Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Leo's Kingdom

His name is said to have been derived from his German mother Irmalin, who was said to have experienced a sudden kick from her unborn boy while enjoying a DaVinci painting at the Uffizi. In the year following his birth, she and his Italian father, George, were divorced. He grew up in Echo Park, then a particularly seedy, drug-dominated area of Los Angeles. At five he appeared on his favorite TV show “Romper Room” (1953) and was nearly thrown off for misbehaving. After a string of commercials, educational films (“Mickey's Safety Club”), occasional parts in TV series, a debut film role as Josh in Critters 3 (1991), a continuing role as the homeless boy Luke in the TV series “Growing Pains” (1985), he got his breakthrough part as Toby in This Boy's Life (1993), co-starring with Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin.

Teen fans sobbed when this beguiling, baby-faced good looks, slipped into watery oblivion in 1997's megahit Titanic, in which he uttered probably one the most famous cries of all time, “I'm the king of the world!”

So, who doesn't know Leo? The blond, blue-eyed icon for millions of teenage girls and more than a few boys everywhere. The guy who hit superstardom via Titanic. Leonardo DiCaprio can be the king of the world if he wants to. With the popularity, money, awards, and gorgeous girlfriends, he can be a king. But no, Leo does not only have the looks and riches fit for a king. This guy is also building his own kingdom in helping to save Mother Earth.

This “king of the world” started the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to promote environmental causes in 1998 and has become a one-man army in the fight against global warming.

Established in 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has actively fostered awareness of environmental issues through participation in organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Global Green USA, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The environmental website www.leonardodicaprio.org was created in order to reach, inform and interact directly with a wide global audience about these issues. This site also serves to promote current environmental campaigns, such as the global movement to eliminate the use of Plastic Bags.

Environment Now honored the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with its prestigious Martin Litton Environmental Warrior Award in 2001.

The Foundation also spearheaded the production of the feature length environmental documentary “The 11th Hour.” The feature length documentary is about the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. “The 11th Hour” documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet's life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity.

In conjunction with the film, the Foundation helped launch the online network www.11thhouraction.com. This website serves as a forum where individuals and communities can take action as part of the sustainability movement.

Leonardo DiCaprio emerged from relative television obscurity to become perhaps the hottest under-30 actor of the 1990s.

Thus now, still very popular, the hybrid-car driving DiCaprio has also been an important proponent of environmentalism, a topic he is so passionate about, thanks to his good looks, talents, and care for the planet, millions of his fans became also aware about their idol's advocacy. Truly, for his admirers and supporters, he certainly deserves the right to be called “king” to protect the world.

Resource Box : Cecill Artates is an artist and a part-time writer for a women's magazine. Her interest includes writing articles on women's health, women empowerment, and protection of the environment.

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