Mar 27, 2014 07:51 PM EDT
Leonardo DiCaprio has starred in epic films as Titanic, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and The Wolf of Wall Street. He is known for dating beautiful supermodels and being a talented actor. Here are 50 things you probably didn't know about Leonardo DiCaprio.
Leonardo was born on November 11, 1974 in Los Angeles to Irmelin Indenbirken and George DiCaprio.
His full name is Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio.
He is named after the artist Leonardo da Vinci, as his pregnant mother was standing in front of a da Vinci painting the first time she felt him kick.
DiCaprio attended Seeds Elementary School at UCLA where he took summer courses in performance art.
His parents divorced when he was still a toddler. DiCaprio was mostly raised by his mother, a legal secretary born in Germany. He is an only child.
At the young age of 10, Leonardo was advised to change his name to "something more friendly and American" such as Lenny Williams. He obviously refused which was a good thing because he is famous worldwide.
He 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.
His 1994 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape landed Leo the spot of 7th youngest actor to ever be nominated - at age 19.
He once said that playing Arnie in What's Eating Gilbert Grape was "the most fun I've ever had".
In 1998, he donated a room full of computers and equipment to the new Los Feliz Library, built on the site of his childhood home.
Before he signed on to star in James Cameron's Titanic, he admitted that he was hesitant at first since this wasn't the kind of film he had told himself he wanted to make.
His father George is of half German, half Italian descent and his mother is German.
His father had a very interesting job - he was a comic book dealer.
He attended the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies before attending Marshall High.
It's no wonder he is such a talented actor, he was trained by renowned Hollywood Gun Coach Thell Reed, who has also trained such actors as: Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Edward Norton, Russell Crowe and Ben Foster.
He was chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" in 1998.
Director Baz Luhrmann had cast DiCaprio in the key role in his long-planned epic of Alexander the Great. A rival film directed by Oliver Stone helped derail Luhrmann's project.
He was meant to star in American Psycho and would have earned $20 million for the role. However, he had to drop out due to schedule conflicting issues and the role went to Christian Bale.
His role in Aviator hit close to home. In an interview with Katie Couric, he said it brought back his own obsessive-compulsive disorder that he had as a child.
Director Tarantino sought the actor to play the Nazi colonel Landa in Inglourious Basterds, but he declined and the role went to Christoph Waltz.
DiCaprio turned down Michael Pitt's role in The Dreamers (2003) because he felt he was too old to play a twenty-year-old student.
He was considered for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man, the role went finally to childhood friend Tobey Maguire.
DiCaprio really wanted to play Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby because he was drawn to "the idea of a man who came from absolutely nothing, who created himself solely from his own imagination. Gatsby's one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth."
He dated Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen between 2002-2005.
DiCaprio openly supported John Kerry in the 2004 election. He went around to 11 states and gave 20 speeches about the environment and how the Bush Administration has damaged it.
During the 2008 Presidential election, Leonardo gave $2,800 to Barack Obama's campaign which is the maximum amount an individual can give during an election.
One of his closest friends is Mark Wahlberg.
He's a father! Well, technically. While filming Blood Diamonds in South Africa, he "adopted" a South African baby girl after meeting her at an orphanage. He sends her a monthly check and speak often on the phone.
Leonardo supports environmental causes. He created a spoken word piece entitled "Global Warning" which is Global Warming and Climate Change.
In 2005, he created his second spoken word piece entitled "Water Planet."
He received the Environmental Leadership Award from Global Green USA.
In 2006, he produced, co-wrote and partly narrated on screen his environmental documentary, The 11th Hour.
He loves sports and he likes to play basketball, hockey, football, rollerblade, and go surfing.
He had a song written for him. The Flemish chick-rock band, K3, wrote a song titled "I'm in Love with Leonardo DiCaprio."
He teamed up with Discovery Communications to executive-produce a 13-part reality series, titled Eco-Town, chronicling the eco-friendly rebuild of Greensburg, Kansas, which was destroyed by a fierce tornado on May 4, 2007.
His favorite director to work with is Martin Scorcese. Leonardo starred in five of his movies; Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
In November 2010, DiCaprio donated $1,000,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia's tiger summit. DiCaprio's persistence in reaching the event after encountering two plane delays caused then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to describe him as a "muzhik" or "real man".
Leo owns two homes in New York City and one in Los Angeles. He also purchased a sizable 104 square acre island off the coast of Belize in 2005, which he plans to transform into an eco-friendly resort and vacation destination.
To prepare for his role in Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio conducted extensive research. He visited many of Hoover's haunts in Washington, D.C. "I do love playing historical figures simply because there's so much incredibly diverse interesting information about a character when you can research their life. A lot of the stuff you'd never be able to make up as a writer," he explained to Back Stage.
Despite being such a talented actor, he has never won an Academy Award. He has been nominated five times for Best Supporting Actor for What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Best Actor for The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street. He was also nominated as producer for The Wolf of Wall Street.
He has won two Golden Globe awards for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Leonardo has been nominated for two Razzie Awards throughout his career - one for Worst Actor for his role in The Man in the Iron Mask and one was Worst Couple for his role in
The Shining and Taxi Driver are among his favorite movies.
He remains close friends with Titanic and Revolutionary Road co-star, Kate Winslet.
He is 6' (1.83 m) tall.
DiCaprio is an activist for gay rights and in April 2013 he donated $61,000 to GLAAD, an organization which promotes the image of LGBT people in the media.
So what does he look for in a woman? "Humility, a sense of humour and not a lot of drama", he said in an interview.