Birthdate: February 16, 1989
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Known to mavens of the Marvel Comics Universe as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, Elizabeth Olsen (birthname: Elizabeth Chase Olsen) is a fast-rising actor whose range and depth were immediately apparent in her feature debut as the survivor of a cult in Antonio Campos’ Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011).
With this widely acclaimed performance, Olsen immediately shed any association—positive or negative—with her world-famous clothing designer sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and appeared primed for an interesting career in serious American independent cinema.
This immediately happened with filmmaker Josh Radnor and his comedy, Liberal Arts (2012). Olsen then found herself acting alongside Robert De Niro and Sigourney Weaver in the Spanish-made thriller Red Lights (2012), and with director Spike Lee and star Josh Brolin in Lee’s remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2013), the same year Olsen played Jack Kerouac’s wife in Kill Your Darlings, about the private lives of the Beat Generation poets.
But it wasn’t soon until the studios started calling for Elizabeth Olsen. It started with Godzilla (2014), opposite Bryan Cranston, opening the door for the MCU. Cast as Scarlet Witch, Olsen’s profile transformed into a set of mega-blockbuster Marvel hits: first, in a teaser appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), followed by prominent appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015); Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and a starring/title role in Disney’s highly acclaimed streaming series, WandaVision (2021) with Paul Bettany.
Elizabeth Olsen is hardly done with Scarlet Witch: She proceeds to work her wonders in the Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) with Benedict Cumberbatch. Olsen’s non-MCU work tends to be overshadowed, but it includes stellar work in Taylor Sheridan’s strong debut feature, Wind River (2017) with Jeremy Renner, and the comedy Ingrid Goes West (2017) with Aubrey Plaza.
Elizabeth Olsen was born in the San Fernando Valley community of Sherman Oaks to parents David and Jarnette Olsen. Her sisters are internationally known fashion designers/models Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and her brother is Trent.
Olsen’s parents divorced when she was 7 in 1996. Elizabeth Olsen attended Campbell Hall School in Sherman Oaks, and did her theater studies at both NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Moscow Art Theatre School, with support from the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She and actor Boyd Holbrook were engaged in 2014 but split less than a year later. Elizabeth Olsen married songwriter-actor Robbie Arnett in 2021; the couple has no children. Her height is 5’ 6”.
Career Crisis: Witnessing first-hand the media frenzy involving sister Mary-Kate’s eating disorder episode, Elizabeth Olsen considered quitting acting and show business.
Fashion Label: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen named their clothing line, Elizabeth and James, in part after sister Elizabeth Olsen (as well as their brother James).