Olivia Wilde (born Olivia Jane Cockburn; March 10, 1984) is an American actress, screenwriter, producer, director, and model. She has appeared in a number of television and film productions including The O.C., The Black Donnellys and House, and in films such as Tron: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, In Time, Her, and Drinking Buddies.
Wilde was born in New York City. Her mother, Leslie Cockburn (ne Redlich), is an American-born 60 Minutes producer and journalist. Her father, Andrew Cockburn, a journalist, was born in London England to British parents and raised in Ireland; her uncles, Alexander Cockburn and Patrick Cockburn, also worked as journalists. Wilde's older sister, Chloe Cockburn,is a civil rights attorney in New York; her aunt, Sarah Caudwell, was a writer, and her paternal grandfather, Claud Cockburn, was a novelist and journalist.
Wilde's father's upper-class English ancestors lived in several places at the height of the British Empire, including Peking (where her paternal grandfather was born), Calcutta, Bombay, Cairo, and Tasmania (one of her paternal great-great-grandfathers, Henry Arthur Blake, was Governor of Hong Kong).Wilde's father's ancestors include abolitionist and Anglican minister James Ramsay, politician George Arbuthnot, lawyer, judge, and literary figure Henry Cockburn, Lord Cockburn, Lord Provost of Edinburgh Sir William Arbuthnot, and Sir Thomas Osborne. Wilde's ancestry includes English, Irish, Scottish, Manx, and German; she also has a Sephardic Jewish ancestry.
She has appeared in the movies The Girl Next Door, Alpha Dog, Conversations with Other Women and Turistas. She became known for her role on The O.C. as Alex Kelly, although she originally auditioned for the role of Marissa Cooper. She has also appeared in the Dashboard Confessional music video for "Stolen", and the French Kicks music video for "So Far We Are".
In 2007, Wilde was a part of the ensemble cast of the short-lived NBC mid-season drama The Black Donnellys. Her character, Jenny Reilly, was a principal female character in the series following the lives of an Irish-American family tied to organized crime in New York City. Also in 2007, Wilde appeared in the play Beauty on the Vine, a political thriller, playing three different characters.
Wilde has dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland.She derived her stage name "Wilde" from Irish author Oscar Wilde.She changed her surname while in high school, to honor the writers in her family, many of whom used pen names. She is a vegan,and was voted PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2010.
On June 7, 2003, when she was 19 years old, Wilde married Tao Ruspoli, an Italian filmmaker and musician, whose family owns a famed palazzo in Italy,at a ceremony in Washington, Virginia. They were married on a school bus with only a pair of witnesses. She later said the marriage occurred in an abandoned school bus because it was the only place where they could be completely alone, as the marriage was a secret at the time.