And he gave his mom, Irmelin, one heck of a birthday present.
"There's one person I have to thank," DiCaprio said in his acceptance speech. "I would not be standing up here is it weren't for this person. I didn't grow up in a life of privilege – I grew up in a very rough neighborhood in East Los Angeles and this women drove me for three hours a day to a different school to show me a different opportunity. It is her birthday today. So Mom, happy birthday. I love you very much."
DiCaprio also thanked his costar Tom Hardy, along with the film's makeup artists and the British actors he has admired over the years. "I remember watching Tom Courtenay in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner when I was 15 years old with my father, all the way to Gary Oldman and State of Grace, which influenced an entire generation of actors. And, of course, the late great Peter O'Toole and anything that Daniel Day-Lewis has ever done."
DiCaprio topped fellow nominees Matt Damon, Eddie Redmayne, Bryan Cranston and Michael Fassbender to win the coveted EE British Academy Film Awards best actor trophy.
DiCaprio has racked up the Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild Award and more honors for his intense role as a 19th-century fur trapper trying to survive after a near-fatal bear attack, and is likely to pick up his first Oscar (after five nominations) on Feb. 28.
Oscar Nominations 2016: Is Leonardo DiCaprio the Frontrunner For Best Actor?
Last year, eventual Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne picked up the BAFTA award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.