Leonardo DiCaprio is a popular American actor, producer, and environmentalist. The actor has won an Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards and is counted among the worlds highest-paid actors.His father, George, a fourth-generation Italian-American, was a comic book artist who met DiCaprios German-born mother, Irmelin, while attending college in the early sixties in New York.After completing their graduation, Leonardos parents moved to Los Angeles, where the penniless pair ended up living in a run-down house, off Hollywood Boulevard, dubbed syringe alley..There is an interesting story behind his name. Reportedly, his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy, when DiCaprio first kicked, and thus her mother named him after this great Italian polymath. Baby Leonardo DiCaprio and His Mother Irmelin.When Leonardo was just two, his parents split after eight years of marriage. Although initially, they agreed to live next door to each other so that Leonardo could not feel the absence of his father, his mother, Irmelin, moved to multiple neighborhoods in Los Angeles such as Echo Park and Los Feliz while doing several jobs, working first as a childminder, and later as a legal secretary. She struggled to make ends meet. A Rare Childhood Photo of Leonardo DiCaprio.Reportedly, Irmelin had also taken her husband to court to force him to pay just $16 a week for little Leos upkeep. questia.During Leos school holidays, Irmelin would send him to Germany to stay with Leos maternal grandparents in their tiny flats. There, he would go for cycling and mushroom-picking with his grandfather, away from the sordid and drug abuse problems of LA. While describing Leos stay in Germany, his maternal grandmother, Helene Indenbirken, once said, From the age of about eight, Leonardo spent all his vacations with us here in Germany. He even got his first taste for the sea when his grandfather and I took him on a cruise. We went all over to the Bahamas and Canada. We also took him skiing in Austria..In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the actor talked about being very poor and said he had experienced life at both ends of the income spectrum. He revealed that he had spent the first nine years of his life in a run-down Hollywood neighborhood, and his own upbringing was poverty-stricken. He said, There was a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime, and violence everywhere. It really was like Taxi Driver in a lot of ways. Independent.In his childhood, Leonardo hated attending public schools and would beg his mother to take him to auditions.While it came to his career choice, Leonardo had decided either to become a marine biologist or an actor and eventually becoming the latter. Leonardo DiCaprio in His Teenage.