Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom (born January 13, 1977) is a British actor who became famous playing Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has also had major roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Troy, The Calcium Kid, and his first lead role in Kingdom of Heaven. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 is due to be released soon.
He was born in Canterbury, Kent to Sonia C. J. Copeland. Although he carries the name of novelist and political activist Harry Bloom, Orlando's biological father is actually Colin Stone, a friend of the family. He attended St Edmunds School in Canterbury, but struggled due to his dyslexia. In 1993, he moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre, spending two seasons there and earning a scholarship to train at the British American Drama Academy. He had a few television roles and made his film debut in Wilde (1997), opposite Stephen Fry, before entering the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1998, he broke his back in a three story fall, and it was briefly feared that he would never walk again. However, he made a complete recovery and walked out of the hospital twelve days later. He had metal plates inserted into his backbone to support it, which have since been removed, except for a single screw. He regularly performs yoga and Pilates to strengthen his back.
While still in drama school he landed his first major role as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003). This turned Bloom from an unknown actor into one of world's hottest celebrities. IMDBPro's StarMeter reported that Bloom was the most searched for actor in January 2002, one month after the Fellowship of the Ring was released. In the same year he was also chosen as one of Teen People Magazine's "25 Hottest Stars Under 25". He was named People Magazine's hottest Hollywood bachelor in the magazine's 2004 list.
The cast of the Rings movies was nominated for Best Ensemble Acting at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for three years in a row. They finally won in 2003, for the third film The Return of the King. Bloom has also won various Empire and Teen Choice Awards, and has been nominated for many others.
Bloom converted to Nichiren Buddhism in 2004, a religion that he has long associated himself with.
- Wilde (1997) – Rent boy
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Legolas Greenleaf
- Black Hawk Down (2001) – Pfc. Todd Blackburn
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) – Legolas Greenleaf
- Ned Kelly (2003) – Joe Byrne
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – Will Turner
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – Legolas Greenleaf
- The Calcium Kid (2004) – Jimmy
- Troy (2004) – Paris
- Haven (2004) – Shy (also co-producer)
- Kingdom of Heaven (2005) – Balian of Ibelin
- Elizabethtown (due 2005) – Drew Baylor
- Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (due 2006) – Will Turner