Date of Birth: November 11 , 1974
Anyone who saw this Hollywood, California, native's first major starring role opposite Robert DeNiro and Ellen Barkin in This Boy's Life (1993) knew a star was born. DiCaprio sizzled on the screen, dominating every scene he appeared in with his acting elders.
So powerful was he in the role that the New York Film Critics and the
National Society of Film Critics named him runner-up for Best
Supporting Actor. His outstanding performance in his next film, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), garnered DiCaprio his first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
As most everyone probably knows by now, his first name is supposed to have
derived from his first kick he delivered in his mother's (Irmalin) womb
as she stood in front of a painting by Leonardo DaVinci at Italy's Uffizi
gallery. Those who didn't know this probably found out after the deluge of
publicity that followed his starring role as the doomed lover Jack Dawson
in Titanic (1997).
DiCaprio was the reason many young girls and women went back time and time again to see the film, making it the biggest blockbuster of all time and pushing DiCaprio's comparatively minuscule Titanic (1997) salary of $2.5 million up to the $21 million mark. It was even re-released in 3D in 2012.
DiCaprio has certainly come a long way from the five-year-old boy who once appeared on TV's Romper Room and was almost kicked off the show for misbehaving. That first TV experience turned into a series of commercials, some educational films ("Mickey's Safety Club") and occasional small roles in TV series, including recurring roles on the soap Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains.
But then This Boy's Life (1993) appeared and fame came calling for DiCaprio.
In 2005, after receiving his fourth Golden Globe nomination, DiCaprio finally took home the coveted prize for his portrayal as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004). He then went on to receive an Academy Award Leading Actor nomination for the same role, and although he didn't win, he was nominated two years later for Blood Diamond (2006). In 2009, he received another Golden Globe nomination for Revolutionary Road (2008), and though he didn't win, he did win a Kids' Choice award that year for his environmental work.
In 2010, his mystery/thriller Shutter Island was not only well-received by critics, but was a box office hit, generating over $127 million domestically. After another box office hit that year with the Oscar-winning fantasy Inception (2010), he next worked with Clint Eastwood, who directed him in the title role in J. Edgar (2011). More recently DiCaprio starred alongside Jamie Foxx in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012), and in the film adaptation of a classic, The Great Gatsby (2013).