Olivia Cooke Biography

(Known for Her Portrayal of Alicent Hightower in ‘House of the Dragon’)

Birthday: December 27, 1993 (Capricorn)

Born In: Oldham, United Kingdom

British actor Olivia Cooke is best known to audiences for her stellar performances as Alicent Hightower in the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon and as Emma Decody in the thriller Bates Motel. Born into a non-film family, Cooke started her stint in acting with classes at the Oldham Theatre Workshop. By 14, she had an agent. Despite being rejected by RADA, she continued to pursue acting wholeheartedly. She got her breakthrough role in the BBC miniseries Blackout at age 18. Her other notable projects include Ready Player One, Vanity Fair, and Sound of Metal. In 2017, she received the Newport Beach Film Festival Jury Award for the Best Actress for her performance as a girl fighting leukaemia in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Despite being romantically linked with several co-stars, Cooke has mostly managed to keep her personal life away from the media spotlight.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In December

Also Known As: Olivia Kate Cooke

Age: 30 Years, 30 Year Old Females


father: John Cooke

mother: Lindsy Wild

Partner: Jacob Ifan

Born Country: England

Actresses British Women

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females

Notable Alumni: Oldham Sixth Form College.

More Facts

education: Oldham Sixth Form College, Royton and Crompton Academy

Childhood & Early Life

Olivia Cooke was born Olivia Kate Cooke, on December 27, 1993, in Oldham, Greater Manchester, in North West England, UK, to John Cooke and Lindsy Wild. While her father was a police officer, her mother was a sales representative.

Following her parents’ divorce, Cooke (who was 6 years old then) and her sister Eleanor (who was 6 months old) began living with their mother. Cooke was trained in ballet and gymnastics since a young age. At 8, Cooke began acting at the after-school drama program, the Oldham Theatre Workshop.

Cooke also attended the Royton and Crompton Academy and joined drama classes at the Oldham Sixth Form College. She had secured an agent, who helped her secure commercial roles, by 14.

While her agent asked her not to opt for drama school, as she was already getting a lot of acting projects, she still applied to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Despite reaching the final audition round, she was rejected.

For years, she was part of the ensemble at the Oldham Theatre, until at 17, she was seen as Maria in an Oldham Sixth Form College production of West Side Story. Following this, she bagged her debut leading role at the Oldham Theatre Workshop in Prom: The Musical, which was a remake of Cinderella.

At 18, Cooke secured a role in the 2012 BBC miniseries Blackout and thus dropped out of school before completing her A-levels. She also appeared in One Direction's 2012 music video Autumn Term, featuring as a student.

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It was purely by chance that a casting director spotted Olivia Cooke and offered her a minor role as Christopher Eccleston’s (who played Daniel Demoys) daughter, Meg Demoys, in the 2012 BBC miniseries Blackout. She then secured varied roles in projects such as the 2014 supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones (as Jane Harper), the 2015 comedy-drama film Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (as Rachel Kushner), the 2016 drama Katie Says Goodbye (as Katie), the 2017 comedy Thoroughbreds (as Amanda), and the Steven Spielberg-directed 2018 sci-fi movie Ready Player One (as Samantha Cooke/Art3mis).

From 2013 to 2017, she impressed her fans with her main role of Emma Decody in five seasons of the psychological horror drama series Bates Motel. In 2018, she appeared as Becky Sharp in the historical drama miniseries Vanity Fair, based on William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1848 novel of the same name.

In 2019, she was seen in the film Sound of Metal (as Lou Berger), in which she appeared with Academy Award-nominated actor Riz Ahmed, and in the romantic comedy series Modern Love (as Karla, opposite Andrew Scott). She also learned to deliver the metal scream and to play the guitar for the former role. In 2020, she appeared as Pixie O'Brien in the British comedy thriller Pixie.

In October 2020, Cooke was cast as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon, a spin-off the iconic HBO series Game of Thrones, set 200 years earlier. Her character, Alicent, was the daughter of the right-hand man of King Viserys I Targaryen.

It is believed, Cooke bagged the role through a secret Zoom audition. Before she was cast as Alicent, Cooke, who is not too fond of popular things, had not watched even a single episode of Game of Thrones.

Olivia Cooke has also won several awards and honors, such as the 2014 Screen International UK Stars of Tomorrow Award. In 2017, she won the Newport Beach Film Festival Jury Award for the Best Actress for her role of a dying girl battling leukaemia in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She has also been nominated for 2 MTV Movie & TV Awards (2018) and 2 Teen Choice Awards (2018) for her role in Ready Player One.

Personal Life

Olivia Cooke mostly keeps her personal life away from the media spotlight. However, reports suggest she was previously in a relationship with British actor Alex Roe.

In August 2014, much before Roe became a star, he was seen walking hand-in-hand with Cooke, on his way to attend an Arctic Monkeys concert. In-spite of their dating rumors, neither of them confirmed the same.

In 2015, Cooke was reportedly dating Christopher Abbott of Charlie from Girls and James White fame. The two had apparently developed a bond while working together in Katie Says Goodbye.

The couple was first seen together at the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards in November 2015, when Abbott had been nominated for James White. They were seen together at various events in 2016 too and then appeared together again in June 2019, after a long break, before the rumors eventually died down.

In early 2020, Cooke and actor Ben Hardy met on the sets of the movie Pixie in Ireland. They were then seen holding hands in the Primrose Hill neighborhood in London. They apparently broke up in August 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Other Interests

In 2014, Olivia Cooke appeared in several Bulgari advertisements to support the Save The Children campaign. Cooke has also been an ambassador for the jewelry brand Garrard and been featured in a Savage x Fenty lingerie campaign.

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