Monday, March 7, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio-CSH-062270.jpg

Personal details

Name: Leonardo DiCaprio
Born: 11 November 1974 (Age: 36)
Where: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5' 11"
Awards: Won 1 Golden Globe, 3 Oscar, 2 BAFTA nominations


The Nineties saw the rise of some big, big stars. At different points Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Will Smith and Adam Sandler stormed the Hollywood firmament, each other them carrying a string of massive hits. But none of them enjoyed (endured?) the kind of enormo-fame achieved by Leonardo DiCaprio. Beginning the decade as a heavily tipped newcomer, he ended it with Titanic, the biggest hit in cinema history, and a worldwide army of teenage fans so crazed and committed to their idol they had critics recalling the manic days of Beatlemania.
So, DiCaprio could be viewed as a phenomenon, a lucky actor in the right place at the right time, who with one role reached the pinnacle of his industry. But this would be to seriously underestimate the man. The action-packed romance of Titanic may have made him a superstar, but it was hardly a challenge for a kid who'd already stood toe to toe with De Niro and Streep, convincingly played a junkie, a gunslinger, a whore and a bisexual poet AND been Oscar-nominated for the finest portrayal of a mental retard ever filmed (yes, that's RIGHT, Mr Hoffman). If Titanic had never happened, DiCaprio would still have been seen as the finest and most versatile actor of his generation.
He was born Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio on the 11th of November, 1974, in Hollywood, to Italian-American comic distributor George DiCaprio and his German-American wife Irmalin, a legal secretary who'd go on to become Leonardo's manager. The boy's unusual name was chosen when he kicked his pregnant mother from the inside while she was viewing a Da Vinci in the Uffizi, the Wilhelm coming from a German relative - and not some dubious tribute to the Kaiser.
George and Irmalin would divorce the year after Leonardo's birth but, the split being amicable, the pair would both be involved in the child's rearing. Hence young Leo would enjoy a peculiarly bohemian upbringing (not unlike Winona Ryder's). George being a prime mover in the comic underground of the Sixties and Seventies, visitors to the family home included Robert Crumb, Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jr. The family would knock up outrageous costumes and attend numerous Californian festivals, one of Leo's earliest memories being of tap-dancing onstage in front of an audience of thousands - his stage fright thus being eliminated at a very early age.

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