Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde (born Olivia Jane Cockburn; March 10, 1984) is an American-Irish actress, model, producer, director, activist, and socialite. She is known for her role as Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley on the medical-drama television series House (2007–2012). She is known for her roles in the films Alpha Dog (2007), Tron: Legacy (2010), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Butter (2011), People Like Us (2012), Drinking Buddies (2013), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Her (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.

Early life

Wilde was born in New York City and grew up in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. She spent her summers in Ardmore, County Waterford, a small seaside resort and fishing village in Ireland. For a short time, Wilde’s family also had a house in Guilford, Vermont. Her mother, Leslie Cockburn (née Leslie Corkill Redlich), is an American-born 60 Minutes producer and journalist. Her father, Andrew Cockburn, is also a journalist who was born in London to an upper-class British family and was raised in Ireland. Wilde has an older sister, Chloe Cockburn, a civil rights attorney in New York City, and a younger brother, Charlie.

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-cousin, Stephanie Flanders, is a journalist; and her paternal grandfather, Claud Cockburn, was a novelist and journalist. She also had writer Christopher Hitchens as a babysitter. Wilde’s ancestry includes English, Irish, German, Manx, and Scottish; she is also of 1/64th Sephardi Jewish descent through her ancestor, Ralph Bernal(1783–1854), a British Whig politician and actor.

Both of her parents were prominent in the Washington, D.C. social scene, hosting dinner parties. Her mother once recounted a story of a four-year-old Wilde eavesdropping one night on a conversation between diplomat Richard Holbrooke and rock singer Mick Jagger, until Jagger noticed her and shooed her to bed. She attended private school at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C., as well as boarding school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, graduating in 2002. She 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, Ireland.

Wilde’s paternal Scottish ancestors were upper-class and lived in several places at the height of the British Empire, including Peking (where her paternal grandfather was born), Kolkata, Mumbai, Cairo, and Tasmania; one of her paternal great-great-grandfathers, Henry Arthur Blake, was Governor of Hong Kong. Her other paternal 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. /Gjithqka Nga Pak


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