Orlando Bloom

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Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom (born 13 January 1977) is an English actor. After making his breakthrough as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings film series, he rose to fame by further appearing in epic fantasy, historical epic, and fantasy adventure films. He later reprised his role as Legolas in The Hobbit film series. His other roles include Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, and Paris in Troy (2004).

Bloom subsequently established himself as a leading man in Hollywood films such as Balian de Ibelin in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Elizabethtown (2005). He made his professional stage debut in West End’s In Celebration at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London in 2007 and starred in a Broadway adaption of Romeo and Juliet in 2013. In 2009, Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In 2015 he received the BAFTA Britannia Humanitarian Award.

He was born in Canterbury, Kent, and was named after the 16th-century English composer Orlando Gibbons. He has an older sister, Samantha Bloom. 

Orlando initially believed that his biological father was his mother’s husband (his stepfather), the Jewish South African-born anti-Apartheid novelist Harry Saul Bloom (1913–1981), who died when Bloom was four years old. However, when he was thirteen, Bloom’s mother revealed to him that his biological father was actually Colin Stone, his mother’s partner and family friend. Stone, the principal of the Concorde International language school, became Orlando Bloom’s legal guardian after Harry Bloom’s death. 

Bloom’s mother, Sonia Constance Josephine (née Copeland), was born in Kolkata, India, the daughter of Francis John Copeland, a physician and surgeon, and Betty Constance Josephine (née Walker). Through her, Bloom is a cousin of photographer Sebastian Copeland. Bloom’s mother’s family lived in Tasmania (Australia), Japan, and India, and were of English descent, some of them having originally come from Kent. 

Bloom was brought up in the Church of England. He attended St Peter’s Methodist Primary School, then the junior school of the King’s School before proceeding to St Edmund’s School in Canterbury. Bloom was discovered to be dyslexic, and was encouraged by his mother to take art and drama classes. After being spurred into action following his school prize submission to panto actor Richard Sieben in 1992, in 1993, he moved to London to follow a two-year A Level course in Drama, Photography and Sculpture at Fine Arts College, Hampstead. He then 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 television roles in episodes of Casualty and Midsomer Murders, 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.

Bloom has said that he tries not to exclude himself from real life as much as possible. During filming in Morocco for Kingdom of Heaven, Bloom rescued and adopted a dog, Sidi (a black Saluki mix with a white mark on his chest).

In 2004, he became a full member of SGI-UK (the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International), a lay Buddhist association affiliated with the teachings of Nichiren.

Bloom has also been a part of Global Green, an environmental company, since the early 2000s. As part of his environmental involvement, he has renovated his London home to use solar panels, incorporate recycled materials, and use energy efficient lightbulbs. 

Bloom has a tattoo of the Elvish word “nine” on his right wrist, written in fictional Tengwar Elvish script, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings as one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of “The Fellowship” got the same tattoo with the exception of John Rhys-Davies whose stunt double got the tattoo instead. Bloom also has a tattoo of a sun on his lower left abdomen, which he got at the age of 15 just before moving to London.

On 12 February 2009, Bloom actively participated in the ‘Australia Unites’ fundraiser to raise support for the victims of the Australian bushfires on 7 February 2009.

On 12 October 2009, Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He has been involved in the organisation since 2007 and has visited schools and villages in Nepal in support of sanitation and education programmes. Bloom also visited the city of Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine in April 2016 to raise awareness of the education crisis facing children during the military conflict with Russia. 

Bloom has sustained several injuries: he broke his left arm and cracked his skull three times, broke his nose while playing rugby union, broke his right leg skiing in Switzerland, broke his left leg in a motorbike crash, and broke his right wrist while snowboarding. He also broke his back when he slipped trying to reach a roof terrace of a friend’s house and fell three floors. He also broke some ribs while shooting The Lord of the Rings.

On 13 July 2009, four hooded teenagers broke into the Hollywood Hills home of Orlando Bloom and stole nearly half a million dollars’ worth of possessions. The burglars, dubbed the “Bling Ring,” targeted the homes of young celebrities. Most of Bloom’s stolen items were retrieved.