British actress Olivia Williams has had a career spanning film, stage and television. She was born on July 26, 1968 in Camden Town, London, England to parents who were both barristers. Olivia obtained her degree in English literature from Newnham College, Cambridge, and she later studied drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for two years. Upon graduation, she worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and soon toured the United States in a production of Shakespeare’s Richard III with Ian McKellen.
In 1996, Olivia Williams appeared on the British TV film Emma, based on the novel by Jane Austen. The next year, Williams made her cinema debut in the film test The Postman, after doing a screen test with Kevin Costner. Later, she beat four well-known actresses for the part of Rosemary Cross in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. In 1999, she played Bruce Willis’ wife on the blockbuster hit The Sixth Sense.
Since then, Olivia Williams built up her career by appearing on several independent features, which were mostly British productions. These include Lucky Break in 2001 and The Heart of Me in 2002. For the latter, she won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress. Later on, she was cast as Mrs. Darling in the 2003 film adaptation of Peter Pan. At that time, she was cast as the title character in Agatha Christie: A Life in Pictures, portraying the novelist herself. This was followed by voice work in Valiant, then parts in Tara Road, Mockingbird, and Krakatoa: The Last Days. She soon received an uncredited role in X-Men: The Last Stand, as the character Dr. Moira MacTaggart. In 2007, Williams got a role on Damage, and followed it up with performances on Broken Lines and Flashbacks of a Fool. In 2008, she was cast as Jane Austen in a TV production titled Miss Austen Regrets. That year, Williams was chosen to portray Adelle DeWitt in the Joss Whedon series Dollhouse, which aired on Fox in 2009.