...Of basically every movie he's ever been in.
From Romeo + Juliet to The Great Gatsby, Leo proves he'll either get that elusive Academy Award, or die trying. Here are seven of his most memorable movie deaths. (Yes, he also dies in J. Edgar and Total Eclipse, but fuck that noise.)
Romeo + Juliet
If you consider the fact that Romeo dies at the end of Shakespeare's most famous work to be a spoiler, you are the worst person on earth. You've had 18 years to see the movie, and 457 years to read the play. But in case you need a refresher, here's the gist: Gilbert Grape's little brother falls in love with Carrie from Homeland, which is kind of taboo, because their families are arch enemies. Yadda, yadda, yadda, one day he finds her dead, so he poisons himself because he doesn't want to live in a world without her (which is weird, because there are plenty of other broads around, and he's rich). But to make matters worse, it turns out that she's not even dead - she just took some fancy new-age Percocet cocktail so that everyone would think she was dead. She tried to give Romeo a heads-up about the whole thing, but he didn't check his email or whatever. When she wakes up and finds him dead, she goes and offs herself for real. Tragic, yo.
Right around the time you were praying for a quick and painless death to deliver you from three hours of Celine Dion's music, young Leo was establishing himself as the definitive teen heartthrob with this scene from Titanic, in which his character, Jack Dawson, survives the sinking of the ship, only to drown a few hours later (or did he freeze to death while treading water? Either way...). Apparently, this is what you get when you try to be a gentleman, and give a pretty lady who once let you draw her naked the only piece of floating debris after an epic shipwreck. Thanks for that lesson, director James Cameron. We won't make that mistake again.
The Quick & The Dead
Gene Hackman hasn't been around lately, which is really too bad, because, remember when he was in everything? Those were good times. But we digress. In this 1995 Western flop, Leo plays the Kid, an ambitious young gunslinger who wants to impress a more skilled lady gunslinger played by Sharon Stone. And so he does, eventually challenging the town's ruthless leader (Hackman, who - twist! - the Kid believes may be his father) to a duel. Spoiler alert: The Kid doesn't make it. But at least he wounds the baddie. More importantly, the last thing he sees before he dies is 1995 Sharon Stone, and we can all agree that's a pretty solid way to go out.
Sometimes when things are slow at the office, we fight about whose South African accent was worse: Matt Damon's in Invictus, or Leonardo DiCaprio's in Blood Diamond. Of course, there is no winning such argument, because they are both absolutely atrocious. And yet, both were also nominated for Oscars. Go figure. Anyway, in this political thriller DiCap plays a white Rhodesian jailed for trying to smuggle diamonds into Liberia for a corrupt South African miner. Realizing that this diamond business is seriously fucked up, he has a change of heart and winds up helping a journalist (Jennifer Connelly) to expose the dark truth about the industry. And then he dies of a gunshot wound, as even the most well-intentioned elicit diamond smugglers are wont to do. Fun!
Speaking of gunshots (and Matt Damon!)...HOLY SHIT, BILLY COSTIGAN JUST GOT BUCKED! IN THE HEAD! Honestly, we did not see that coming - and apparently neither did he. But it was awesome. No ceremony, no grand farewell a la Titanic; just a brutally unapologetic reminder that starring in a movie doesn't mean surviving it. Especially in Boston.
It was so refreshing to see Leonardo DiCaprio play a villain in a Tarantino movie, right? When Christoph Waltz could tolerate his bullshit no more and killed his ass, no one felt bad about it. Calvin Candie was one evil, racist scumbag, and he got what was coming to him, much like literally everyone else at his plantation. Oh, and remember later, when Candie's sister got blown away with such force that it threw her body clear across the room, and everyone in the theater whooped and clapped? That was awesome! And they say chivalry is dead.
The Great Gatsby
We close with another classic movie adaptation, and incidentally, one that was also directed by Romeo + Juliet's Baz Luhrmann. Jay Gatsby's death-by-gunshot wound in the pool scene from F. Scott Fitgerald's novel is just as poetic and visually stunning as Romeo's. And somehow, knowing that the protagonist is gonna eat it in the end doesn't make watching the movie any less enjoyable. In that same spirit, we'll be pulling for Leo to take home an Oscar for The Wolf of Wall Street at the Academy Awards in March...even though we already know how it will end.
Also on Maxim.com: