Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (11 November 1974 in Los Angeles, California) is an American film actor, producer and Oscar award winner. He is one of the highest paid and most successful contemporary actors in Hollywood and works regularly with renowned directors.
DiCaprio became known to a wider audience through the role of the mentally handicapped boy Arnie Grape in Gilbert Grape - Somewhere in Iowa, for whom he received his first Oscar nomination in 1994. He achieved worldwide fame in 1997 with the portrayal of the destitute ship passenger Jack Dawson in James Cameron's film drama Titanic. For his roles as aviation pioneer Howard Hughes in Aviator, as stockbroker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, and as Trapper Hugh Glass in The Revenant, he received a Golden Globe for his performance. For his role as Hugh Glass in 2016 he also received the Oscar for Best Actor.
He was born as the only child of his parents in Hollywood, Los Angeles. His father is a comic book author and salesman George DiCaprio and his mother is a former lawyer Irmelin Indenbirken-DiCaprio. His father is a fourth-generation American citizen of half Italian and half German descent. From his father's second marriage with Peggy Farrar, he has a stepbrother, the occasional actor Adam Farrar, who, however, since the late 1990s has repeatedly come into conflict with the law because of various offenses.
His career began in the late 1980s at the age of 14 with appearances in commercials, including bubble gum Bubble Yum and Kraft cheese and as a casual actor in educational films. His breakthrough came in 1990 with the role of Garry Buckman in the television series Parenthood, based on the film of the same name from 1989. In the soap opera California Clan he took over the role of the young Mason Capwell. DiCaprio gained increasing prominence in the sitcom Our Loud Home, where he played the street boy Luke Brower in 1991 and 1992.
The eleven Oscar winning film production Titanic, which currently ranks second among the most commercially successful films of all time, was the actual career boost DiCaprio in 1997. By portraying the destitute ship passenger Jack Dawson, who falls in love with the social norm in a young wealthy woman named Rose, the then 22-year-old turned into a superstar, along with worldwide popularity as a swarm of girls and women.
With his "Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation" founded in 1998 at the age of 24, DiCaprio is committed to environmental protection and global warming. The expression of his commitment is the documentary film 11th Hour, written and co-authored by him in 2007 - 5 before 12, on the manifold environmental crises that threaten mankind and its planet. In the US presidential elections in 2004 and 2008, he supported each of the candidates of the Democratic Party (2004 John Kerry, 2008 Barack Obama ).
In December 2013, DiCaprio joined the car manufacturer Venturi Automobiles and founded the racing team Venturi Formula E Team with its founder Gildo Pallanca Pastor. Commenting on his entry, DiCaprio said, "The future of our planet depends on our ability to build fuel-efficient cars based on clean energy. Venturi Grand Prix has demonstrated tremendous foresight with the creation of an eco-friendly racing team and I'm happy to be part of that effort." Since 2014, the racing team has been competing in the new FIA Formula E Championship series. In 2015, the actor was named Chairman of the Sustainability Committee of the racing series. This body is primarily concerned with the promotion of electric mobility and thus wants to promote the spread of electric cars, especially in cities.
In 2014 DiCaprio was named UN Peace Ambassador and gave the opening speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York. In it, he called climate change as the biggest challenge of humanity and called on governments and industry to take immediate and clear action.
In January 2016, DiCaprio was a guest at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he received the Crystal Award from the WEF for his work against climate change and the protection of endangered species.