What Was Leonardo DiCaprio in When He Was Younger?

Leonardo DiCaprio, one of Hollywood’s most talented actors, has had a remarkable career that spans several decades. But what was he in when he was younger? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore some of DiCaprio’s early works that helped pave the way for his success today.

Titanic: A Blockbuster Breakthrough

One of Leonardo DiCaprio’s most iconic roles came early in his career when he starred as Jack Dawson in the epic romance film, Titanic. Released in 1997, Titanic became a global sensation, propelling DiCaprio into the spotlight and solidifying his status as a heartthrob.

The Basketball Diaries: A Gritty Performance

Before Titanic, DiCaprio showcased his versatility and acting prowess in The Basketball Diaries. Released in 1995, this coming-of-age drama allowed him to portray the troubled character of Jim Carroll, a high school basketball player struggling with addiction. His raw and powerful performance captivated audiences and established him as an actor with immense potential.

Romeo + Juliet: A Modern Take on a Classic

In 1996, DiCaprio took on the role of Romeo Montague in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. This modernized version of the timeless tale proved to be a critical and commercial success. DiCaprio’s portrayal of Romeo showcased his ability to bring depth and emotion to classic characters.

Growing Pains: Television Success

Prior to his big-screen breakthroughs, Leonardo DiCaprio gained recognition for his roles on television. In the early 1990s, he starred as Luke Brower on the popular sitcom Growing Pains. His charismatic presence won over audiences and set the stage for his transition to film.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: A Breakout Performance

One of DiCaprio’s earliest notable performances was in the 1993 drama film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. In this emotionally charged role, he portrayed Arnie Grape, a mentally challenged boy. His portrayal earned him critical acclaim and his first Academy Award nomination, showcasing his ability to tackle complex characters at a young age.

The Man in the Iron Mask: A Dual Role

In 1998, DiCaprio took on a dual role in The Man in the Iron Mask. This historical adventure film showcased his versatility by having him portray both King Louis XIV and his imprisoned twin brother Philippe. DiCaprio’s ability to differentiate between the two characters demonstrated his range as an actor.


Leonardo DiCaprio’s early career was filled with diverse roles that allowed him to showcase his talent and range as an actor. From his breakout performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to his iconic role in Titanic, DiCaprio proved time and time again that he was destined for greatness. These early works served as a foundation for his later critically acclaimed performances and cemented him as one of Hollywood’s most respected actors.