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November 12, 2022

20 Snaps of a Teenage Leonardo DiCaprio in the Early 1990s

You may find this hard to believe, but Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t born sexy. When he first appeared on the scene in the late 1980s, Leo was just a baby-faced tween with adorably floppy hair and a sweet smile, almost unrecognizable from the superhottie he is now.


Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11, 1974, in Los Angeles, California, the only child of Irmelin (née Indenbirken), a legal secretary, and George DiCaprio, an underground comix writer, publisher, and distributor of comic books. His father is of Italian and German descent. DiCaprio is conversant in Italian. His maternal grandfather, Wilhelm Indenbirken, was German, and his maternal grandmother, Helene Indenbirken, was a Russian-born German citizen. In an interview in Russia, DiCaprio referred to himself as “half-Russian” and said that two of his late grandparents were Russian.

At the beginning of his career, DiCaprio had difficulty finding an agent and when he did find one, he suggested DiCaprio change his name to Lenny Williams to appeal to the American audience, which he declined to do. He remained jobless for a year and a half even after 100 auditions. Disillusioned at this, he initially decided to quit acting, but his father encouraged him not to give up, and he needed the money to support his mother.

By the early 1990s, he began acting regularly on television, starting with a role in the pilot of The Outsiders (1990) and one episode of the soap opera Santa Barbara (1990), in which he played the young Mason Capwell. DiCaprio got a break that year when he was cast in Parenthood, a series based on a successful comedy film of the same name. Before being cast in the role of Garry Buckman, a troubled teenager, he analyzed Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in the original film. His work that year earned him two nominations at the 12th Youth in Film Awards—Best Young Actor in a Daytime Series for Santa Barbara and Best Young Actor Starring in a New Television Series for Parenthood. DiCaprio was also a celebrity contestant on the children’s game show Fun House, on which he performed several stunts, including catching the fish inside a small pool using only his teeth.
























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