28/01/1981 (38 years old) Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
In many ways, Wood's travels through the wilds of Hollywood mirror the journey of his seminal character, Frodo Baggins, the little hobbit that could in The Lord of the Rings. Prior to winning the part, he was a well-respected juvenile player, known for his versatility, energy and large expressive eyes. But like Frodo, once the LOTR saga wrapped, Wood had passed into manhood, successfully making the treacherous leap from child star to adult actor. After launching his career at age 9 with small parts in Back to the Future II and Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" video, he soon began landing more substantial feature-film roles, notably his turn as a young Jewish boy growing up in the '40s in Barry Levinson's autobiographically inspired 1990 film Avalon. He consistently earned good reviews and quickly became a standout child actor. Toward the end of the '90s, he took on more mature roles, and his former cuddly cuteness transformed into a more ambiguous and intense on-screen persona, which he used particularly well as a disgruntled and doomed teen in the lauded indie The Ice Storm. But it was the LOTR trilogy that turned him into an internationally recognized celebrity. As the keeper of the powerful titular ring, Wood delivered an emotional performance in each of the three blockbusters, and while his costars may have had the flashier roles, he was the saga's heart and soul. Now a full-fledged adult star with a wide choice of projects, the savvy actor carefully avoids being pigeonholed by eschewing typically bland leading roles in favor of eccentric supporting parts in eclectic films, including turns as a love-crazed stalker in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and a silent but deadly cannibal in Sin City.