Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator (2004), and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, DiCaprio started his career by appearing in television commercials prior to landing recurring roles in TV series such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains in the early 1990s. He made his film debut in the comedic sci-fi horror film Critters 3 (1991) and received first notable critical praise for his performance in This Boy’s Life (1993). DiCaprio obtained recognition for his subsequent work in supporting roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Marvin’s Room (1996), as well as leading roles in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame in James Cameron’s Titanic (1997).

Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has been nominated for awards for his work in such films as Catch Me If You Can (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), Blood Diamond (2006), The Departed (2006), and Revolutionary Road (2008). His latest films Shutter Island (2010) and Inception (2010) rank among the biggest commercial successes of his career. DiCaprio owns a production company named Appian Way Productions, whose productions include the films Gardener of Eden (2007) and Orphan (2009).

 

A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio has received praise from environmental groups for his activism.

Trade Mark

Often appears in the films of Martin Scorsese

Plays conflicted, tortured-by-their-own-demons characters, who need to deal with their past

Often plays hard edged anti-heroes

Intense emotional acting style

Often stars in period films or plays real-life individuals

Frequently plays men who have suffered a loss or trauma

 

Trivia

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).

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.

Younger stepbrother of 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 a Canadian ex-model while leaving a private party 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.

Was considered for the role of Anakin Skywalker for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). But 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).

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: Bicycle Thieves (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.

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 of German and Russian descent 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.

He stated in a Rolling Stone interview that in his younger years his mother took him to Germany about 10 times to visit his grandmother.

Quentin Tarantino considered casting Leo as SS Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009), but he eventually chose Christoph Waltz to play the role instead.

Purchased a unit in Manhattan’s new, eco-friendly Riverhouse development in Battery Park, paying $3,665,700. Other real estate holdings include: A 1765-square-foot house on Carbon Beach in Malibu that he purchased in 1998 for $1.6 million. A 2633-square-foot house in the Malibu Colony that he purchased in 2002 for exactly $6 million. A 4551-square-foot house in the Bird Streets area of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills that he bought in late 1999 for $2,515,000. A 3980-square-foot house in the Bird Streets area of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills (next door to the one mentioned above) that he purchased in the summer of 2003 for $3,780,000. A two-bedroom, 2374-square-foot contemporary-style oceanfront house in Malibu, California that he paid $6.350 million for in 2007. And in Las Vegas, he spent $1.5 million for two adjacent two-bedroom units at Las Vegas’s Panorama Towers in 2004. [2008]

His favorite actress of all time is Meryl Streep.

Has been in a relationship with Bar Refaeli twice. They began a relationship in December 2005, but separated in October 2007. However they later reconciled in December 2007, only to separate again in May 2011.

As a board member with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), he has traveled to such places as Bhutan, Nepal, and Russia.

While attempting to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to attend the International Tiger Conservation Forum as a guest of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), but he was held up not once, but twice by flights. The first, Delta Flight 30, which departed from JFK bound for Moscow, was forced to make an emergency landing back at JFK shortly after takeoff due to engine flame out and malfunction, later his replacement flight had to make an unscheduled landing in Helsinki, Finland to refuel due to strong winds over the Atlantic ocean that used up the plane’s fuel. Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, who hosted the event, acknowledged that a lesser man, “could have read it as a sign – that it was not worth going,” but instead Leo, who’s late grandparents were Russian, made it to the summit and gained Putin’s respect. The summit’s aim is to double wild tiger populations worldwide from 3,500 to 7,000 by 2022. While in St. Petersburg, DiCaprio committed $1 million to WWF for urgent tiger conservation efforts through his Fund at the California Community Foundation. [November 2010]

Appeared twice on the cover of GQ magazine: December ’06 and December ’08.

Won the 2010 ‘Do Something’ Award for his Haiti relief efforts and the TV show “Greensburg”.

Has worked with numerous acclaimed directors: Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Danny Boyle, Baz Luhrmann, Lasse Hallström, Sam Raimi and Edward Zwick.

Kate Winslet considers him the best actor of his generation.

 

 

Filed under: Birthdays

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!