Olivia Hussey

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Olivia Hussey
Olivia Hussey-D.jpg
Olivia Hussey, 2007
Born Olivia Osuna
(1951-04-17) 17 April 1951 (age 64)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Occupation Actress
Years active 1965–present
Spouse(s) Dean Paul Martin (1971-1978)
Akira Fuse (1980-1989)
David Glen Eisley (1991-present)
Children Alexander Gunther Martin (b. 1973)
Max Fuse (b. 1983)
India Eisley (b. 1993)
Parent(s) Andrés Osuna (father)
Joy Alma Hussey (mother)
Relatives Andrew Osuna (brother)

Olivia Hussey (born Olivia Osuna; 17 April 1951) is an Argentine-born English actress who became famous for her role as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet, winning a Golden Globe and also the David di Donatello Award for best actress. She is also well known for her role as Mary, the mother of Jesus in the 1977 TV production of Jesus of Nazareth. She has starred in films such as Black Christmas (1974), Death on the Nile (1978), Virus (1980) and Turkey Shoot (1982).

Early life[edit]

Hussey was born Olivia Osuna in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Joy Alma (née Hussey), a British legal secretary and Andrés Osuna (alias Osvaldo Ribó), an Argentine tango singer. They divorced when Olivia was two.

She was brought up as a Catholic,[1] 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 because of her beauty and theatrical skill. 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 special David di Donatello Award and the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actress.

Hussey has appeared in over forty films. She played the leading role of Jessica 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). In 1978 she played Rosalie Otterbourne in Death on the Nile with Peter Ustinov.

She also starred as Marit in the Japanese film Virus, and played Rebecca of York in the 1982 remake of Ivanhoe.

In 1990 Hussey played Norma Bates, the mother of Norman Bates, in Psycho IV: The Beginning, a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960). In 2003 she played the lead in a film adaptation of the life of Mother Teresa, for which she was presented with a Character & Morality in Entertainment Award on 12 May 2007 in Hollywood.

Voice work[edit]

Hussey 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. She also voiced the character of Kasan Moor in the PC game, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. She was also in Star Wars: The Old Republic as Jedi Master Yuon Par.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Hussey with her daughter India (right) and husband David Glen Eisley (left) at Cinema City Film Festival

In 1971, Hussey married actor Dean Paul Martin, son of the singer Dean Martin. They had a son, Alexander Gunther Martin (later an actor), in 1973, before divorcing in 1978. 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.[citation needed]

In 1980, Hussey married Japanese musician Akira Fuse, consisted of two ceremonies at home in Los Angeles and an Indian wedding in Miami. She had one son, Max (born 1983). Divorced from Fuse in 1989, she remarried, in 1991, to American musician David Glen Eisley, a son of the late actor Anthony Eisley. In October 1993, she gave birth to a daughter, India Eisley, now an actress.[3]


Year Film Role Other notes
1965 The Battle of the Villa Fiorita Donna
Cup Fever Jinny- child
1968 Romeo and Juliet Juliet Golden Globe Award
1969 All the Right Noises Val
1971 H-Bomb Erica
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 Three Priests Rachel
I Am Somebody: No Chance in Hell Mrs. Duncan
2015 1066[4] Countess Gytha (release date 14 October 2015 (UK))[5]
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 Television film
The Pirate Leila CBS Television film
1979 The Thirteenth Day: The Story of Esther Esther ABC Television film
1982 Ivanhoe Rebecca CBS Television film
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Ione ABC Miniseries
1985 The Corsican Brothers Annamarie de Guidice CBS Television film
Murder, She Wrote Kitty Trumbull Episode: Sing a Song of Murder
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Norma Bates Showtime Television film
It Audra Phillips Denbrough ABC Television film
1994 Lonesome Dove: The Series Olivia Jessup Episodes: "Where the Heart Is"
"Law and Order"
1996 Dead Man's Island Rosie, the housemaid Television film
1997 Boy Meets World Aunt Prudence Curtis Episode:" A Long Walk To Pittsburgh (Part 2)"
1998 Pinky and the Brain Queen Voice Role
Episode: "The Megalomaniacal Adventures of Brainie the Poo"
Episode: "Melancholy Brain"
1999 Superman: The Animated Series Talia Voice Role
Episode: "The Demon Reborn"
2000 Batman Beyond Talia Voice Role
Episode: "Out of the Past"
2003 Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother Teresa Television film originally produced as Italian television miniseries

Awards and nominations[edit]

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


External links[edit]