Few movie stars have achieved the heights of fame with the blistering speed and reversal of fortune as Orlando Bloom. In 1998, the then-unknown actor lay in hospital with a broken back after a three-story fall, with doctors telling him he might never walk again. Three years later Bloom’s star exploded on the world stage with his role as the elfin warrior Legolas in the first film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Bloom may have been pinching himself when, soon after the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, he was working alongside the likes of Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Brad Pitt in Troy. Today, Bloom ranks among the top male stars in Hollywood.

Orlando Bloom’s success may have seemed sudden, but his preparation to be an actor began at age 16, when he left Canterbury for London to join the National Youth Theatre. He went on to train for a stage career at the renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson first saw Bloom in a play.

This sensitive and insightful biography brings to life Bloom’s personal story, from his days as an artistic, whimsical boy growing up in Canterbury to the high-powered life of a major film star.