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Leonardo Dicaprio Biography

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Leonardo Dicaprio
Leonardo Dicaprio
(Leo)
Hollywood, California

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Leonardo Dicaprio 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.


Leonardo Dicaprio 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).

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]

Father was a comicbook dealer.

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.

Of 3/4 German and 1/4 Italian descent. His paternal grandfather was an Italian immigrant

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.

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.

Good friends with Mark Wahlberg.

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 and Kevin Connolly.

His father Geoge is of half German, half Italian descent and his mother is German.

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".




 
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