Leonardo DiCaprio Was Named After Another Famous Leo

When you think about it, there aren't a lot of actors in Hollywood called Leonardo. And as soon as you hear that name in relation to the silver screen, the first thought that obviously comes to mind is Leonardo DiCaprio. Having been in the business since he was five-years-old (via Britannica), his name has become synonymous with success in the movies to the point where he's arguably become one of the most famous Leonardo's in the world.


Obviously, there are other important figures in history that also go by the name. When you take DiCaprio from the picture, the first name that comes to mind is the Italian renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci, who was also an important scientist and inventor, as the Museum of Science writes. Unsurprisingly, da Vinci's name was a major inspiration to DiCaprio's parents — so much so, that they named their son after him after being inspired by one of his paintings.

Leonardo DiCaprio's parents chose his name while on their honeymoon

Speaking to NPR in 2014, Leonardo DiCaprio gave some major insight into how his name came to be — and it's as poignantly dramatic as you can imagine. DiCaprio explained that while his parents were on their honeymoon in Florence, Italy, they visited the Uffizi Gallery. As the Culture Trip notes, the museum is one of only few in the world that proudly has a piece of Leonardo da Vinci's art on display. It's here that you'll find the "Annunciation," a painting that came to life during da Vinci's early career (via Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi).


DiCaprio's mom was pregnant at the time, and it was while they were standing in front of this painting that the actor's parents settled on Leonardo as a name for their son. "They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant," DiCaprio explained. "And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn't that far from da Vinci," he continued. "And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, 'That's our boy's name'."