Actress, author, icon
At the age of 15, when most young women are nurturing dreams of romance, Olivia Hussey was giving life to Juliet. With one of the most celebrated roles ever written in the English language for which she won the Golden Globe and two successive Best Actor Donatello Awards (Italy’s Oscar equivalent) for her outstanding performance in Franco Zeffirelli’s production, she had made her undeniable mark in modern day cinema.
Olivia, a seasoned veteran of the London stage where she debuted opposite Vanessa Redgrave in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, has appeared in over two dozen films including Death on the Nile with Bette Davis and Peter Ustinov, Jesus of Nazareth (united again with the great Zeffirelli), The Last Days of Pompeii opposite Sir Lawrence Olivier,Lost Horizon, The Bastard, Hallmark’s Hall of Fame Ivanhoe with James Mason, Showtime’sPsycho IV and Stephen King’s It. She has also guest-starred in numerous television productions.
Still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, Olivia owes this to her exotic blend of English and Argentinean roots. Ms. Hussey spent her early youth in Buenos Aires, the daughter of Andreas Osuna, aka Isvaldo Ribo, renowned Argentine opera and tango singer, and her English mother, who encouraged her early inclinations for the performing arts.
Olivia, at the age of seven, moved with her mother and younger brother to England where she spent the next five years attending drama school. From there she landed the role of “Jenny” in Jean Brodie. It was in that theatre production that Zeffirelli spotted Olivia. After many auditions amidst 500 other young actresses, she won the coveted role, and the rest is history.
Olivia then moved to Los Angeles and married the late Dean Paul Martin, son of the late and great entertainer, Dean Martin. They produced a son, Alexander, who is currently an actor in his own right. Olivia’s second marriage was to Akira Fuse, one of Japan’s premier singers. That marriage produced a second son, Max, born in 1983. Two years later Olivia signed on to star with Burt Lancaster and Ben Cross in a screen adaptation of The Jeweler’s Shop, written by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II). Following the filming, Olivia was invited to view the film at the Vatican, guest of His Holiness.
Olivia finally decided to take a break from her work and travel to raise her young daughter, India Joy, and later returned to work starring in two back-to-back features. The first, El Grito, was shot in Mexico City and required Olivia to deliver the role bilingually, applying her native command of Spanish. The second, Tortilla Heaven, a comedy written and directed by Sundance Film Festival winner, Judy Hecht Dumontet, in which Olivia plays the town nudist (!), was released in 2004.
More recently, Olivia has completed her life’s dream, portraying Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a movie shot entirely on location in Sri Lanka and Italy. Her performance was received with open arms by the Sisters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity when it was screened for them in Italy. Also present at the screening and pleased with Olivia’s portrayal was Agi Bojaxhiu, a wonderful lady and the niece and only direct living relative of Mother herself.
In 2018, Olivia finally released her memoir, The Girl on the Balcony, to universal acclaim, and is excited to be promoting the book and meeting many of her millions of fans worldwide. When she’s not speaking, doing interviews, and attending book signings, she spends time with her family at home in Los Angeles, and continues to use her voice as an advocate for animal rights.