Leonardo DiCaprio, 2016 Oscars, Academy Awards, Winner

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Six times was a charm for Leonardo DiCaprio

22 years after the accomplished movie star landed his first Oscar nomination for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, the actor finally broke his streak in 2016 when he took hime the statue for Best Actor at the 88th Academy Awards. 

While it may have been a milestone moment in his decades-long career, it was also a victory felt by his legions of fans around the world who had been waiting with bated breath for the moment to finally come. After all, DiCaprio had been denied the honor five times before—four of those for his performances in GrapeThe AviatorBlood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street. 

As we now know, it would take DiCaprio's turn as an abandoned frontiersman fighting to survive in the wilderness in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Revenant to secure the Oscar gold. Julianne Moore presented the actor with the award after he beat out fellow nominees Bryan CranstonMatt DamonMichael Fassbenderand Eddie Redmayne

"Thank you all so very much. Thank you to the Academy, thank you to all of you in this room," he told the crowd as he took the podium for the first time as a winner in front of an audience on its feet. "To my parents, none of this would be possible without you. My friends, I love you dearly. You know who you are."

Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, 2016 Oscars, Academy Awards, Candids

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Among such friends was Kate Winslet, his famous co-star and longtime pal who was sitting in the crowd. The two gave fans pangs of nostalgia as they posed together on the red carpet and later embraced in a hug in the audience after DiCaprio's win. 

However, the moment was not just a personal triumph, but also an opportunity for DiCaprio to express his gratitude to all those who helped shape his iconic career, including Martin Scorsese, who directed the star in several films, and Michael Caton-Jones, the director of his first movie, This Boy's Life. 

Before retreating to his seat to bask in the glory of the honor, the actor used his final moments at the mic to make an impassioned plea on behalf of climate change. 

"Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world," he pleaded.  

"For the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this. For our children's children and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed." 

"Let us not take this planet for granted," he concluded. "I do not take tonight for granted."

For complete Oscars coverage, tune in to E! News at 7 p.m. and Fashion Police at 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.