- Elijah Jordan Wood
January 28, 1981 (age 40)
- Actor, Film Producer, Disc jockey, Voice Actor
- Debra Krause, Warren Wood
Elijah Jordan Wood (born January 28, 1981) is an American actor, film producer and DJ. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II (1989). Landing a succession of larger roles, he was critically acclaimed as a child actor by age 9, being nominated for several Young Artist Awards. As a child, he starred in the films Radio Flyer (1992), The Good Son (1993), North (1994), and Flipper (1996).
He began to take on teenage roles in the films The Ice Storm (1997), Deep Impact and The Faculty (both 1998). He is best known for his high-profile leading role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003). Since then, he has chosen varied roles in films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Sin City, Green Street, Everything Is Illuminated (all 2005), and Bobby (2006).
Wood also provided the voices of the main character in the award-winning animated musical films Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011), as well as the lead, 9, in the Tim Burton-produced action/science fiction film 9 (2009). In 2005, he started his own record label, Simian Records. He did the voice acting for Spyro in the Legend of Spyro trilogy. In 2012, he began voicing Beck in the animated series Tron: Uprising, Sigma in the tenth season of the Rooster Teeth series, Red vs. Blue, and Wirt in the Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall (2014). From 2011 to 2014, Wood played the role of Ryan Newman in FX's cult dark comedy, Wilfred.
Elijah Wood was born in 1981 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the second of three children. He is the son of Warren and Debra (Krause) Wood, delicatessen operators, and is of English, Polish, German, Austrian, and Danish ancestry. He was raised Roman Catholic. He has a brother, Zachariah, and a sister, Hannah. At age seven, Wood began modeling in his hometown and took piano lessons. He appeared in elementary school in The Sound of Music, followed by the title character in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He also served as choir boy during the production of See How They Run, produced by the Marion Creative Council.
Wood modeled and did local commercials. For his career, his family moved to Los Angeles in 1988, where he got his first break in the video for Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl", directed by David Fincher. This was followed by a pivotal role in the TV film, Child in the Night, and a minor role in Back to the Future Part II. Playing Aidan Quinn's son in Avalon and Tin Men garnered professional attention for Wood; Avalon received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards. A small part in Richard Gere's Internal Affairs, was followed by the role of a boy who brings estranged couple Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson back together in Paradise (1991). Wood co-starred with Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis in Forever Young (1992) and Joseph Mazzello in Radio Flyer.
In 1993, Wood played the title character in The Adventures of Huck Finn, and appeared in The Good Son; The following year he starred in The War. The latter film was nominated for four awards and won two. Roger Ebert's film review praised Wood highly:
"Elijah Wood has emerged, I believe, as the most talented actor, in his age group, in Hollywood history".
Wood's title role in North was followed by a Super Bowl commercial for Wavy Lay's potato chips (with Dan Quayle). In 1995, Wood was in the video for The Cranberries "Ridiculous Thoughts", played the lead role in Flipper, and was in Ang Lee's critically acclaimed, The Ice Storm. In 1997, Wood was Jack "The Artful Dodger" Dawkins in Tony Bill's film adaptation of Oliver Twist, and had a leading role in Deep Impact, and supporting one in The Faculty. In 1999, Wood played a suburban white teenager who affects hip-hop lingo in James Toback's Black and White, and a junior hitman in Chain of Fools.
The Lord of the Rings
Wood was cast as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of director Peter Jackson's adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's multi-volume novel. This gave Wood top billing as Baggins, alongside a cast that included Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, and John Rhys-Davies. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, in a process taking more than one year. Before the cast left the country, Jackson gave Wood two gifts: one of the One Ring props used on the set and Sting, Frodo's sword. He was also given a pair of prosthetic "hobbit feet" of the type worn during filming.
In 2002, Wood lent his voice to the direct-to-video release of The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina. The second part of Peter Jackson's trilogy was also released, titled The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
In 2003, Wood starred in the direct-to-video movie All I Want (also titled Try Seventeen). The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was unveiled that December, sweeping the 76th Academy Awards in early 2004.
Elijah Wood is an older brother of actress Hannah Wood and younger brother of Zachariah Nathaniel Wood, who is a video game producer.
In an interview about Everything Is Illuminated, director Liev Schreiber commented that Wood has a "generosity of spirit" and a "sincere goodness as a human being." He supported campaigns for charity as Keep a Child Alive or ALDO/YouthAIDS. Wood is a music lover, owning a collection of roughly 4,000 vinyl records and CDs. He is quoted as citing his favorite band as The Smashing Pumpkins.
Wood has a tattoo of the word "nine" written in Tengwar script and in the English language (rather than Quenya or Sindarin as is widely believed); it is located below his waist on the right side. It refers to his character as one of the Fellowship of the Ring. It is a coincidence that he later starred in 9. The other actors of "The Fellowship" got the same tattoo, with the exception of John Rhys-Davies. Rhys-Davies's stunt double from the film got the tattoo instead.
In May 2006, Autograph Collector Magazine published its list of 10 Best & 10 Worst Hollywood Autograph Signers, Wood was ranked #7 of Best Signers.