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Since her father is an Irish citizen Olivia has dual citizenship and studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland after graduating from the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Wilde's first major role came on the Fox series Skin followed by roles on The O.C (2004), Alpha Dog (2006) and Turistas (2007).
During this time she was named #95 on FHM's 2006 Sexiest Women in the World List. Wilde, who was modeling for Abercrombie and Fitch's "Rising Stars" campaign at the time would go on to earn the top spot in Maxim's 2009 Hot 100 list as well as placing in the top 20 every year since.
After starring in the short-lived NBC Drama The Black Donnelly's, Wilde grabbed the publics attention as Dr Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on the Fox medical-drama House from 2007-2012. During this time her 6-year marriage to Italian-American filmmaker had eroded and the two finalized their divorce in 2011. Shortly after the split Wilde began dating Saturday Night Live actor Jason Sudeikis. The two share an apartment in New York City, NY with their rescue dog, Paco who was also the "spokesdog" for the clothing store Old Navy. Regularly seen exhibiting PDA for all of the city to see, the two started a bit of embarrassment when Wilde revealed that her and the comedian "have sex like Kenyan marathon runners."
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Wilde's first major movie role came as Quorra in Tron: Legacy (2010), the long awaited sequel to the Disney classic. Wilde told Collider.com that she worked closely with the film's director Joseph Kosinski to shape the character as a sort of modern day anime-inspired Joan of Arc.
"I want her to be a role model for young audiences." She told the site, "I want girls to feel inspired by her strength and her wit and her intelligence and her compassion. I think that it's rare these days to have a female character in these types of movies that aren't just there to look really sexy in a suit. Too often that's what happens."
Following the string of "Hot" lists and major roles which also includes Cowboys & Aliens (2011) as well as nearly a dozen more movie roles in the pipeline Wilde began to use her celebrity to spread awareness for voting and disaster relief. Letting her actions speak for themselves despite also being an avid supporter for President Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign, Wilde also became a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and is featured on the organizations Shepard Fairey designed poster depicted her as Lady Liberty draped in the American Flag holding a microphone with the caption, "Leading Freedom."
Olivia Wilde was born in New York City to journalists Leslie and Andrew Myles Cockburn.