2. THIS BOY'S LIFE (1993)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Toby in "This Boy's Life."

"This Boy's Life" marked a significant turning point in DiCaprio’s career, offering him his first challenging role after his film debut in "Critters 3." Coming out from years of TV shows like "Growing Pains" and TV commercials, working on set with major co-stars Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin was a huge breakthrough for the then 16-year-old DiCaprio.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Toby attacked by Pepper the dog and Jonah Blechman as Arthur Gayle in "This Boy's Life."

Based on the memories of writer Tobias Wolff, "This Boy's Life" is a story set in the 1950s of rebellious teenager Toby (DiCaprio) and his relationship with his abusive stepfather, Dwight (De Niro) whom his mother, Caroline (Barkin) marries.

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Robert De Niro as Dwight and Leonardo DiCaprio as Toby in "This Boy’s Life."

3. THE AVIATOR (2004)

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Leonardo Di Caprio as Howard Hughes in "The Aviator."

One of the earliest films where DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese worked together, "The Aviator" covers a 20-year span between the 1920s and 1940s, following the life of the mysterious and flamboyant Howard Hughes (DiCaprio) – business tycoon, inventor, aviation pioneer and film producer. Starring alongside DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett plays Katharine Hepburn, Hughes' then-girlfriend, and Jude Law as Errol Flynn.

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Director Martin Scorsese with Leonardo Di Caprio as Howard Hughes.

The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including DiCaprio's nomination for Best Actor in the 2005 Oscars, and brought home 5 awards total.

The Aviator - Leonardo Dicaprio, Martin Scorsese, Cate Blanchett
Director Martin Scorsese with Leonardo Di Caprio as Howard Hughes and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, who apparently, amongst other things, learned to played golf to prepare for her role as Katharine.

DiCaprio's performance won him Best Actor for the 2005 Golden Globe Awards. He was also nominated for several other film awards including Best Actor in a Leading Role for the BAFTA Awards.

The Aviator - Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Scott, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett
Leonardo Di Caprio as Howard Hughes with Jude Law as Errol Flynn, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn and Adam Scott as Johnny Meyer in "The Aviator."

4. THE DEPARTED (2006)

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Ray Winstone as Mr. French and Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy and Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello in "The Departed."

"The Departed" stars DiCaprio as an undercover cop, Billy, with Matt Damon as a mole in the police force, Colin Sullivan, as they each try to infiltrate an Irish mob gang. The movie is also a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie, "Infernal Affairs."

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Director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy seated at bar.

Once again teamed with Scorsese, the pair considered to be one of the most successful actor-director collaborations in Hollywood history, with almost $1.3 billion from the five features including "The Departed."

DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor in the Golden Globes 2012 as well as Best Actor in a Leading Role in the 2007 BAFTA Awards.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy in "The Departed."


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Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer in "Blood Diamond."

Delivering a stunning performance alongside Djimon Hounsou, both DiCaprio and Hounsou captured the eyes of many in the production of "Blood Diamond," earning them both nominations for the Academy Awards in 2007. DiCaprio also earned a nomination for Best Actor in the 2007 Golden Globes.

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Director Edward Zwick discussing scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou.  

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1990s South Africa, the film follows smuggler Danny Archer (DiCaprio) and fisherman, Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) as they come together to recover a rare pink diamond and rescue Solomon's captured son amid the war.

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Kagiso Kuypers as Dia Vandy and Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer in a scene from "Blood Diamond."

While filming "Blood Diamond" in 2006, DiCaprio told Ellen that he was stuck in a cage with a great white and according to him, it was "awesome."

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer and Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy in "Blood Diamonds."

6. THE 11TH HOUR (2007)

One of the many well-known facts about DiCaprio is his fight for environmental change. Dedicating his social pages to his environmental work by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) and his first Oscar-winning speech filled with passionate drive for the planet's ecosystems. As an environmentalist, it's a no-brainer for the cinematic icon to narrate this documentary picturing the then-current state of the global environment and solutions for change.

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Leonardo DiCaprio watching footage on monitor from "The 11th Hour."

In relation to his works on the environment, scientists named a water beetle species after the actor, calling it, "Grouvellinus leonardodicaprioi." In true spirit, DiCaprio even changed his profile picture on Facebook to the beetle when the announcement was made in May last year.

7. BODY OF LIES (2008)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris walking down the street in "Body of Lies."

Directed and produced by Ridley Scott, "Body of Lies" is a film set in the Middle East as it follows a CIA soldier, Roger Ferris (DiCaprio) infiltrate the cell of a master terrorist, Al-Saleem (Alon Aboutboul). To operate his plan to flush Al-Saleem out in the open, Ferris needs the backing of his boss, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe), and a wily, but suspect, Jordanian intelligence officer, Hani Salaam (Mark Strong). Although the two men appear to be his allies, Ferris questions if he can trust them or if they are putting his entire operation, and his life, in danger.

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Russell Crowe as Ed Hoffman, director Ridley Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris during a break on set.

This was the first movie since "The Quick and the Dead" in 1995 that Crowe and DiCaprio come together again for the action-thriller "Body of Lies."

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris seated across the table from Russell Crowe as Ed Hoffman in "Body of Lies."

During the production of this film, DiCaprio wore brown contact lenses and dyed his hair black for the role.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris in "Body of Lies."

8. INCEPTION (2010)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb in a scene in "Inception."

Diving into the mind of director Christopher Nolan, "Inception" played into the theory of psychoanalytic dreaming and extracting information from people's minds through entering their subconscious.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb with director Christopher Nolan on set in "Inception."

The movie is based on Dom Cobb (DiCaprio), a skilled thief who enters the mind of unsuspecting victims, deep into their subconscious, to plant thoughts and steal their secrets. To get him home, Cobb pulls in a team of specialists (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Ellen Page as Ariadne, Tom Hardy as Eames, Ken Watanabe as Saito and Dileep Rao as Yusuf) to conduct one last heist on the biggest, impossible task ever: inception. 

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Ken Watanabe as Saito, Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb, Dileep Rao as Yusuf, Ellen Page as Ariadne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur and Tom Hardy as Eames.

DiCaprio and the cast were said to have done much "detective" work on the script to try and figure out the entire plot and mind of Nolan. 

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb embracing Marion Cotillard as Mal.
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Sir Michael Caine as Miles and Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb.

Many of the scenes were done without the help of CGI. This scene below is an example where the room was put on hydraulics tilts. DiCaprio has reported that he and Murphy had to hold on to the sets as they tilted while delivering their monologues. 

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Director Christopher Nolan with Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb and Cillian Murphy as Robert Fisher, Jr.

Another fun fact, apparently by taking the first letters of each of the main cast, Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur, Mal, and Saito, they spell "Dreams." Adding Peter, Ariadne, and Yusuf makes up "Dream Pay," which is essentially what they do for a mind thief. Whether this is true or not, we will leave it up to your interpretation.

Inception - Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page
Dileep Rao as Yusuf, Tom Hardy as Eames, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as Arthur, Leonardo DiCaprio as Cobb, Ellen Page as Ariadne and Ken Watanabe as Saito.

9. J. EDGAR (2011)

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Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover in the movie "J. Edgar."

DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years. As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this movie takes a look back at Hoover's controversial life, as told through his eyes.

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Leonardo Dicaprio as J. Edgar Hoover with Emily Alyn Lind as Shirley Temple in the film "J. Edgar."

DiCaprio's performance earned him a nomination for the 2012 Golden Globes for Best Actor. 

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Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover in the movie "J. Edgar."


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Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jay Gatsby in "The Great Gatsby."

Adapted from the F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name, "The Great Gatsby" stars DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, an over-the-top millionaire who draws in writer and Wall Street trader, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) into his lifestyle.

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby with Director Baz Luhrmann in "The Great Gatsby."

During "The Great Gatsbyworld premiere, DiCaprio commented that, "I think everyone has little Gatsby in their life. Everyone dreams when they're young and that’s what people identify with."

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby polishing one of his many cars in "The Great Gatsby."

DiCaprio filmed three movies back-to-back for almost a year and a half straight including "The Great Gatsby," "Django Unchained," and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in his house in "The Great Gatsby."

The multi-talented actor not only plays characters on screen, he has produced films like "Red Riding Hood," "Orphan" and most recently the upcoming movie "Richard Jewell."

"Richard Jewell" is based on a true story of a security guard who becomes a suspect after risking his life to stop the bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. "Richard Jewell" will be playing in theaters on December 13.

We hope you have enjoyed a look back at some of DiCaprio's films. Happy birthday, Leonardo DiCaprio!

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