Olivia was known to be Olivia Jane Cockburn when she was growing up, and she later adopted a screen name from playwright Oscar Wilde. Olivia Wilde came from a family of journalists with many of her family members being dedicated to journalism. Not being interested in the family profession, Olivia had other dreams to pursue in mind.
Although born in New York, Olivia was raised in Washington D.C. She also spent some of her childhood in Massachusetts where she graduated high school from Phillips Academy in 2002. Her father was Irish, which allowed her a dual citizenship that facilitated her dramatic schooling at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.
Olivia claims that she was a rebellious teen while growing up, getting tattoos and a ton of piercings. She dated older men and at one point shaved her head. Today, she claims that her screen name is but fitting to her past.
Olivia returned to the United States after school and stayed in Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In 2003, she landed the lead in her first TV series, “Skin”. Unfortunately, “Skin” came and went with only three episodes, forcing Wilde to look for work somewhere else.
After appearing in the short-lived TV show, her TV career was immediately followed by her appearance in “The O.C.” in 2003. Despite limited on-screen experience, Olivia emerged as a star in her effective portrayal of bad girl Alex Kelly. Although Wilde was on the show only for its second season, her dynamic and proactive performances stole the show from the rest of the cast and made her desirable to many male fans.
Olivia made her Hollywood big screen debut in a small supporting role for “The Girl Next Door” in 2004. However, it was TV that allowed Olivia to catch the public’s eye as “Dr. “Thirteen” Hadley” in “House M.D.”. Playing a doctor then proved to be the biggest boon to her career.
Before Wilde was even part of the show, “House M.D” was already an extremely successful medical drama. Better known by her nickname “Thirteen”, Olivia’s character was part of the new infectious disease diagnostic team who remained mysterious about her personal life. Her nickname was derived from the number she received in the competition that earned her a spot in the medical team.
Wilde continued to land major roles after her exposure to a wider audience in “House M.D.” She appeared in films such as “Alpha Dog”, “Running with Scissors” and “Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas” that all came out in 2006. Despite the relatively slow reception of her movies, Olivia still proved to be a worldwide Hollywood success.
In fact, she captured the world’s attention when she hit No. 1 on the Maxim Hot 100 List of 2009. It then sealed her capabilities of capturing the audience in a variety of media. By 2009, Wilde was back on the big screen with continuous hit films such as “Year One”, “Tron: Legacy”, “Cowboys and Aliens” and “In Time”.
She married documentary filmmaker Tao Ruspoli in 2003 but got divorced after thirteen years of marriage. Despite her failed marriage, Olivia Wilde continued her booming career with nominations from several award-giving bodies that can attest to her success. Olivia has no plans of disappointing her fans with a packed year 2012 with movies such as “Butter”, “Blackbird”, “Welcome to People” and “The Words”.