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Olivia Hussey
Olivia Hussey ca. 1974.png
Olivia Hussey, c. 1975
Olivia Osuna

(1951-04-17) 17 April 1951 (age 68)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1965–present
Dean Paul Martin
(m. 1971; div. 1978)

Akira Fuse
(m. 1980; div. 1989)

Children3, including India Eisley

Olivia Hussey (born Olivia Osuna; 17 April 1951) is an English actress. After appearing in theatre in London, Hussey was chosen to play the role of Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's film version of Romeo and Juliet (1968). She won a Golden Globe and the David di Donatello Award for her performance, and gained international recognition.

In 1974, she appeared as the lead character, Jess Bradford, in the cult slasher film Black Christmas.[1] She reunited with Zeffirelli in the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977), as Mary, mother of Jesus, and appeared in John Guillermin's Agatha Christie adaptation Death on the Nile (1978). She appeared in several international productions throughout the 1980s, including the Japanese production Virus (1980), and the Australian horror film Turkey Shoot (1982). She appeared in two made-for-television horror productions: Psycho IV: The Beginning and Stephen King's It, both first screened in 1990.

In addition to screen acting, Hussey has worked as a voice actress, providing voice roles in multiple Star Wars video games, including Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Star Wars: Force Commander, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Early life

Hussey was born Olivia Osuna in Buenos Aires, Argentina,[2] the first child of  Andrés Osuna, an Argentine opera singer, and Joy Hussey, a secretary originally from England.[3] Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old. At age of seven, Hussey moved with her mother and younger brother to London where she spent the remainder of her early life.[3] Her parents were Catholic, and she was raised as a Roman Catholic.[4]

In London, she attended the Italia Conti Academy drama school for five years.[5] At 13, she began acting professionally on the stage.[3]


1968–69: Romeo and Juliet and career beginnings

Assuming her mother's maiden name as her stage name, Hussey appeared on the London stage as Jenny in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, opposite Vanessa Redgrave.[6] During the run of this play, Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli noticed her because "she was the only choice mature enough with experience and natural beauty to play Juliet while still looking 14." [7] At 15,[8] she was chosen out of 500 actresses to star as Juliet in Zeffirelli's film version of Romeo and Juliet (1968), opposite Leonard Whiting's Romeo.[9] Prior to her role in Romeo and Juliet, she had appeared in minor roles in two films: The Battle of the Villa Fiorita and Cup Fever (both 1965), and an episode of the television series Drama 61–67 (1964).[10] In 1969, she won a special David di Donatello Award and the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress for her performance in Romeo and Juliet.[11]

After the success of Romeo and Juliet, Hollywood producer, Hal B. Wallis, offered her the title role in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), and to co-star with John Wayne in True Grit (1969).[12] In her 2018 memoir Hussey stated that she had “mumbled something about being interested in Anne of the Thousand Days” but added that she “couldn’t see herself with Wayne”. She claims that this “adolescent and opinionated” remark inevitably ended her professional relationship with Wallis and he immediately withdrew his offer from her. “It had taken me less than a minute to talk my way out of it” Hussey stated.[13]

1970–2000: Black Christmas and continued acting

In 1971, she appeared in the British drama All the Right Noises, followed by the crime film The Summertime Killer (1972),[10] and the musical Lost Horizon (1973), opposite Liv Ullmann, John Gielgud, and Sally Kellerman.[14] In 1974, she played the leading role of Jess Bradford in the Canadian horror film, Black Christmas (1974), which became influential as a forerunner of the slasher film genre of horror films. She played Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the 1977 television production of Jesus of Nazareth (her second work for director Zeffirelli).[15] In 1978 she played Rosalie Otterbourne in Death on the Nile with Peter Ustinov,[2] and appeared in The Cat and the Canary (1979).[16] She also starred as Marit in the Japanese film Virus (1980),[17] and played Rebecca of York in the 1982 remake of Ivanhoe (1982); the same year, she had a lead role in the Australian horror film Turkey Shoot (1982).[18]

In 1987, Hussey appeared in a clip for the Michael Jackson video Liberian Girl, among others, who also included Steven Spielberg, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Whoopi Goldberg, Lou Ferrigno, and Billy Dee Williams.[19] In 1990, Hussey appeared in two horror projects, playing Norma Bates, the mother of Norman Bates, in Psycho IV: The Beginning, a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960),[20][21] and in the miniseries It, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel.[22]

Post-2000 and voice work

Hussey at the 2008 Cinema City Film Festival
Hussey at the 2008 Cinema City Film Festival

Hussey played the lead in Mother Teresa of Calcutta (2003), a biographical film about Mother Teresa, for which she was presented with a Character & Morality in Entertainment Award on 12 May 2007 in Hollywood.[2] She stated in an interview that it had been her dream and wish to portray the role of Mother Teresa of Calcutta since she finished her role as the Virgin Mary in Jesus of Nazareth.[23] Hussey and Leonard Whiting reunited as on-screen partners in the film Social Suicide (2015), the only film that they both appeared in since Romeo and Juliet (1968).[24]

Hussey has also worked as a voice actress, and was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production" at the Annie Awards for her work in the DC animated universe, as Talia al Ghul. She voiced the character of Kasan Moor in the PC/Nintendo 64 game, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (1998)[25] and was also in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) as Jedi Master Yuon Par.[26] She also lent her voice to Star Wars: Force Commander in 2000.

Personal life

Hussey quit acting for two years following the success of Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, due to an ongoing struggle with agoraphobia.[3] In 1971, Hussey married actor Dean Paul Martin, the son of the singer Dean Martin. They had a son, Alexander Gunther Martin (who became an actor), in 1973, before divorcing in 1978.[27] Dean Paul Martin died in 1987, when his National Guard F-4 Phantom jet fighter crashed in California's San Bernardino Mountains during a snowstorm.[28]

In 1980, Hussey married the Japanese singer Akira Fuse, in two ceremonies: one at home in Los Angeles, and a second, an Indian wedding, in Miami. She gave birth to their son Max in 1983 and divorced Fuse in 1989.

In 1991, Hussey married the American rock musician David Glen Eisley, a son of the late actor Anthony Eisley. In October 1993, she gave birth to their daughter, India Eisley. India, also an actress, played her first major role in the American teen drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008).

Hussey's memoir, The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet, was released on 31 July 2018.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1965 The Battle of the Villa Fiorita Donna
1965 Cup Fever Jinny
1968 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer
David di Donatello for Best Actress
Nominated— Laurel Award
1971 All the Right Noises Val
1971 H-Bomb Erica
1972 The Summertime Killer Tania Scarlotti
1973 Lost Horizon Maria
1974 Black Christmas Jess Bradford
1978 Death on the Nile Rosalie Otterbourne
1978 The Pirate Leila Television film
1979 The Cat and the Canary Cicily Young
1979 The Thirteenth Day: The Story of Esther Esther Television film
1980 Virus Marit
1980 The Man with Bogart's Face Elsa
1982 Turkey Shoot Chris Walters
1982 Ivanhoe Rebecca Television film
1985 The Corsican Brothers Annamarie de Guidice Television film
1987 Distortions Amy Marks
1989 The Jeweller's Shop Thérèse
1990 Undeclared War Rebecca Eche
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Norma Bates Television film
1993 Quest of the Delta Knights The Mannerjay
1994 Save Me Gail
1995 Ice Cream Man Nurse Wharton
1995 Bad English I: Tales of a Son of a Brit
1996 The Dark Mist Voice of the Ancients (Voice)
1996 Dead Man's Island Rosie, the housemaid Television film
1998 The Gardener Mrs. Carter
1998 Shame, Shame, Shame Therapist
2000 Bloody Proof Laura
2001 Island Prey Catherine Gaits
2003 Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother Teresa Television film
2005 Headspace Dr. Karen Murphy
2006 Seven Days of Grace Jewel
2007 Tortilla Heaven Petra
2008 Three Priests Rachel
2008 I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell Mrs. Duncan
2015 Social Suicide Julia's Mother


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Drama 60–67 Mrs. Ken's daughter Episode: "Studio '64 – The Crunch"
1977 Jesus of Nazareth Mary, mother of Jesus Miniseries
1978 The Bastard Alicia Miniseries
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Ione Miniseries
1984 Murder, She Wrote Kitty Trumbull Episode: "Sing a Song of Murder"
1990 It Audra Phillips Denbrough Miniseries
1994 Lonesome Dove: The Series Olivia Jessup Episodes: "Where the Heart Is"
"Law and Order"
1997 Boy Meets World Aunt Prudence Curtis Episode: "A Long Walk To Pittsburgh (Part 2)"
1998 Pinky and the Brain Queen (Voice) "The Megalomaniacal Adventures of Brainie the Poo", "Melancholy Brain"
1999 Superman: The Animated Series Talia (Voice) Episode: "The Demon Reborn"
2000 Batman Beyond "Talia" (Voice) Episode: "Out of the Past"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Star Wars: Rogue Squadron Kasan Moor
2000 Star Wars: Force Commander AT-AA Driver, Abridon Refugee 2
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Master Yuon Par

Awards and nominations

Annie Awards

  • 2001: Nominated, "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production" – Batman Beyond

David di Donatello Awards

  • 1969: Won, "Best Actress" – Romeo and Juliet

Golden Globe Awards

  • 1969: Won, "Most Promising Female Newcomer" – Romeo and Juliet

Laurel Awards

  • 1970: Nominated, "Female New Face" – Romeo and Juliet


  1. ^ "The 25 Most Badass Horror Movie Heroines". Complex. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Staff (4 March 2002). "Part of me thinks I am Juliet". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Podolsky, J. D. (16 March 1992). "Forever Juliet – For Olivia Hussey, Life After Romeo and Juliet Brought Sweetness and Sorrow". People. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  4. ^ Mario, Conte. "God & I: Olivia Hussey". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Olivia Hussey—Romeo and Juliet Interview—01/10/08". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  6. ^ Redgrave 1991, p. 128.
  7. ^ "Franco Zeffirelli Interview (1983)". The Seventh Art.
  8. ^ Daileader 2001, p. 188.
  9. ^ Rapf, Maurice (6 September 1968). "Generation Gap in Verona". Life. Google Books: 10. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. open access
  10. ^ a b "Olivia Hussey". British Film Institute (BFI). Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Olivia Hussey". Golden Globes. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  12. ^ Groucho. "Groucho Reviews: Interview: Olivia Hussey—Romeo and Juliet". Groucho Reviews. Retrieved 1 October 2008.
  13. ^ Hussey, Olivia. The girl on the balcony : Olivia Hussey finds life after Romeo & Juliet (First Kensington hardcoverition ed.). pp. 84–85. ISBN 1496717074.
  14. ^ "Lost Horizon Found". Film Brain. 19 May 2006. Archived from the original on 25 May 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  15. ^ Boyle, Donna-Marie Cooper (9 June 2014). "An Iconic Screen Presence". Catholic World Report. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  16. ^ Mayo 2013, p. 397.
  17. ^ Sussex Publishers, LLC (February 1990). "Go East, Old Actors". Spy: 38. open access
  18. ^ "A Film that Makes Viewers Dream of Escape". Philadelphia Daily News. 6 September 1983. p. 44. open access
  19. ^ Donovan, Frank (24 February 2015). "The 50 Most WTF Celebrity Cameos in Music Video History". MTV. Archived from the original on 31 March 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  20. ^ Hinman, Catherine (15 July 1990). "Whirlwind Affair: `Psycho Iv` Wraps Up". Orlando Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 1 April 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  21. ^ Mayo 2013, p. 288.
  22. ^ Mayo 2013, p. 435.
  23. ^ Cooper Boyle, Donna-Marie. "An Iconic Screen Presence". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  24. ^ Ford, Rebecca (29 September 2014). "Romeo and Juliet Stars Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey Reuniting for 'Social Suicide'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  25. ^ Factor 5 (3 December 1998). Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Electronic Arts, LucasArts.
  26. ^ BioWare (20 December 2011). Star Wars: The Old Republic. Electronic Arts, LucasArts. Scene: closing credits, 11:07 in, English Cast.
  27. ^ "Dean Martin's Son is dead in Jet". The New York Times. 27 March 1987. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  28. ^ Arias, Ron (13 April 1987). "Actor, Athlete and Dashing Pilot, Dean Paul Martin Dies When His Jet Crashes on a Mountainside". People. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  29. ^ "Romeo and Juliet's Olivia Hussey Reveals She Was Raped in the Charles Manson Murder Home". Retrieved 9 September 2019.


External links

This page was last edited on 7 October 2019, at 12:54
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