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Elizabeth Olsen: Biography of the star so far

A talented star on the rise, Elizabeth Chase Olsen, or "Lizzie," has captured the attention of critics, fans and co-stars alike. Formerly best known as the younger sister to infamous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley, this Olsen is well on her way to establishing an identity, acting career and fame all of her own.

Basic Bio

Olsen was born on Feb. 16, 1989, in Sherman Oaks, Calif., the third and last daughter of David Olsen, a mortgage banker and real estate developer, and Jarnie Jones Olsen, a personal manager and former dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. After her parents divorced in 1995, her father remarried. From her father's second marriage are a half-brother and half-sister.

Olsen's twin sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, who are nearly three years older, catapulted to fame at the young age of 9 months when they were cast in the TV sitcom "Full House." During the show's eight-year run, Olsen would hang out on the set.

Since 2012, Olsen has been dating Boyd Holbrook, an actor she met while filming "Very Good Girls." The two were engaged in March 2014.

Education and Early Roles

From kindergarten through grade 12, Olsen attended Campbell Hall School in North Hollywood, Calif., graduating in 2007. Growing up in Los Angeles, she studied theater and did children's theater and high school plays. She began acting when she was 4 years old when she played a small role in the TV movie "How the West Was Fun," in which she had a bit part credited as "girl in car." By the age of 11, Olsen had co-starred in six of Mary-Kate and Ashley's straight-to-video musical mysteries in the series "The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley."

Following high school, she enrolled at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, the same school that her twin sisters had dropped out of. In 2009, as part of an exchange program Olsen spent a semester studying in Russia at the Moscow Art Theatre School. After six years of studies interrupted by film shoots, Olsen graduated from NYU and the Atlantic Theatre Company's Atlantic Acting School in 2013.


Olsen was propelled into the spotlight after the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Her stellar performance in the hit "Martha Marcy May Marlene," in which she plays the titular role of a disenchanted, disturbed former cult member seeking to reintegrate herself back into society, garnered Olsen nine awards and 15 nominations. In addition to the several best actress and best breakthrough performer awards, she also received the attention of the Hollywood movie industry, including director Spike Lee.

In 2011, Olsen filmed two other independent films, one of which, "Silent House," also premiered at Sundance, though it was not entered for competition. "Silent House," a remake of a Uruguayan horror film, was shot in a single take. In "Peace, Love & Misunderstanding," Olsen portrayed the daughter of actress Jane Fonda's character.

On the heels of her success came more movies, with big names. In 2012, Olsen starred alongside Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver in "Red Lights" and Josh Radnor and Zac Efron in "Liberal Arts." The following year, she co-starred with Dakota Fanning in the drama "Very Good Girls" and with Daniel Radcliffe in "Kill Your Darlings," in which Olsen played Jack Kerouac's first wife. The final film featuring Olsen in 2013 was "In Secret," set in 1860s Paris, in which she plays the part of Madame Raquin's (Jessica Lange) sexually repressed beautiful young niece.

Future Films

Olsen will be seen again on the big screen in "Godzilla," scheduled for release in May 2014. She is filming in another Warner Bros. Pictures' blockbuster set for release in 2015, "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

Stage and Other

While still in college, Olsen worked professionally onstage as an understudy in the off-Broadway play "Dust" in 2008 and the original Broadway production, "Impressionism," in 2009. In 2013, she played Juliet in the off-Broadway Classic Stage Company Production of "Romeo and Juliet."

Besides stage and screen roles, Olsen starred in a music video by Carlotta for the song, "The Queen."

Since her 2011 debut, Olsen already has more than seven feature film appearances to her credit, with more in the works. She is one of the most coveted young actresses in Hollywood, and deservedly so. Though she could have taken advantage of her sisters' fame and connections, Olsen made it on her own, her way.

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