Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom (born January 13, 1977) is an English actor. He had his break-through role in the early 2000s as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and blacksmith Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy of films, and subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood films, including Troy, Elizabethtown, and Kingdom of Heaven. Bloom's most recent releases are the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Haven.
Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England. His mother, Sonia Constance Josephine Copeland, was born in Calcutta, India, the daughter of Betty Constance Josephine Walker and Francis John Copeland, a physician and surgeon. Bloom's maternal grandmother's family has lived in Tasmania, Australia and India, and are of English descent, some of them having originally come from Kent. Bloom had thought that his father was South African-born Jewish lawyer Harry Saul Bloom, but during his younger years and after Harry's death, Bloom's mother revealed to him that his biological father was actually Colin Stone, a family friend. Bloom, who is named after the 17th century composer Orlando Gibbons, has one sister, Samantha Bloom, who was born in 1975.
Bloom managed to struggle through St Edmund's School in Canterbury despite 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. Bloom began acting professionally with a television role in an episode of Casualty, and subsequently made his film debut in Wilde (1997), opposite Stephen Fry, before entering the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied acting, sculpture and photography. In 1998, he broke his back in a three story fall, and it was briefly feared that he would not regain the ability to walk. However, he made a complete recovery and was able to walk out of the hospital on crutches within twelve days. Bloom had steel plates inserted into his backbone to support it, which have since been removed, except for a single screw. He regularly practices yoga and Pilates to strengthen his back.
His first appearance on the screen was a small role as a rent boy in the 1997 film Wilde. Shortly after graduating in 1999, Bloom was cast in his first major role, playing Legolas in The Lord of the Rings (2001–2003). He had originally tried out for the part of Faramir, who doesn't appear until the 2nd movie but the director, Peter Jackson, cast him as Legolas instead. While shooting a scene, he broke a rib after falling off a horse, but eventually recovered and continued shooting. The success of the trilogy transformed Bloom from an unknown actor into one of world's best-known celebrities. In 2002, he was chosen as one of the Teen People "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" and was named People's hottest Hollywood bachelor in the magazine's 2004 list.
All members of the cast of the Rings movies were nominated for Best Ensemble Acting at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for three years in a row, finally winning in 2003 for the third film, The Return of the King. Bloom has also won other awards, including European Film Awards, Hollywood Festival Award, Empire Awards and Teen Choice Awards, and has been nominated for many others.
Bloom next starred opposite Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which was a blockbuster hit during the summer of 2003. He subsequently played the lead roles in Kingdom of Heaven (gaining 15 to 20 lb of muscle by eating six times a day and lifting weights during filming) and Elizabethtown (both 2005). Both films were box office failures in the United States, although Kingdom of Heaven performed better internationally and Elizabethtown was critically acclaimed. Bloom later starred in sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which was...