Elizabeth Olsen
Birth Date:
February 16, 1989
Birth Place:
Sherman Oaks, California, USA
5' 7''
NYU's Tisch School of the Arts
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Elizabeth Olsen_270612
Martha Marcy May Marlene


“Sean Durkin really wrote a complex character that really hasn't been written, and that's challenging. It's such a smart way of writing, you totally understand the characters and I was just completely obsessed and in love with 'Martha' and the script.” Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, rose to stardom thanks to her portrayal of Martha on the well received independent film “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (2011), from which she also acquired critical acclaim and a number of awards and nominations. She has since starred in “Silent House” (2011), “Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding” (2011), “Red Lights” (2012) and “Liberal Arts” (2012). She was ranked No. 94 on the Ask Men list of “Most Desirable Woman of 2012.      

Elizabeth, who almost quit acting in 2004 because of the media frenzy surrounding Mary-Kate's eating disorder, is scheduled to play roles on the forthcoming films “Therese Raquin” (2013), “Kill Your Darlings” (2013) and “Very Good Girls” (2013).

The alum of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts enjoys volleyball. She is best friends with Angel Carter, the  twin sister of Aaron Carter.


Childhood and Family:

Elizabeth Chase Olsen was born on February 16, 1989, in Sherman Oaks, California, to David Olsen, a mortgage banker and  real estate developer, and Jarnette “Jarnie” (born 1954), a former dancer turned personal manager. Her parents divorced in 1995. She has an older brother named Trent Olsen, and two older sisters, twin actresses Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. She also has two younger half siblings, Taylor Olsen and Jake Olsen, from her father's second marriage.

Elizabeth, who is known by family and close friends with the nicknames Lizzie or Liz, took ballet and singing lessons when she was a child. She graduated from Campbell Hall School in 2007, and from the Atlantic Theater Company. She went on to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.    

In 2010, her father filed for bankruptcy.

Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding


As a young child, Elizabeth Olsen made her television debut in “How the West Was Fun” (1994), a family/western  film starring her older sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. She also appeared in “Our First Video” (1993), along with her sisters, as well as in four episodes of “The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley” called “The Case of Thorn Mansion” (1994), “The Case of the Mystery Cruise” (1995), “The Case of the Christmas Caper” (1995) and “The Case of the U.S. Space Camp Mission” (1996).

Eventually, Elizabeth was able to eschew the shadow of the Olsen twin when she was cast as in the lead role of Martha on the independent film “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” about a young woman who comes out of a cult and attempts to live a normal life with her sister and brother-in-law. Directed and written by Sean Durkin, the drama premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2011, where it won the Directing Award for Dramatic and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, and screened at various festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, before receiving a limited release in the United States on October 21, 2011.  As the traumatized Martha, Elizabeth's performance was critically acclaimed, and she was awarded a Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Best Actress, a Vancouver Film Critics Circle for Best Actress, a Chicago Film Critics Association for Most Promising Performer, Florida Film Critics Circle's Pauline Kael Breakout Award, the Ghent International Film Festival Special Mention, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award, a Phoenix Film Critics Society for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and a Phoenix Film Critics Society for Breakout on Camera. The role also brought her a number of nominations such as an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Female Lead, a Saturn nomination for Best Actress, a Toronto Film Critics Association nomination for Best Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics Choice nomination for Best Actress, a Central Ohio Film Critics Association nomination for Breakthrough Film Artist, a Chicago Film Critics Association nomination for Best Actress, a Chlotrudis nomination for Best Actress, Gotham nominations for Breakthrough Award and Best Ensemble Cast, an Online Film Critics Society nomination for Best Actress, a San Diego Film Critics Society nomination for Best Actress, a Satellite nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association nomination for Best Actress. “Martha Marcy May Marlene” grossed $3,538,446.

Elizabeth next starred with Adam Trese and Eric Sheffer Stevens in the independent horror film “Silent House,” which was directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and was released in US theaters on March 9, 2012. It has received mixed reviews from critics. She was cast as the teenage daughter of Catherine Keener on the independent comedy/drama film “Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2011 and received a limited release in the United States on June 8, 2012.

January 20, 2012 saw the premiere of Elizabet's film, “Red Lights,” a Spanish/American thriller directed and written by Rodrigo Cortés, on the Sundance Film Festival. The film, in which she played the role of Sally Owen, will be released on theaters in the United Stated on July 13, 2012. Co-stars in the film include Robert DeNiro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Joely Richardson, Toby Jones and Leonardo Sbaraglia. She portrayed a 19 year old college student named Zibby on the comedy/drama “Liberal Arts,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2012. The film is directed by, written by, and starring “How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor.

Elizabeth will play the title role on the upcoming crime thriller film “Therese Raquin” (2013), helmed by Charlie Stratton, and will star alongside Daniel Radcliffe on John Krokidas' “Kill Your Darlings,” planned for a 2013 release. She is set to star with Dakota Fanning, Demi Moore and Peter Sarsgaard in the British movie “Very Good Girls,” which is slated for release in 2013. The actress is rumored to star with Josh Brolin and Sharlto Copley in the Spike Lee forthcoming film, “Old Boy.”      

“But nothing's actually changed. No one in my school knows who I am when I'm in class. It's all back to the same. I'm still in the same closet apartment in New York City.” Elizabeth Olsen (on her emerging stardom)


Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA): Best Actress, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2012
Vancouver Film Critics Circle (VFCC): Best Actress, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2012
Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA): Most Promising Performer, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011
Florida Film Critics Circle: Pauline Kael Breakout Award, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011
Ghent International Film Festival: Special Mention, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: New Generation Award, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011
Phoenix Film CriticsSociety (PFCS): Best Actress in a Leading Role, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011
Phoenix Film CriticsSociety (PFCS): Breakout on Camera, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” 2011 Show Less
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SP_COP - May 19, 2014 -
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SP_COP - May 09, 2014 -
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SP_COP - May 08, 2014 -
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SP_COP - May 02, 2014 -
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