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Olivia Hussey

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Basic Information

Olivia Hussey

Date of Birth: 17 April 1951
Place of Birth: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Birth Name: Olivia Osuna
Height: 5' 4½" (1.64 m)


Olivia Hussey (born 17 April 1951) is a Argentine-British actress best known for her role as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet.

Early life

She was born Olivia Osuna in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of Joy Alma Hussey, an English legal secretary, and Andrés Osuna (aka Osvaldo Ribó), an Argentine tango singer who divorced when she was two. She was brought up Catholic, and when she was seven years old, Hussey and her younger brother went with their mother to live in London where she attended the Italia Conti Academy drama school for five years.


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. It was during the run of this play that Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli first spotted her. Chosen out of 500 actresses, she appeared in her first starring role, as Juliet in Zeffirelli's 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet opposite Leonard Whiting's Romeo. In 1969, she won a David di Donatello award for Best Actress.

Hussey has appeared in over 42 films. Roles include Jessica Bradford in the 1974 Canadian horror movie Black Christmas, Mary, the mother of Jesus in the 1977 TV production of Jesus of Nazareth (her second work for director Zeffirelli), and as Rosalie Otterbourne in Death on the Nile (1978) with Peter Ustinov.

In a non-typical role, Olivia starred as "Marit" in the Japanese cult-classic film Virus (復活の日 Fukkatsu no hi), literally Day of Resurrection. The post-apocalyptic science fiction movie was directed by the renowned Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku and based on a novel written by Sakyo Komatsu. The film is notable for being the most expensive Japanese film ever made at the time and included a notable international cast of Japanese, English, American and Latin American actors.

She also played "Rebecca of York" in the 1982 TV remake of Ivanhoe.

In 1990, Hussey played Norma Bates, the mother of Norman Bates in Psycho IV, a TV prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. In 2003, Hussey played the lead in a film adaptation on the life of Mother Teresa, for which she was presented with a CAMIE award (for Character & Morality in Entertainment) on 12 May 2007 in Hollywood.

Voice work

Hussey's husband suggested she try out for voice work in animation. She 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 Batman Beyond as Talia Al Guhl. She also voiced the character Kasan Moor in the PC game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Personal life

Hussey was married first to actor Dean Paul Martin in 1971. They had a son, Alexander Dean Martin (later an actor), in 1973, before divorcing in 1978. Dean Paul Martin died in 1987 when his National Guard F-4 Phantom fighter jet crashed in California's San Bernardino Mountains during a snowstorm. Fourteen-year-old Alexander had watched his father take off.

In 1980 Hussey married Japanese musician Akira Fuse, and had one son, Max (born 1983). Divorced from Fuse in 1989, she married American musician David Glen Eisley in 1991. In October 1993, she gave birth to a daughter, India Eisley, now an actress.

She has suffered from agoraphobia.


Year Film Role Other notes
1965 The Battle of the Villa Fiorita Donna
Cup Fever Jinny- child
1968 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Capulet
1969 All the Right Noises Val
1971 H-Bomb
1972 The Summertime Killer Tania Scarlotti
1973 Lost Horizon Maria
1974 Black Christmas Jessica Bradford
1978 Death on the Nile Rosalie Otterbourne
1979 The Cat and the Canary Cicily Young
1980 Virus Marit
The Man with Bogart's Face Elsa
1982 Turkey Shoot Chris Walters
1987 Distortions Amy Marks
1989 The Jeweler's Shop Thérèse
1990 Undeclared War Rebecca Eche
1993 Quest of the Delta Knights The Mannerjay
1994 Save Me Gail
1995 Ice Cream Man Nurse Wharton
Bad English I: Tales of a Son of a Brit
1996 The Dark Mist Voice of the Ancients Voice Role
1998 The Gardener Mrs. Carter
Shame, Shame, Shame Therapist
2000 Bloody Proof Laura
2001 Island Prey Catherine Gaits
2005 Headspace Dr. Karen Murphy
2006 Seven Days of Grace Jewel
2007 Tortilla Heaven Petra
2008 Chinaman's Chance Mrs. Duncan
Three Priests Rachel
Year Title Role Notes
1964 Drama 60-67 Mrs. Ken's daughter Episode: Studio '64 - The Crunch
1977 Jesus of Nazareth Mary, the mother of Jesus NBC Miniseries
1978 The Bastard Alicia NBC TV-Movie
The Pirate Leila CBS TV-Movie
1979 The Thirteenth Day: The Story of Esther Esther ABC TV-Movie
1982 Ivanhoe Rebecca CBS TV-Movie
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Ione ABC Miniseries
1985 The Corsican Brothers Annamarie de Guidice CBS TV-Movie
Murder, She Wrote Kitty Trumbull Episode: Sing a Song of Murder
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Norma Bates Showtime TV-Movie
It Audra Phillips Denbrough ABC TV-Movie
1994 Lonesome Dove: The Series Olivia Jessup Episode: Where the Heart IsEpisode: Law and OrderEpisode: Firebrand
1996 Dead Man's Island Rosie, the housemaid TV-Movie
1997 Boy Meets World Aunt Prudence Curtis Episode: A Long Walk To Pittsburgh (Part 2)
1998 Pinky and the Brain Queen Voice RoleEpisode: The Megalomaniacal Adventures of Brainie the PooEpisode: Melancholy Brain
1999 Superman: The Animated Series Talia al Ghul Voice RoleEpisode: The Demon Reborn
2000 Batman Beyond Talia al Ghul Voice RoleEpisode: Out of the Past
2003 Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother Teresa TV-movie originally produced as Italian television miniseries

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

Golden Globe Awards

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

Laurel Awards

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


  • Daughter, with David Glen Eisley, India Eisley (b. 29 October 1993).
  • Raised in England.
  • Son nearly drowned in a backyard swimming pool in 1985. 911 talked her and her husband through rescue.
  • Son: Alexander Martin (with Dean Paul Martin).
  • Son: Max, with Akira Fuse, born in 1983.
  • Is the voice of Nintendo 64's Rogue Squadron game character Kasan Moor, according to the game credits.
  • Suffered from Agoraphobia, treated it with meditation instead of medication.
  • Began her acting career on the London stage, playing one of Vanessa Redgrave's students in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1966).
  • Clashed with Bette Davis on the set of Death on the Nile (1978) when the cranky, older star complained about her playing "East Indian chants" on her dressing room stereo at six in the morning. They did not speak for the rest of the filming.
  • Father, Andreas Osuna, is a tango singer. Took her mother's maiden name, Hussey. Parents divorced at the age of two.
  • Measurements: 36-24-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
  • For one scene in Romeo and Juliet (1968/I), director Franco Zeffirelli had to get special permission to show her topless.
  • She wasn't legally able to attend the London premiere of Romeo and Juliet (1968/I) because she was under 18 and the film contained a nude scene -- even though she was the one who was nude.
  • Good friend of Catherine Oxenberg.
  • Was classmates with Sharon Osbourne.
  • Many of her more recent appearances have experienced significant delays in their releases. 'Tortilla Heaven' was released in 2007 after completion in 2000. 'Seven Days of Grace' was released on DVD in 2007 when it was completed in 1996. 'Chinaman's Chance' was completed in 2006 and released in 2008.
  • Was Francis Ford Coppola's initial choice for the role of Apollonia Vitelli Corleone in The Godfather (1972).
  • In "Jesus of Nazareth" (1977), she played the mother of Robert Powell, who was 7 years older than her.