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Elijah Wood (1981)

Elijah Jordan Wood

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Elijah Jordan Wood is an American actor. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II , then landed a succession of larger roles that made him a critically acclaimed child actor by age 9. He is best known for his high-profile role as Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since then, he has resisted typecasting by choosing varied roles in critically acclaimed films such as Bobby, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, Green Street and Everything Is Illuminated. He starred in the film Day Zero and provided the voice of the main character, Mumble, in the award-winning animated film Happy Feet. He played an American tourist turned vampire in Paris, je t'aime. In 2005, he started his own record label, Simian Records. He currently appears as Ryan in FX's dark comedy Wilfred, which debuted on June 23, 2011. Wood will also be reprising the role of Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's motion picture of The Hobbit.


 early life
Wood, the second of three children, was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Debra D. (née Krause) and Warren W. Wood, delicatessen operators. He is of English, German, Austrian, and Danish descent. Wood has a brother, Zachariah "Zach" Wood, and a sister, Hannah Wood. At age ten, Wood began modeling in his hometown and took piano lessons. He took to the stage in his elementary school's staging of the play The Sound of Music. The following year, he graduated to 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.

 Early career
Wood modeled and did local commercials before moving with his family to Los Angeles in 1988, where he got his first break, a small role in a video by Paula Abdul – "Forever Your Girl", directed by David Fincher. Major work followed, including a pivotal role in the television movie Child in the Night with JoBeth Williams and Tom Skerritt and Back to the Future Part II . It was Wood's role as Aidan Quinn's son in Barry Levinson's 1990 film Avalon (the third film in the Baltimore trilogy containing 1982's Diner and 1987's Tin Men) that first gave Wood attention, as the film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for four Academy Awards.

After a small part in the Richard Gere movie Internal Affairs , he secured his first starring role in Paradise , playing a young boy who brings estranged couple Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson back together. From there, he went on to co-star with Mel Gibson and Jamie Lee Curtis in Forever Young and with Joseph Mazzello in Radio Flyer .

In 1993, he had the lead role in The Adventures of Huck Finn and also appeared with Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son. In 1994 he starred in The War , with Kevin Costner. His performance in this movie gained him a nomination for a 'Young Star Award' , and Roger Ebert said in his review of the film:

"Elijah Wood has emerged, I believe, as the most talented actor, in his age group, in Hollywood history".

Also in 1994, he had the title role in North, and was featured in a Super Bowl commercial for Wavy Lay's potato chips that had him repeatedly exchanging seats with spectators at a football game using its famous slogan. In 1995, he appeared in the music video for The Cranberries "Ridiculous Thoughts".
The following year, Wood got the lead role in Flipper , which was not very successful, but the subsequent critical and financial success of Ang Lee's The Ice Storm provided a positive development in the young actor's career.

In 1997, he portrayed the pick-pocketing thief Jack "The Artful Dodger" Dawkins in Tony Bill's Oliver Twist. 1998's Deep Impact and The Faculty did not allow Wood the same degree of character development, but were great financial successes and further stepping stones in Wood's evolution from child star to young actor.

Wood's next role was as the boyfriend of a wannabe hip-hop groupie in James Toback's Black and White . He followed this with a role as a junior hitman in Chain of Fools.

 1999–2003: 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 novel. His most hotly anticipated project, the 2001 film 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, John Rhys-Davies, Miranda Otto, Karl Urban.

The Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand and, 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" he wore during filming. The same year, the actor appeared in Ed Burns' Ash Wednesday, a crime drama that also featured Oliver Platt and Rosario Dawson.

In 2002, Wood lent his voice to the direct-to-video release of The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina. His most substantial role of 2002 was
his return to the role of Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

In 2003, he starred in the direct-to-video movie All I Want and once again portrayed Frodo Baggins for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final part of Jackson's trilogy.

 2004–present: Recent career
Hot on the heels of the trilogy, Wood quickly appeared in his first post-Frodo role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , playing a lab technician who helps erase heartbreaking memories but then uses his knowledge of the past relationship of an unknowing former patient to woo her.

He then played bespectacled serial killer Kevin in director Robert Rodriguez and writer-artist Frank Miller's adaptation of Miller's crime noir comic book series Sin City , appearing opposite Mickey Rourke in the segment "The Hard Goodbye". On May 12, 2005, Wood hosted a program called "MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed", when the new Xbox 360 games console was launched.

Also in 2005, Wood starred in Everything Is Illuminated, in which he plays a young American Jewish man on a quest to find the woman who once saved his grandfather during World War II, and Green Street Hooligans, as an American college student who falls in with a violent English football firm. Both had limited release, but were critically acclaimed.

Wood shot a small part in Paris, je t'aime, which consists of 18 five-minute sections. Each section is directed by a different director. Wood’s section, called "Quartier de la Madeleine", was directed by Vincenzo Natali. The film opened on May 18 at 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was shown at 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. First Look Pictures acquired the North American rights, and the film opened in the US in early 2007.

In 2006, he was part of the ensemble cast in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, in which his character gets married to change his draft classification. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was released on November 17, 2006 in New York and Los Angeles. Wide release followed on November 23.

In Happy Feet, Wood provided the voice of Mumble, a penguin who can tap dance, but not sing. Happy Feet was released on November 17, 2006 and has grossed over $380 million worldwide. The movie also received a Golden Globe Award nomination and won an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Animated Feature.

Day Zero, a drama about the draft, had its debut at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. Wood portrays draftee Aaron Feller.

In 2006, Wood hosted the special "Saving a Species: The Great Penguin Rescue" for Discovery Kids Channel, for which he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the category of acting in a children/youth/family special. On January 4, 2007 Wood joined Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg to announce the nominees for the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

In The Oxford Murders, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Guillermo Martínez, Wood plays a graduate student who investigates a series of bizarre, mathematically-based murders in Oxford. It was released in Spain on January 18, 2008.

Wood also voiced the lead in the animated feature film version of the short film 9.
A project in which Wood was set to star in, a biopic about singer Iggy Pop, putatively named The Passenger, has not come to fruition after years in development.

Wood's first starring TV role is on the FX series Wilfred in which he plays Ryan. The pilot was shot in the summer of 2010.

In January 2011, it was confirmed that Wood would reprise the role of Frodo Baggins in the The Hobbit parts one and two films to be released in 2012 and 2013.

Wood also starred in The Beastie Boys music video for Make Some Noise, along with Seth Rogen and Danny McBride.

 Other work
In 2005 Wood started his own record label called Simian Records. On September 19, 2006 Wood announced that Simian had signed The Apples in Stereo as their first band, with their new album New Magnetic Wonder released in February 2007. In addition he also directed the music video for "Energy". The other band signed to Simian thus far is Heloise and the Savoir Faire.

Wood has also provided voiceovers for videogames, providing the current voice for Spyro the Dragon since 2006's The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, as well as reprising Mumble in the game version of Happy Feet. He also contributed his talents to fellow Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen's album Pandemoniumfromamerica, singing and playing various instruments on the album.

Wood has signed to co-produce the film Black Wings Has My Angel, based on the noir novel of the same name, with Anthony Moody and Rob Malkani of Indalo Productions.

On April 11, 2008, Wood was the guest host of Channel 4's Friday Night Project.

On April 25, 2009, Wood was honored with the Midnight Award by the San Francisco International Film Festival as a dynamic young American actor who "has made outstanding contributions to independent and Hollywood cinema, and who brings striking intelligence, exemplary talent and extraordinary depth of character to his roles".

Wood also starred in an episode of Yo! Gabba Gabba entitled "Eat" where he danced and "went crazy" alongside the rest of the Yo! Gabba Gabba crew.

Wood can be seen in a short film on stepthroughtheportal.com. The site is an interactive website created by Simian Records artist' The Apples in Stereo, promoting their upcoming album, Travelers in Space and Time.

 personal life
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 4,000 CDs and at one time citing his favorite band as Smashing Pumpkins.

Wood has a tattoo of the word "nine" written in Tengwar script, but in the English language below his waist on the right side, a reference to his character as one of the Fellowship of the Ring. This is somewhat of a coincidence, as he would later star in 9. The other actors of "The Fellowship" got the same tattoo (with the exception of John Rhys-Davies). Reportedly, Rhys-Davies' dwarf-sized stand-in from the film got the tattoo instead, thus the cast can still assert that "all" the members of the Fellowship acquired a tattoo.

In May 2006, Autograph Collector Magazine published its list of 10 Best & 10 Worst Hollywood Autograph Signers, Wood was ranked #7 of Best Signers.

On 23 April 2010, in a charitable gesture, Wood visited the town of Curepto, Chile, one of the hardest hit by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27, 2010. He made personal visits to many of the victims and was accompanied by the first lady of Chile, Ms. Cecilia Morel.

In 2008, he became the first person to cross Victoria Falls on ropes during an appearance on Jack Osbourne's show Adrenaline Junkie.

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