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What's Eating Gilbert Grape

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Throwback Thursday: Leonardo DiCaprio Received His First Oscar Nod 20 Years Ago | Leonardo DiCaprio

Throwback Thursday: Leonardo DiCaprio Received His First Oscar Nod 20 Years Ago

Originally posted 01/16/2014 11:00AM

Leonardo DiCaprio received his fourth Oscar nomination Thursday, for his portrayal of seedy stockbroker Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.

DiCaprio is no newcomer when it comes to the Academy Awards, though. Twenty years ago, he made his Oscar debut when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

DiCaprio starred alongside Johnny Depp in the drama, directed by Lasse Hallström. Depp played Gilbert, a teen tasked with keeping his family together as he cares for his morbidly obese mother and his developmentally disabled little brother Arnie (DiCaprio). His responsibilities become onerous when he meets Becky (Juliette Lewis) and sees a chance for love.

The film was DiCaprio's breakout role after his big-screen debut in Critters 3 and a role on beloved '80s sitcom Growing Pains. Even though he was only 19 years old, his portrayal of Arnie was sensitive, complex and full of depth, belying his age, so there was no surprise when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the part.

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Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage
575-Lb. Mom from Gilbert Grape Is Now Half Her Size

Darlene Cates Loses 250 Lbs., Sets Sights on Acting Again

Originally posted 08/09/2012 08:55AM

Darlene Cates was unforgettable in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, playing Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio's morbidly obese mother Bonnie, who hasn't left the house in years while in the grips of depression following her husband's suicide.

Now, almost 20 years and a number of health problems later, Cates, 64, has lost nearly 250 lbs. – and is feeling optimistic that she might act again.

"I can do moms real well. I don't have to delve very deep to find Mom in there," the Forney, Texas, resident tells the Dallas Morning News in a new interview.

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