Elijah Wood is of Polish, German, English, Austrian, and Danish descent.
Elijah Wood was born on January 28, 1981, to Warren and Debra Wood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States His parents were delicatessen operators. He has a brother, Zachariah (Zach), who is seven years older, and a sister, Hannah, two years younger. But it was the middle child of the biblical-named siblings who was a handful. As a toddler, Elijah was a fireball with plenty of excess energy, and at age two, he locked his mother out of the house, then went on to ruin the family kitchen. This act of frivolity earned him the nickname, "Monkey."
When Elijah was still a small boy in Iowa, his parents started two delicatessens; "Alfalfa's" in the local mall, and "The Souper," in downtown Cedar Rapids. His mother created the menus, and Elijah spent time in the restaurants after school.
About the time Elijah started kindergarten, he saw his first horror film. His brother Zach rented horror movies to watch with his friends and Elijah would sneak in, although his mother didn't approve. The first one he saw was a direct to video movie called, Truth or Dare: A Critical Madness. In later life, he recalled that it was exciting but the movie didn't unduly scare him. His fascination with horror films dated from that early age and the little help he had from his brother. Elijah's rambunctiousness led him to take part in plays at his elementary school where some of his energy was channeled. He appeared in The Sound of Music and played the title character in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
A passion for music has existed in Elijah's family for generations. His great-grandfather and his uncle on his mother's side played in professional bands throughout their careers. He listened to music groups that ranged from The Temptations to The Monkees, and the latter's "best of" compilation was the first tape Elijah bought. Zach also influenced Elijah by turning him on to Prince, The Cure, and The Smiths.
Wood once said: "Child acting is a cut-throat world, which is pretty frightening and really silly in retrospect. But it's the parents who are evil. It is a really difficult world to live in if you don't have a base if you don't have a strong sense of yourself. My mom wanted me to maintain a reasonable degree of normalcy and to enjoy my childhood. Family is so important. I rarely meet families who are as close as we are. I feel really blessed."