Elijah Jordan Wood (born January 28, 1981) is an American actor. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II (1989), 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 (2007) 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 was cast in the lead role of an Iggy Pop biopic to be called The Passenger, but after years of development, the project now appears to be shelved.
In 2006, he became a well-known voice actor in video gaming and soon became the voice of the video game icon Spyro the Dragon.
In 2008, he became the first person to cross Victoria Falls on ropes during an appearance on Jack Osbourne’s show Adrenaline Junkie.
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, and Miranda Otto.
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 (also titled Try Seventeen) and once again portrayed Frodo Baggins for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final part of Jackson’s trilogy.
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 has a tattoo of the word “nine” written in Tengwar script, but in the English language (rather than Quenya or Sindarin as is widely believed) below his waist on the right side, a reference to his character as one of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of “The Fellowship” got the same tattoo (with the exception of John Rhys-Davies).