Leonardo DiCaprio attends a promotional event for a bank in Hong Kong
Leonardo DiCaprio was 19 - Actor in a Supporting Role for 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' (1993)
Leonardo DiCaprio looking dapper
NBC Photo: Chris Haston
It's a big night for Leonardo DiCaprio
While “Leo Mania” of yore may have cooled off a bit for this heartthrob actor, he is still one of the most bankable actors working in the business today. Born in 1974 in Los Angeles, California, he’s still quite a young actor to have such an impressive résumé.
He started out his acting life with a string of small screen roles which eventually led him to the big screen and a couple of big breaks, including his co-starring role opposite heavyweights Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin in “This Boy’s Life,” and his role in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination at the ripe old age of 19.
But it was in 1997 that his career really got steaming along, so to speak, with his portrayal of Jack Dawson in “Titanic.” Leo Mania was born and the actor found himself adorning covers of teen and fashion magazines. Leonardo has made the transition from boy to man successfully, and finds himself turning out what seems like at least one critically acclaimed performance each year, like the recent titles, “The Departed,” “Blood Diamond,” “The Aviator,” “Catch Me If You Can,” and “Gangs Of New York.”
- Name: Leonardo DiCaprio
- Birthdate: November 11, 1974
- Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Leo was offered the role of the porn star Dirk Diggler in the 1997 film “Boogie Nights” (which eventually went to Mark Wahlberg) but chose “Titanic” instead.
Leo beat out hundreds of other actors for his role opposite Robert De Niro in “This Boy’s Life.”
At one point, an agent reportedly wanted Leo to change his name to the more American-sounding Lenny Williams.
Leo is a devout environmental activist.
Leo got his name because he kicked in utero while his mother was studying a Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Leo almost didn’t get his “Gilbert Grape” role because the director thought he was too handsome for the part.