Olivia Wilde (born Olivia Jane Cockburn; March 10, 1984) is an American actress and filmmaker. She is known for her role as Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on the medical-drama television series House (2007–2012), and her roles in the films Conversations with Other Women (2005), Alpha Dog (2007), Tron: Legacy (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Butter (2011), Drinking Buddies (2013), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Rush (2013), The Lazarus Effect (2015), Love the Coopers (2015), and Meadowland (2015). In 2017, Wilde made her Broadway debut, playing the role of Julia in 1984. In 2019, she directed her first film, the critically acclaimed teen comedy Booksmart, for which she won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.
Wilde was born in New York City and grew up in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., while spending summers at Ardmore in County Waterford, Ireland. She attended private school at Georgetown Day School, in Washington, D.C., and boarding school at Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 2002.
Wilde, who holds dual American and Irish citizenship, derived her stage name 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. Wilde was accepted to Bard College but deferred her enrollment three times in order to pursue acting. She then studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin.
Her mother, Leslie Cockburn, is an American-born 60 Minutes producer and journalist. Her father, Andrew Cockburn, also a journalist, was born in London to a British family and raised in Ireland. For a short time, Wilde’s family also had a house in Guilford, Vermont. Wilde has a sister five years older and a brother nine years younger.
Wilde has said that as a result of her parents’ occupations, she has a “strong journalistic streak” and is “really critical and analytical”. Wilde’s uncles, Alexander and Patrick Cockburn, also worked as journalists; her aunt, Sarah Caudwell, was a writer; her half-cousins, Stephanie Flanders and Laura Flanders, are journalists; and her paternal grandfather, Claud Cockburn, was a novelist and journalist. Writer Christopher Hitchens served as her babysitter.
Wilde’s ancestry includes English, Irish, German, Manx, and Scottish;
Wilde’s paternal Scottish ancestors were upper-class and lived in many locations at the height of the British Empire, including Peking (where her paternal grandfather was born), Calcutta, Bombay, Cairo, and Tasmania. A great-great-grandfather, Henry Arthur Blake, was governor of Hong Kong. Her other paternal ancestors include abolitionist and Anglican cleric James Ramsay; politician George Arbuthnot; lawyer, judge, and literary figure Henry Cockburn, Lord Cockburn; Lord Provost of Edinburgh William Arbuthnot; and Thomas Osborne.
Through her father’s family, Wilde is related to George Cockburn, who was responsible for burning down Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812.
She considered herself a pescetarian in 2011, although she has also claimed to be both vegan and vegetarian at different times in her life. She was voted PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2010.
Wilde holds dual citizenship with Ireland and the United States.
On June 7, 2003, when she was 19 years old, Wilde married Prince Tao Ruspoli, an Italian filmmaker and musician, and member of the aristocratic Ruspoli family that owns a famed palazzo in Italy. They were married in Washington, Virginia 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. On February 8, 2011, she and Ruspoli announced that they were separating. Wilde filed for divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court on March 3, 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences”. The divorce was finalized on September 29, 2011. Wilde did not seek spousal support, and the pair reached a private agreement on property division.
Wilde began dating actor, comedian, and screenwriter Jason Sudeikis in November 2011. They became engaged in January 2013. The couple have two children: a son, Otis, born in 2014, and a daughter, Daisy, born in 2016.