GANGS OF NEW YORK
LEONARDO DICAPRIO (Amsterdam Vallon) was born in Hollywood, California in 1974 and attended Seeds Elementary School at UCLA where he took summer courses in performance art before moving to the Center for Enriched Studies in Los Angeles. After Seeds, Leonardo attended John Marshall High School in Los Feliz where he acted in his first real play, "Circus Fantasy."
In 1988, at fourteen, Leonardo began appearing in a series of commercials and educational films. Later that year, he made his television acting debut in the syndicated Saturday morning revival of the classic "Lassie." In 1990, after appearing on NBC's daytime drama "Santa Barbara, " Leonardo was tapped for a bit part on the prime-time series "The Outsider." Later that year he became a regular on "Parenthood."
In 1991, Leonardo was cast for his first feature film, "Critters III." Later that year, he was invited to join the cast of the ABC sitcom "Growing Pains." Michael Caton-Jones then cast Leonardo in the much sought-after role of Tobias Wolff in his big-screen adaptation of Wolff's best-selling novel "This Boy's Life" where Leonardo starred alongside Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin.
In 1993, Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom cast Leonardo in the role of Arnie in the critically acclaimed film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was nineteen years old. In 1995, Leonardo played opposite Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman in Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead," and the same year starred in the film adaptation of Jim Carroll's gritty autobiographical memoir "The Basketball Diaries." He then played the deeply troubled pan-sexual poet Arthur Rimbaud in Agnieska Holland's film version of Christopher Hampton's play "Total Eclipse."
As one half of the star-crossed lovers in Australian director Baz Luhrmann's screen adaption of "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet," Leonardo was paired with Claire Danes. He was also featured the same year as Meryl Streep's delinquent-to-the-point-of
criminal son in "Marvin's Room," co-starring Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro. In 1996, Leonardo starred in James Cameron's Academy Award winning film "Titanic" opposite Kate Winslet.
Next, he starred in "The Man in the Iron Mask" with Gerard Depardieu, Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich. Leonardo owned the number one box-office position for the better part of 1998 with "Titanic" and virtually knocked himself out of the top spot with "The Man in the Iron Mask." Leonardo then starred in Woody Allen's "Celebrity," before beginning production in 1999 on Danny Boyle's screen adaptation of "The Beach," the best-selling novel by Alex Garland, which was filmed in Thailand. In addition to "Gangs of New York", Leonardo also stars in the December 2002 release "Catch Me if You Can" directed by Steven Spielberg and co-starring Tom Hanks.
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