistical genius Arthur Rimbaud in Agnieszka Holland's film version of  "Total Eclipse" (1995). This emotional drama followed the intricate and very distasteful sexual relationship between the young Rimbaud and his older mentor, Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis), while failing to take care of their art business.  

Leonardo seemed set to bounce back as half of everybody's favorite pair of lovers in William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (1996). Paired with established star Claire Danes, he tried to create a hard core sexual Romeo for this strange and outdated take on the play produced by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Later that year, the star featured as Meryl Streep's problematic teenaged son in "Marvin's Room" which also starred Robert De Niro, about  young leukemia patient who attempts to end a 20-year feud with her sister in an attempt to get her bone marrow.

He was next hired for the lead role in director James Cameron's lavish spectacle "Titanic," playing Jack Dawson, a courageous, broke American artist who wins a third class ticket on the doomed luxury liner and enters into a romantic love affair with a young Philadelphia socialite played by Kate Winslet. The movie went on to become not only a blockbuster, but the all time highest grossing film in history. 

After "Romeo" and "Titanic," DiCaprio's young sexy celebrity status was cemented and, despite slowing down a bit on the amount of movie roles he accepted, he became the focus of media and tabloid fascination for many years to come.

He was hired next in the two part role of French King Louis XIV and his twin brother in the 1998 remake of “The Man in the Iron Mask," about the cruel King Louis XIV of France who has a secret twin brother he keeps imprisoned. 

In 2000 the young celebrity teamed with director Danny Boyle for "The Beach", about  a young man who travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumors say that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it - with tragic consequences.

Hw was then cast in director Martin Scorsese's 19th Century drama "Gangs of New York," playing Irish American immigrant Amsterdam Vallon, who once out of prison is determined to take on the gangs that killed his father. Starring along side Cameron Diaz, the movie was a hit. Also that year, Leo starred in the film drama "Don's Plum" with Tobey Maguire, about a group of Los Angeles teenagers who meet every day at their local diner hangout to discus their latest misadventures with their miserable lives.

He also found success in director Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can," working with Tom Hanks, Jennifer Garner and Martin Sheen, where he played real world con artist Frank W. Abagnale, who successfully pulled off dozens of scams in an assortment of identities, and became the youngest man on the FBI's most wanted list. Perfectly cast, he gave his most appealing and mature performance to date, showing himself again as both movie star and celebrity actor.

Leonardo again worked with Scorsese on "The Aviator" (2004) starring with Kate Beckinsale, Gwen Stefani and Jude Law - a project the actor initially planned to do with director Michael Mann focusing on the important years of the famous billionaire Howard Hughes. Although many felt his young looks were not the best fit for the part, the actor gave one of his strongest performances yet, convincingly showing Hughes' resourceful qualities: as a young movie producer taking Hollywood by storm; as one of Hollywood's most famous ladies' men; as a pioneer of aviation and an creative eccentric who took on the United States government; and most impressively as a man whose potential is crippled by an obsessive compulsive disorder. 

After the success of "The Aviator" he at once reunited with Scorsese to join an star studded cast that included Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson for "The Departed" (2006), playing a Boston police officer assigned to work undercover inside a disreputable Irish American mob who rises up the ladder to a senior level, even as a member of the gang infiltrates the police force, a plot based on the brilliant Hong Kong action adventure thriller “Infernal Affairs” (2002). 

As “The Departed” earned good reviews, the now famous movie star waited for the release of his next movie, “Blood Diamond” with Jennifer Connelly (2006), a far-reaching story directed by Edward Zwick about a South African diamond smuggler and a poor fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) who join forces in order to find a rare pink diamond that can alter both their lives. He earned Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for both “The Departed” and “Blood Diamond.” 

He also won an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, astounding many that he didn't get a nomination for "The Departed." Then in an effort to "go-green", he was hired by Al Gore to narrate “11th Hour” (2006), a documentary that examined global warming and potential solutions to re-establish the planet’s crumbling ecosystems.

Leo started 2008 with the drama "Revolutionary Road" (2008) working with Kate Winslet, about a young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s who struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Next was the drama "Body Of Lies" (2008) starring Russell Crowe about a former journalist injured in the Iraq war who is hired by the CIA to track down an Al Qaeda leader in Jordan and based on the novel "Body of Lies" by David Ignatius. The hot movie star was then hired and cast for the mystery thriller "Shutter Island" (2009) a drama set in 1954, where United States Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a killer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane, and is alleged to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.

Next for the actor was "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" (2009), a look at the formative years of the 26th President of the United States, from his transformation from a privileged New York politician to commander of the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War. He followed with the action film "Akira" (2009), part one of a two-part live action adaptation of the 1988 anime film, "Akira", in which the leader of a biker gang tries to save his kidnapped friend from a powerful supernatural experiment.

DiCaprio followed with the historical drama "Freedom Within the Heart" (2009), about a young Irish revolutionary who leads his people to freedom against the marauding Vikings. He wrapped the year in "The Chancellor Manuscript" (2009), a story about Peter Chancellor's life an how it becomes a mirror of his latest novel, as he becomes tangled in a web involving Washington power brokers and a blackmailed plot targeted to alter U.S. policy. 

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