By Clare Douglas
Break out the cake! It's Leonardo's big day and Hello! Is ready to celebrate all things DiCaprio.
Born in Los Angeles in 1974, Leo got his first taste of Hollywood at the age of 14 starring in a commercial for Matchbox cars. Three years later, he captured Hollywood’s attention thanks to a recurring role in Growing Pains alongside Alan Thicke. The show took Leo from the small screen to the pages of teen magazines and the walls of love-struck girls.
On the big screen, he quickly made a name for himself in movies, winning the role of Robert De Niro’s stepson in 1993’s This Boy’s Life and starring opposite Meryl Streep in Marvin’s Room. The Oscar-winning actress was blown away by Leo’s acting chops, saying, “He’s always so compelling. You can’t watch anything else when he’s acting.”
His star continued to rise in the 1990s, with roles in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Basketball Diaries and playing Romeo in 1996’s Romeo & Juliet, but nothing could have prepared him for the role that would change his life forever. Not only wasTitanic one of the highest-grossing films of all time, but it also launched a 23-year-old Leo into global stardom.
Off screen he has won the hearts of some of the world’s most beautiful women, including supermodel Gisele Bündchen, Bar Refaeli and Toni Garrn.
Meanwhile in 1998 he founded The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to help protect the environment.
Even though the handsome actor has yet to take home an Academy Award (he’s been nominated four times) his body of work is as impressive as some of Hollywood’s greatest talents, and that is something to celebrate.
In honour of Leonardo’s milestone 40th birthday, Hello! looks back at his life in pictures.