Date of Birth 11 November 1974, Hollywood, California, USA Birth Name Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio Height 6' (1.83 m) Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American film actor. He garnered worldwide fame for his role as Jack Dawson in Titanic (1997), and has starred in many other successful films including Romeo + Juliet (1996), Catch Me If You Can (2002), and Blood Diamond (2006). He has appeared in Martin Scorsese's recent films, including Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), and The Departed (2006), causing people to compare this relationship to that from which actor Robert De Niro benefited early in his career. DiCaprio is a three time Academy Award-, two time BAFTA Award-, and one time SAG Award-nominee, as well as a Golden Globe Award-, NBR Award-, and Silver Bear Award-winner. DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles, California, the only child of Irmalin (née Idenbirkin), a former legal secretary, and George DiCaprio, an underground comic artist and producer/distributor of comic books. His mother moved from Oer-Erkenschwick, Germany, to the U.S. during her childhood, while his father is a fourth-generation American of half Italian and half German descent. DiCaprio's parents met while attending college together and subsequently moved to Los Angeles. 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 parents divorced when he was one. He lived mostly with his mother, although his father was around intermittently. During his childhood, he attended Seeds Elementary School. He was interested in baseball cards, comic books and frequently visited museums, with his father. DiCaprio and his mother lived in several neighborhoods, such as Echo Park. During his teen years, he lived at 1874 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, California (which was later converted into a local public library) and his mother worked several jobs to support them. He graduated from John Marshall High School a few blocks away, after attending the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies for four years. In 1971, his father re-married Peggy Ann Farrar, who had a son called Adam Farrar, another actor/producer who became Leo's step-brother and who inspired DiCaprio to become an actor. DiCaprio began looking for an agent at the age of twelve, but was initially turned down several times; one agent suggested that he anglicize his name to “Lenny Williams”, which DiCaprio rejected. DiCaprio's acting career began as appearing in several commercials and educational films. He got his first break on television in 1990 when he was cast in the short-lived series, "Parenthood", which was canceled after just three episodes. On set, he met another struggling child actor, Tobey Maguire. The two quickly became friends and made a pact to help each other find roles in TV and movies. After "Parenthood", DiCaprio had bit parts on several shows, including "The New Lassie" and "Roseanne", as well as a brief stint on the soap opera "Santa Barbara", playing the young Mason Capwell. His debut film role was Critters 3, a B-grade horror movie, which later went straight to video. Soon after, in 1991, he became a recurring cast member on the hit ABC sitcom "Growing Pains", playing Luke Brower, a homeless boy who is taken in by the Seavers. His breakthrough came in 1992, when he beat out hundreds of other boys (including best friend Tobey Maguire) for the role of Toby Wolff in This Boy's Life, co-starring Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin. His performance, as the troubled, abused teenager was critically acclaimed and Hollywood soon took notice. Later in 1993, he starred as the mentally handicapped brother to Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. His performance earned him both an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. 1995 was an eventful year for DiCaprio. That year he starred in four movies. In the first one, The Quick and The Dead, he played Gene Hackman's alleged son, Fee, starring alongside Sharon Stone(who was reported to have helped pay his salary, as she was so desperate to have him in the movie) and a soon-to-be-famous Russell Crowe. After The Quick and The Dead, he starred in The Basketball Diaries, the story of Jim Carroll's downward spiral to drugs, alcohol and eventually prostitution. The black-and-white movie Don's Plum, a low budget drama featuring the actor and his friends (including Tobey Maguire) was filmed between 1995 and 1996. Its release was blocked by DiCaprio and Maguire, who argued that they never intended to make it a theatrical release. Nevertheless, it premiered in Berlin in 2001. Afterward, he starred as 19th Century French poet Arthur Rimbaud in Total Eclipse. Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film Romeo + Juliet,again featured DiCaprio as the male lead, with Claire Danes as Juliet. Later that year he starred in Marvin's Room, reuiniting with Robert De Niro and appearing alongside Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. The move from "star" to "superstar" came when DiCaprio played Jack Dawson in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, which became the highest grossing movie in the history of film and received a record-equalling 11 Academy Awards. Over the course of the next few years he would become a household name worldwide, synonymous with labels such as "teenage heart-throb" and sex symbol. People placed him in their annual "Most Beautiful People" issue on numerous occasions. At the peak of his celebrity in 1998, DiCaprio fronted scores of magazine covers ranging from Vanity Fair to Rolling Stone, and was once the most searched for personality in the early years of the Internet. In 1998, DiCaprio agreed to play the spoof role of his real life "teen idol" persona during this period, in Woody Allen's satirical parody, Celebrity. Also that year he played dual roles as evil King Louis XIV and his imprisoned twin brother Philippe in The Man in the Iron Mask which was a loose adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's novels. What came apropos with fame were tales in the tabloids of excesses and indulgence. In the Japanese media, he was referred to as Leo-sama, with the "sama" suffix given to show the utmost respect. Time summed up the fame superhighway and its trappings in an interview with the actor in 2000, reporting: DiCaprio still thinks of himself as an edgy indie actor, not the Tiger Beat cover boy. "I have no connection with me during that whole Titanic Phenomenon and what my face became around the world," DiCaprio commented, adding, "I'll never reach that state of popularity again, and I don't expect to. It's not something I'm going to try to achieve either." Nonetheless, the headlines and controversy failed to let up, peaking when he starred in a project by Danny Boyle based on Alex Garland's backpacker cult classic The Beach that year. Because of clashes with the Thai authorities over the use of the island of Ko Phi Phi in 1999, the film garnered more bad press than expected. It was reported that permission granted to the film company to physically alter the environment inside Phi Phi Islands National Park was illegal. In the end, the film also did not score as well as expected at the box office, losing mainstream commercial appeal due to its content. In 2002, five years after Titanic, DiCaprio began a shift away from his stereotypical image and moved to engage himself with critically acclaimed directors by starring in two epic movies: Gangs of New York (directed by Martin Scorsese), and Catch Me If You Can (directed by Steven Spielberg). Both films were very well received by critics. Forging a collaboration with Scorsese, the two paired again for a biopic of American businessman Howard Hughes in The Aviator, a film that scored DiCaprio a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor. DiCaprio continued his run with Scorsese (some claim him to be Scorsese's "new De Niro") in the 2006 film The Departed as Billy Costigan, a smart undercover cop in Boston. His next film was Blood Diamond, released on December 8, 2006. While the film itself received mixed reviews, DiCaprio was praised for the authenticity of his Zimbabwean Afrikaaner accent, known as a difficult accent of English to emulate. In 2006, the Golden Globes and Broadcast Film Critics Association nominated DiCaprio twice in the same category: Best Actor for Blood Diamond and The Departed, which is an extremely rare honor for actors. Also in the same year, he received two nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, a lead actor nomination for Blood Diamond and a supporting actor nomination for The Departed. He earned an Oscar nomination for lead actor in Blood Diamond and a BAFTA nod for lead actor for The Departed. DiCaprio has two films coming out in the second half of 2008: House of Lies, directed by Ridley Scott, and Revolutionary Road, an adaptation of Richard Yates' critically-lauded 1961 novel. The latter reunites DiCaprio with his Titanic costars Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. It is scheduled for release in December 2008. After working in two Warner Brothers films, DiCaprio will again star in a WB production for a film about the collapse of Enron, based on the book Conspiracy of Fools. The film's script is currently under negotiations. He is also reportedly attached to a number of other upcoming projects: The Chancellor Manuscript, Stephen Gaghan’s Blink, a biopic of LSD-spokesperson Professor Timothy Leary, and two more projects in collaboration with Martin Scorsese, Ashecliffe, an adaptation of a novel by Dennis Lehane, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, and Ridley Scott directed Low Dweller. All projects are in the developmental stages. DiCaprio currently is ranked the 9th Best Working Actor Today by The Screen Directory. In May 2007, he was listed among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in The World. DiCaprio along with Mark Wahlberg is slated to star in the remake of the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, which chronicles the story of the largest cocaine trafficker in Miami in the 1970s and 1980s. Wahlberg will play the drug kingpin Jon Roberts with DiCaprio as “the airplane pilot who travels with Mark’s character to obtain kilos of cocaine from Pablo Escobar.” A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio has received praise from environmental groups for opting to fly on commercial flights instead of chartering private jets, which use more fuel. He has also mentioned that he drives a hybrid car and that his house has solar panels. His actions have inspired other celebrities, such as Orlando Bloom and Penelope Cruz. In an article in Ukula about his new film 11th Hour (which he co-wrote, co-produced and narrated), DiCaprio cites global warming as "the number one environmental challenge." DiCaprio and former vice-president Al Gore announced at the 2007 Oscar ceremony that the Oscars had incorporated environmentally intelligent practices throughout the planning and production processes, thus affirming their commitment to the environment. On July 7, 2007, DiCaprio presented at the American leg of Live Earth. During the 2004 Presidential election, DiCaprio campaigned and donated to John Kerry's presidential bid. In March 2008, DiCaprio endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency. In 1998, he and his mother donated $35,000 for a state-of-the-art “Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Center” at the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library (1874 Hillhurst Avenue) which happens to be the site of his childhood home. It was rebuilt after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and opened in early 1999. There are commemorative placards and curious fans are welcomed at the library. During the filming of Blood Diamond, DiCaprio worked with 24 orphaned children from the SOS Children's Village in Maputo, Mozambique, and was said to be extremely touched by his interactions with the children. DiCaprio owns a home in Los Angeles and an apartment in New York. He bought an island in Belize where he is planning to create an eco-friendly resort, as well as an apartment in Riverhouse, an eco-friendly building overlooking the Hudson River. In January, 2008, extradition processes began against Aretha Wilson, 37, who escaped to Toronto, Ontario, Canada after seriously injuring Leonardo DiCaprio with a broken beer bottle at a June 20, 2005 Hollywood Hills party. She also has pending aggravated assault cases. He was recently invited to The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland, to talk about his foundation which is to raise awareness of our environment. It is not yet known if he has accepted the offer, due to his busy schedule in Hollywood. He has been in several high profile relationships, including with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen and actress/model Kristen Zang. He has been dating Israeli model Bar Refaeli since 2006.