Actress Olivia Munn was born July 3, 1980 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her mother, who is of Chinese descent, was born and raised in Vietnam and fled to the United States in the 1970s. Her biological father was American, but her mother remarried when Olivia was two, and she was mostly raised in Tokyo where her stepfather was stationed in the U.S. Air Force.
When Olivia was a teenager, her mother and stepfather divorced and she returned to Oklahoma, where she finished high school. She went on to study journalism at the University of Oklahoma, interned at Tulsa’s NBC affiliate, and after graduation moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
In L.A. Olivia interned at Fox Sports and then landed a job there as a sideline reporter. Not thrilled with sideline reporting, Olivia moved on to acting, appearing in the straight-to-video Scarecrow Gone Wild, a music video by Zebrahead, and National Lampoon’s Strip Poker. In 2005 she began playing a teen surfer on the cable series Beyond the Break, and a year later joined the G4 network, co-hosting Attack of the Show! with Kevin Pereira.
Olivia appeared in several films, including Big Stan, Date Night, and Iron Man 2, before landing a spot as a correspondent on The Daily Show on Comedy Central. She appeared in 16 episodes in 2010 and 2011. More movie roles followed, including I Don’t Know How She Does It, Magic Mike, and Freeloaders. In 2012 Olivia was cast as Sloan Sabbith on Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom on HBO.
“Journalism school ended up being the best preparation I could have had for doing both The Daily Show and this project,” Olivia told Rolling Stone. “Instead of mimicking some idea of what a journalist does, or having my idea of being a reporter based solely on someone you’d see on TV, I could pull things from my own experience.”
In addition to her acting, Olivia has written a book (“Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek”) and done modeling work for Nike, Pepsi, and Neutrogena. Her good looks have also landed her in plenty of magazines, including Playboy, Maxim, FHM, Vanity Fair, and Men’s Health, and on several Hot 100 and Hot Hollywood lists. Olivia has also posed for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur” campaign.
“It is possible in this world to be pretty and funny and successful all at the same time,” Olivia told Vanity Fair.