Biographic by Steve McGarry for November 06, 2005
Leonardo Wilhelm Dicaprio was born in Los Angeles on November 11, 1974. His young parents split up within a year and Leo was raised in Hollywood by his mother, his Dad remarried and Leo became close to his stepbrother Adam, a budding child actor. Learning that Adam had been paid $50,000 to appear in a TV commercial, young Leo hounded his parents to help him break into showbiz. Leo made more than 20 TV Commercials and landed guest spots in "Roseanne" and "Lassie" before winning a regular role in "The Outsiders" he starred in "Santa Barbara" and in a sitcom based on the movie "Parenthood." Soon after, Leo joined the hit TV series "Growing Pains" His big breakthrough came when he heat out 400 hopefuls to star opposite Robert De Niro in 1993's harrowing "The Boys Life." His portrayal of autistic teen in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" Earned him an Oscar nomination. Movies such as "The Quick and The Dead" "The Basketball Diaries" and "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" established Leo's reputation as one of Hollywood's brightest young stars. Global stardom came with the record-breaking success in 1997's epic "Titanic." His portrayal of the doomed Jack Dawson had females swooning and critics raving. Following "The Man in the Iron Mask" and "The Beach" Leo took a lengthy break. He returned with "Gangs of New York" and "Catch Me If You Can" which were followed by "The Aviator" in 2004's critically acclaimed biopic of Howard Hughes.