Elijah Wood is an American actor best known for portraying Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In addition to reprising the role in The Hobbit series, Wood also played Ryan in the FX television comedy Wilfred (2011) and voiced Beck in the Disney XD animated television series TRON: Uprising (2012).
Born Elijah Jordan Wood on 28 January, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood is the son of Debbie (Krause) and Warren Wood, who ran a delicatessen. He has an older brother, Zach, and a younger sister, Hannah Wood. He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish descent. Demonstrating a gift for performing at a young age, Wood’s natural talent inspired his mother to take him to an International Modeling and Talent Association annual convention in Los Angeles. Soon after, he began to get bookings for small parts on television.
Although his first credit was a small part in Back to the Future Part II (1989), Wood’s first major film role was in the ‘Barry Levinson’ historical family drama Avalon (1990). Following that, Wood became an in-demand child actor, appearing in a number of major films such as Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992) and The Good Son (1993), in which he co-starred with Macaulay Culkin. This was followed by the first role for which he received top-billing, North (1994). Although the film was widely condemned and a disaster at the box office, Elijah was praised as the only good thing to come out of it.
In 1996 Elijah starred in a movie remake of an old TV show, Flipper (1996). Many critics wondered if his ability as a child actor to capture an audience was wearing thin, as had many child actors’, but Wood deftly transitioned into a versatile performer with roles such as the endlessly curious Mikey Carver in Ang Lee’ ensemble film The Ice Storm (1997), as well as parts in popcorn flicks like Deep Impact (1998) and The Faculty (1998). In 1999, Elijah was in three movies that never made it into wide release: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999) (released on satellite TV), Black & White (1999) (released on home video) and Chain of Fools (2000).
Wood’s work in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), provided a major boost to his career. The actor followed his work in the astronomically successful trilogy with a broad range of interesting screen roles and voice work, including a supporting role in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), as well as the part of a sinister mute sociopath in Sin City (2005). His voice work has been featured in such animated films as Happy Feet (2006) and 9 (2009), as well as on television series including American Dad! (2005) and Robot Chicken (2005). Wood also played Ad-Rock in the Beastie Boys’ comedic video for Beastie Boys: Fight for Your Right Revisited (2011).
An avid music fan, Wood founded Simian records and released its first album, New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo, in 2007.
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