IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Leonardo DiCaprio turns 40: Let's toast his rise from kid star to genuine leading man

Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way as an actor — from teen heartthrob in "Titanic" to bonafide Oscar-nominated star in "The Wolf of Wall Street." Along the way, his boyish good looks have matured into genuine leading-man stuff.As he turns 40 years old Tuesday, let's scroll though some of the more memorable photos and films that capture DiCaprio from his cutest to his scruffiest and everythin
Leonardo DiCaprio
Chris Pizzello / Today

Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way as an actor — from teen heartthrob in "Titanic" to bonafide Oscar-nominated star in "The Wolf of Wall Street." Along the way, his boyish good looks have matured into genuine leading-man stuff.

As he turns 40 years old Tuesday, let's scroll though some of the more memorable photos and films that capture DiCaprio from his cutest to his scruffiest and everything in between.

Stealing hearts at a young age

Today

Even as a young kid, Leonardo knew how to capture the camera's (and the ladies') attention — all it required was a bowl cut, a collared shirt and charming smile. His poor stepbrother didn't stand a chance standing next to him.

A 'Growing' number of crushes

Today

Kirk Cameron who? DiCaprio's career — and the crushes that came with it — began on television, with his role as Luke in the sitcom "Growing Pains," which he joined in 1991. His character was a homeless boy taken in by the lead family, the Seavers.

The boy could really act

Today

After Robert De Niro handpicked him out of 400 young actors to play the lead role in "This Boy's Life," DiCaprio caught the attention of critics when he played mentally handicapped Arnie in the 1993 film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." Critics and Hollywood were so impressed and floored by his performance that DiCaprio earned his first Oscar nod.

Everyone's Romeo

Today

DiCaprio stole every teenage girl's heart (and box-office money) when he played Romeo in Baz Lurhman's 1996 modern day take on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Claire Danes was hardly the only girl in America saying, "Oh Romeo." 

Hollywood heartthrob

Today

After the success of "Romeo and Juliet," DiCaprio was named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful People, but he did not understand the new found attention, especially from female fans. "Suddenly all these teenage girls have become hysterical," he told the magazine in 1997. "What they do is shocking, climbing over walls and stuff." 

He was the king of the world!

Today
Hal Garb / Today

Hearts are still going on for DiCaprio's character Jack Dawson from the blockbuster James Cameron film "Titanic" (with Kate Winslet). Not only did the role turn DiCaprio into a superstar, but it sparked fan worship that became known as "Leo-mania." "Titanic" went on to gross $1.8 billion worldwide and receive 14 Academy Award nominations.

Finding love off-screen

Vince Bucci / Today
Frank Micelotta / Today

After taking a break from acting and pursuing his environmental activism, DiCaprio began dating Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen in 2000. Although the two were very quiet about their relationship, they did attend the 2005 Academy Awards together. Eventually they called it quits in 2005, allowing fans everywhere to believe they still stood a chance. 

Flying high

Today

The star's return to the big screen turned out to be a big success. DiCaprio went on to make five hit films from 2000-2006, including three with famed director Martin Scorsese. "Gangs of New York" would be the start of their flourishing relationship. He also continued to receive critical recognition, and come awards season, even more nominations. And DiCaprio never single for long as Bar Refaeli became his latest model girlfriend.

Reunited and it feels so good

Mario Anzuoni / Today

DiCaprio and Winslet give "Titanic" fans a chance to see them on-screen again when the two starred in 2008's "Revolutionary Road." Although it didn't have a happy ending, the two stars shined on screen and enjoyed working together again. "We have a level of understanding which I really don't have with another actor that I've ever worked with at all," Winslet told Entertainment Weekly.

Hearts swoon for Jay Gatsby

Today
Today

Fans flocked to theaters in 2013 to see DiCaprio in Lurhman's adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gastby." DiCaprio let his acting talent, dreamy blue eyes and blond locks shine through in his performance of Jay Gatsby. Although he couldn't get Daisy's heart, there were plenty others waiting. 

Watch out for the big, bad 'Wolf'

Mary Cybulski / Today

DiCaprio and Scorcese teamed up again for their fifth film together in 2013's "The Wolf of Wall Street." The star's portrayal of greedy, drug addicted, powerful stockbroker Jordan Belfort earned him another Oscar nomination and a fun Internet meme of all his movie toasts

The scruffy activist

Justin Lane / Today

While taking a break from acting in 2014, the handsome leading man went for a scruffier look, whether he was playing a little beach vollyeball (with a new love, German model Toni Garm) or speaking out on his passion regarding climate change. A slicked-back and bearded DiCaprio at the United Nations is just another role for a man who has been impressing us for decades.

Happy birthday, Leo! 

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has come a long way from “Growing Pains.” He’s played gangsters, gamblers, kings and con men during his lively Hollywood career.

Follow Danielle Brennan on Twitter.