1. Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974 in Hollywood. His     German-born mum, Irmelin, and dad, George, were separated before Leo was born but     both  manage Leo's career. He's an only child.

2. How did Leonardo gets his name? Leo's mum was in Italy admiring a painting by     Leonardo DaVinci, when Leo started kicking in her womb. "It was a sign," says Irmelin.     "I like my name," quips Leo. "Even though at school they used to call me 'Leonardo     Retardo'." Believe it or not, an agent once asked Leonardo to change his name to     Lenny Williams, so it would sound less ethnic - doesn't quite have the same ring to it,     does it?

3. His first taste of acting came at 11, when he entertained a theatre audience before a     show. Then came a TV ad for Matchbox cars in 1988. At 14, Leo got roles in sitcoms,     Growing Pains (as homeless boy, Luke Brower) and Parenthood (as Gary Buckman).

4. He was a rebel at school, eager to pursue his acting career, so he wouldn't be stuck in     class. "I never liked school. I felt I was forced to do something, and I don't perform well     under those conditions."

5. His first movie was Critters 3 (1992) but Leo calls it a "schlock" flick and never talks     about it.

6. For those of you wanting to buy him some shoes as a gift, Leo's a size 11.

7. At 19, Leo made it in Hollywood when he got Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for     Best Supporting Actor, for his role as Arnie, the retarded boy in What's Eating Gilbert     Grape?.

8. Leo once admitted: "I wanted to be an actor so I could be cool and all the girls would see     me."

9. Leo was supposed to have starred in Interview With The Vampire as Christian Slater's     character but was knocked back for looking to young. He was also supposed to have a     part in the witch comedy, Hocus Pocus, with Bette Midler. Earlier in his career, he had a     guest role on the TV sitcom, Roseanne, but his scene ended up being cut.

10. Sure he's notorious for his Gilbert Grape and Romeo characters but few people know       that Leo also starred in a short film called The Foot Shooting Party. He plays a '70s       rock singer (with long hair and flares) who thinks about shooting his foot to get out of       the war.

11. Everyone on the Romeo + Juliet set called him "D" and co-star John Leguizamo (he       played Tybalt) says Leo often did Michael Jackson impersonations and listened       hip-hop music. "He did cartwheels and hit people over the head with Twizzlers       (American licorice)," adds Claire Danes (Juliet).

12. On the difference between her and Leo, Claiire says, "I sort of glow, and Leo is like a       string of firecrackers that keep going off."

13. Leonardo said that during filming Romeo + Juliet, there were a lot of scenes where he       was wet. "I would say that for about 60% of the movie, I'm wet," says Leo. "Always       wet on the set of Romeo + Juliet," he sighs. "My butt was so soggy."

14. For his latest movie release, Marvin's Room, his co-star Robert De Niro hand-picked       Leo for the starring role after they appeared together in This Boy's Life in 1993.

15. Leo was turned down by a talent agent at 10 years of age for having a bad haircut.

16. Leo is known for his impersonations of people. In fact, it's one one his fave pastimes       and he admits that he still likes doing it today: "One of my passions is to meet people       and then imitate them. I love doing that."

17. He once went skydiving with a friend. He jumped out of the plane, pulled the ripcord,       but the chute didn't open. Luckily, his instructor was able to pull the emergency       parachute. Phew!

18. Leonardo lives in a bungalow in Hollywood with his pet bearded dragon lizard, right       near his mum's place in Los Feliz, Los Angeles.

19. Leo's first 1 million-plus paycheck movie is Titanic.

20. If you haven't been satisfied with this, you should check out the 50 things you might not       have known about Leonardo DiCaprio (from E! Online).

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