He achieved international fame as a star in James Cameron's epic romance Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film of all time to that point.Since 2000, Di Caprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres.
Later that year, Di Caprio's debut film role was in the comedic science fiction horror film Critters 3, in which he played the stepson of an evil landlord, a role that Di Caprio described as "your average, no-depth, standard kid with blond hair." In 1992, alongside Drew Barrymore, Sara Gilbert, Tom Skerritt, and Cheryl Ladd, he played a supporting role in the first installment of the Poison Ivy film series.
It was nominated for the 1992 Grand Jury prize of Best Film at the Sundance Film Festival and received a nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards.
The film was directed by Michael Caton-Jones and released in 1993.
In 1993, Di Caprio co-starred as the mentally handicapped brother of Johnny Depp's character in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a comic-tragic odyssey of a dysfunctional Iowa family.
He replaced River Phoenix, who died during pre-production on the project.
His last film of the year 1995 was The Basketball Diaries, co- starring Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg.
Director Lasse Hallström admitted he was initially looking for a less good-looking actor but finally settled on Di Caprio as he had emerged as "the most observant actor" among all who auditioned.
the film became a critical success, resulting in various accolades for Di Caprio, who was awarded the National Board of Review Award and nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal.
The project achieved a worldwide box office take of 7 million.
Later that year, he starred in Jerry Zaks' family drama Marvin's Room, reuniting with Robert De Niro.
Di Caprio's subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002), and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002), which marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese.