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Iowa History Daily: January 28 - Elijah Wood Trades Cedar Rapids for Shire

Iowa History Daily: On January 28, 1981, actor Elijah Wood was born in Cedar Rapids. Best known for his portrayal of Frodo Baggins in the popular “Lord of the Rings” series of films, Wood’s career spans a variety of interesting roles stretching back to 1989.

Born to Cedar Rapids deli owners Warren and Debbie Wood, Elijah showed promise while appearing in eastern Iowa productions of “The Sound of Music” and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” during his early childhood. In 1989, at age 8, Wood moved west with his mother and two siblings to pursue a career in Hollywood.

Earning his stripes in local advertisements, modeling gigs, and minor parts, Wood’s first notable role resulted from his appearance in “Back to the Future Part II.” Playing a larger part in the 1990 film “Avalon” helped the child-star break through. A role as Huck Finn in Disney’s adaptation of the popular Mark Twain novel helped continue Wood on the path toward stardom.

After a series of quality parts, commercials, and music video appearances throughout the 1990s, Wood reached the pinnacle of Hollywood fame with the 2001 release of Peter Jackson’s “Fellowship of the Ring.” Launched to the status of a household name, Wood’s performance as Frodo Baggins ensures his continued notability for decades to come. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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