Bohemian child, favorite of Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Raspberry Award for the worst, actor, producer, idol of millions of female hearts and an enviable bachelor – these are all Leonardo DiCaprio.
CHILDHOOD AND FAMILY Leonardo is the only child of Irmeline Indenbirken and George DiCaprio. At the time of their acquaintance, they were students, she later worked as a secretary in court, and he became a distributor of comics and drew himself, some experts believe that he contributed to the “comic book revolution of the 60s”.
Even before birth, in the mother’s womb, the future star outlined her attitude to art. The fetus began to hustle in the mother’s womb when she admired the works of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Uffizi Florentine gallery. George decided that his unborn son was signaling – his name was Leonardo! So when a boy was born in Los Angeles on November 11, 1974, he was given the name Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio.
The actor’s pedigree has Italian, German, and Russian roots. His maternal grandmother is Elizabeth Smirnova. As a girl, fleeing the consequences of the revolution, she and her parents fled to Germany. The woman assimilated, changed her name to Helen, married a German and took the surname Indenbirken, but did not forget her native speech. Leonardo’s mother was born in 1943, at the height of World War II, right on the floor of the bomb shelter. The Indenbirken family never supported the Nazi atrocities and emigrated to New York in 1955, as soon as the opportunity was given.
Leonardo’s parents divorced when he was a year old. George moved to East Hollywood. Leo lived with his dad and his new lover Peggy Farrar, who had a son Adam from a previous marriage, then with his mother. The boy himself was more fond of spending time in his father’s house: a bohemian atmosphere reigned there, other artists and cult figures like Matt Groening and Timothy Leary often visited.
Mom took him to a prestigious elementary school at the university, spending 4 hours a day on a round trip. Then there was 4 years of schooling for gifted children, but it was difficult for a guy to concentrate on academic sciences. Either an explosive mixture of blood, Italian from the father’s side, German and Russian from the mother’s side, or participation in the children’s TV show already at the age of 2.5 influenced the choice of a profession, but at the age of 14 the guy knew for sure that he would be an actor. The last place to study was John Marshall High School. Despite the early divorce of his parents, Leonardo always felt the support of his father, a comic book artist. Parents encouraged and developed the creative nature of their son, supporting an early interest in acting.
When Leonardo was 11, his grandparents returned to Germany. But he maintained relationships with them and often visited his beloved granny until her death in 2008. The actor is proud of Russian roots and sometimes jokingly calls himself “half Russian”. It was Elena who introduced Leo to the work of Dostoevsky and explained that the drama genre is a magnifying glass in which the human character is reflected. “I loved to imitate people … I liked joking with my parents and creating different characters,” the actor recalled his childhood. Leonardo admitted that he grew up in poverty: “Our family was poor, really poor.” At the same time, he is grateful to his parents for teaching him to be content with little, not to pay attention to which store bought clothes or which store bought food, because it doesn’t matter if you have something to wear and you don’t starving. They also taught the boy not to have unnecessary self-pity, to focus on the goal and go to it step by step. Therefore, DiCaprio hates talking about the fact that he “was just lucky to be in the right place, in the sense, to be born in Hollywood.” CHILDREN’S ROLE Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting career began at a tender age. At the age of five, he was invited to a television show for preschoolers Romper Room, broadcast on screens from the beginning of the 50s. But before he could get comfortable on the set, he was kicked out of the show for his bad behavior. When a few years later, Adam Farrar, his half-brother, older than 3 years, began to appear in commercials and soon became popular like hot cakes, 13-year-old Leonardo was inspired by his example and demanded from his parents that he should also be auditioned.
The first ad in which the young Leonardo DiCaprio played was the movie about Matchbox toy cars. The young actor reincarnated as a gangster. “What did the first shootings teach me? “Know the word”. I was just terribly nervous and forgot everything. ” Then there were shootings in advertisements for Apple Jacks oatmeal, Kraft Singles cheese, Bubble Yum chewing gum, Fred Meyer supermarket chain, Honda and Suzuki cars.
As usual, the blonde with an angelic face was soon noticed by casting managers from television, and by the beginning of the 90s the boy was regularly engaged in television shows. He starred in Santa Barbara, Lassie’s New Adventures, and the comedy series Parents.