The actor was feted at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation's 30th anniversary celebration in Los Angeles, where he received a top honour for his movie work and philanthropic efforts, and he made a point of saluting his folks.

"I was blessed with two incredibly supportive parents who listened to the harassment of their overly assertive son and drove him to auditions after school even though they had very little time for it," he told the audience.

"I'm going to take one moment here, because this isn't nationally televised, to embarrass both of them, but they're sitting here tonight.

"Mom, Irmelin, George, I would not be receiving this award and I would not be the actor that I am or be able to do any of the philanthropy that this job has given me the opportunity to have, and I wouldn't be the person I am without the both of you, so thank you."

As well as being one of the industry's biggest names, The Departed star fronts the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, which raises millions for organisations focused on environmental causes.