Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (/dɨˈkæpri.oʊ/; born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. DiCaprio began his career by appearing in television commercials, after which he had recurring roles in TV series such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains in the early 1990s. He began his film career by starring as Josh in Critters 3 before starring in the film adaptation of the memoir This Boy’s Life (1993) alongside Robert De Niro. DiCaprio was praised for his supporting role in the drama What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), and gained public recognition with leading roles in the drama The Basketball Diaries (1995) and the romantic drama Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame with James Cameron’s epic romance Titanic (1997), earning him his first Drama Golden Globe Award. Titanic also became the highest grossing film to that point.
Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. His subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002) and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002) which also marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. As well as these DiCaprio was also acclaimed for his performances in the political war thriller Blood Diamond (2006), the neo-noir crime drama The Departed (2006), the espionage thriller Body of Lies (2008), the drama Revolutionary Road (2008), the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), biographical film J. Edgar (2011), the western Django Unchained (2012), and the period drama The Great Gatsby (2013).
DiCaprio’s portrayal of Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004), Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015) won him two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in a Drama and the award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
In addition to acting, DiCaprio owns a production company named Appian Way Productions. He is also a committed environmentalist.
DiCaprio was born in Hollywood, California, the only child of Irmelin (née Indenbirken), a German-born legal secretary, and George DiCaprio, an underground comics artist and producer and distributor of comic books. DiCaprio’s father is of half Italian (from the Naples area) and half German (from Bavaria) descent. DiCaprio’s maternal grandfather, Wilhelm Indenbirken, was German.
His maternal grandmother, Helene Indenbirken (1915–2008), a German citizen, was born as Yelena Smirnova in Russia. In an interview in Russia, Di Caprio referred to himself as “half Russian” and said that two of his late grandparents were Russians.
DiCaprio’s parents met while attending college and subsequently moved to Los Angeles. He was named Leonardo because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when DiCaprio first kicked. His parents divorced when he was a year old, and he lived mostly with his mother. The two lived in several Los Angeles neighborhoods, such as Echo Park, and at 1874 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz district (which was later converted into a local public library), while his mother worked several jobs to support them. He attended Seeds Elementary School (now UCLA Lab School) and John Marshall High School a few blocks away, after attending the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies for four years. However, he dropped out of high school following his third year, eventually earning his general equivalency diploma (GED).
DiCaprio spent part of his childhood in Germany with his maternal grandparents, Wilhelm and Helene. He speaks German fluently.
DiCaprio’s romantic relationships have been widely covered in the media. DiCaprio dated model Kristen Zang on-and-off for several years, and British model and socialite Emma Miller. In 2000, he met Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen with whom he had an on-and-off relationship until their separation in 2005. DiCaprio began a relationship with Israeli model Bar Refaeli in November 2005 after meeting her at a Las Vegas party thrown for members of U2. In the course of their trip to Israel in March 2007, the couple met with Israeli president Shimon Peres and visited Refaeli’s hometown of Hod HaSharon. The relationship was on hold for a period of six months starting in June 2009; in early 2010, the romance was rekindled but it ended in early 2011. DiCaprio was in a relationship with actress Blake Lively from May to October 2011, then with model Erin Heatherton from December 2011 to October 2012. From May 2013 to December 2014, he dated German model Toni Garrn. He dated model Kelly Rohrbach from summer to late 2015.
DiCaprio owns a home in Los Angeles and an apartment in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. In 2009, he bought an island off mainland Belize on which he is planning to create an eco-friendly resort. In 2005, DiCaprio’s face was severely injured when model Aretha Wilson hit him over the head with a broken bottle at a Hollywood party.
After pleading guilty in 2010, Wilson was sentenced to prison for two years. In 2014, he purchased the original Dinah Shore residence designed by mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler in Palm Springs.