Childhood & Early Life
Olivia Rose Olson was born on May 21, 1992, in Los Angeles, California. As a kid, she was adopted by writer Martin Olson. Ever since she was 2 years old, she developed an immense love for singing.
Influenced by Hollywood, Olivia started trying her luck in the American entertainment industry as a child. She appeared in several auditions. The audition for the role of a young singing star in ‘Love Actually’ was one of her first major auditions.
She sang the song ‘Fallen’ by Alicia Keys during her first audition, but she did not receive any calls for a few weeks. She was then invited to more rounds of auditions and ended up bagging the role of ‘Joanna’ in the film ‘Love Actually.’
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She was 11 years old when her debut film, ‘Love Actually,’ released. She played the role of a young singer/student, ‘Joanna Anderson,’ who was portrayed as the lead singer in a school band and the crush of one of her classmates. The film received positive reviews from audiences and critics. Olivia also received acclaim for the song ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ (originally sung by Mariah Carey), which she sang for the film’s official soundtrack.
Richard Curtis, the director of the film, stated that her singing was too good for her age and that it was almost unbelievable. She was trained to not sing “too perfectly,” in order to make the audience believe that she had sung the song herself.
She took a long break from her acting career in order to focus more on her singing and studies. In 2008, she lent her voice to the character of ‘Vanessa Doofenshmirtz’ in the ‘Disney’ animated series ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ Her father, Martin, was the main writer on the show during its first season. In the subsequent seasons, he mostly limited his duties to that of a songwriter.
The series ran for four seasons, spanning 222 episodes, and became one of the most famous ‘Disney’ animated series across the world. She also bagged the voice role of ‘Vanessa’ in the film based on the series, ‘Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension.’
In 2010, Olivia bagged yet another voice role, in the series ‘Adventure Time.’ It was a major commercial and critical success, and Olivia’s portrayal of ‘Marceline the Vampire Queen’ was appreciated. Her character in ‘Adventure Time’ was strikingly similar to her voice role in ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ Additionally, she also got ample singing opportunities on both shows, as both her characters were musically inclined.
Her character became extremely popular with fans. Soon, ‘Marceline the Vampire Queen’ merchandise began to be sold. Two of the songs that Olivia sang in ‘Adventure Time’ were ‘The Fry Song’ and ‘Everything Stays.’ The latter was revealed during the 2015 ‘Comic Con.’
Olivia has also worked as a writer. She partnered with her father, Martin Olson, for co-authoring the book titled ‘Adventure Time’s: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Playbook.’ The book was illustrated by a number of popular artists, and Olivia wrote the parts for ‘Marceline the Vampire Queen’ herself, as a first-person narrative.
In 2017, she landed a key voice role in ‘Cartoon Network’s reboot of ‘The Powerpuff Girls.’ In the series, she lent her voice to the character of ‘Blisstina Utonium’ (or ‘Bliss’), the fourth ‘Powerpuff Girl.’ However, her inclusion in the series was met with slight controversy due to the darker skin of the character.
In 2017, she reprised her character from ‘Love Actually’ and played ‘Joanna’ in the short sequel to the film, ‘Red Nose Day Actually.’
She has also made guest appearances in the sitcom ‘The Tracy Morgan Show’ and the comedy–drama series ‘Zoey 101.’
In June 2018, she released her album ‘Nowhere Land,’ and in July 2013, she released her debut EP, ‘Beauty is Chaos.’ The EP, which was released digitally, had four songs, ‘Suspicious,’ ‘Speak Up,’ ‘Cross the Line,’ and ‘Animal.’ In 2017, she also contributed to the official soundtrack of the ‘Cartoon Network’ series ‘Steven Universe.’
Olivia has also appeared in four videos games based on the series ‘Adventure Time,’ in which she has reprised the character of ‘Marceline the Vampire Queen.’
She has written the script for the 2018 short film ‘Halloween Dance.’
Family & Personal Life
The identity of Olivia Olson’s real parents remains unknown. However, it is believed that her Swedish biological mother got pregnant with her when she was 15 years old. Her real father was a 42-year-old Jamaican man. Olivia was given up for adoption by her mother and was subsequently adopted by Martin Olson and his wife, Kay Furtado. She grew up with her stepbrother, Casey.
Olivia says that while she enjoys occasional acting and voice-acting roles, she actually wants to become a singer.
She once revealed that while shooting for the film ‘Love Actually,’ she had developed a huge crush on her co-actor Thomas Sangster.