Best known as the heroic elf prince Legolas in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Orlando Bloom took an interest in acting at an early age.
He was encouraged to participate in the arts by his mother, Sonia, who raised Bloom after her husband, the anti-apartheid activist Harry Bloom, died when the boy was 4. When Bloom was in his teens, he learned that a close family friend, Colin Stone, was his biological father.
Having participated in regional theater in his youth, Bloom moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre at 16, then attended the British American Drama Academy. He appeared on the British TV shows "Casualty," "Midsomer Murders" and "Smack the Pony" and made his film debut in the 1997 Oscar Wilde biopic "Wilde."
After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a still-unknown Bloom landed his big break in Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien novels. The three films — "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Return of the King" (2003) — earned more than more than $2.9 billion at the worldwide box office and were capped with an Academy Award for best picture for the final film.
Bloom would go on to star in "Black Hawk Down," "Kingdom of Heaven," "Elizabethtown," "The Three Musketeers" and three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, among others. Most recently, he reprised his role as Legolas in the second installment of Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, "The Desolation of Smaug." He's also set to appear in the final "Hobbit" film, "There and Back Again," in December 2014.
Bloom married fashion model Miranda Kerr in 2010, and the two welcomed a son, Flynn Christopher, the following year. The couple amicably separated in 2013.