DiCaprio, 41, had been nominated four times previously for an
acting Oscar over a career spanning 25 years. He was the
favorite to clinch the Academy Award this year for his grueling
portrayal of a fur trapper left for dead in an icy wilderness
after being mauled by a bear.
In a fight for survival, his "Revenant" character Hugh Glass
treks through snow-covered forests, gets swept away in a
waterfall, sleeps inside the carcass of a disemboweled horse and
hungrily eats raw bison liver before making it back to his camp.
DiCaprio, a bachelor with a string of supermodel girlfriends,
has matured into one of the world's most admired and popular
actors, as well as a champion of environmental causes ranging
from marine reserves to the rights of indigenous people.
In his acceptance speech, DiCaprio, who received a standing
ovation, said: "Let us not take this planet for granted. I do
not take tonight for granted."
DiCaprio added: "Our production needed to move to the southern
tip of this planet to find snow. Climate change is real, it is
happening now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire
species and we need to work collectively together, and we need
to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big
polluters and the big corporations but who speak for all of
DiCaprio had already won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild
trophies for the role, which transformed the heartthrob from
movies like "Titanic" and "Romeo + Juliet" into a greasy-haired
1820s fur trapper who barely speaks after the bear ripped his
DiCaprio won his first Oscar nomination in 1994 for his
supporting role as a mentally challenged boy in "What's Eating
His romantic "Romeo + Juliet" and "Titanic" roles went
unrecognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
and it was another 10 years before his obsessive-compulsive
Howard Hughes in "The Aviator" brought a second Oscar
Nominations for 2006's "Blood Diamond" and 2013's "The Wolf of
Wall Street" came and went without DiCaprio taking home the most
coveted trophy in show business.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Mary Milliken and Sandra
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