Olivia D'Abo


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In "The Wonder Years": 
Karen Arnold (Kevin's sister)

Episodes with focus on her: 20, 45, 67, 77, 90, 91

  • Olivia D'Abo left the permanent staff in episode 91, after Karen's marriage to Michael she moves to Alaska. But she is still listed to the end of the season and appeares in end titles of last episode as special appearance.
  • Young Karen Arnold is played by Jodie Rae 20, 24, 30, 33, 35.
Karen's boyfriends: 
Louis John Corbett in episode 4
Michael, later her husband David Schwimmer in episodes 67, 77, 90, 91


Birthday: January 22nd, 1967 in London 
Parents: Michael d'Abo (former Manfred Mann lead singer & song writer, now a BBC broadcaster, producer and radio talk show host in London) and Maggie London (actress with feature roles in "A Hard Days Night" and "2001" & model) 
Olivia's brother  Benjamin in one year older than she. She is the cousin of the actress Maryam d'Abo who looks a bit like her but is older (27 December 1960, London, England). Olivia was a single mom living in L. A. with her 3-year-old son Oliver (April 1999). She is engaged to actor Thomas Jane (June 2000).


  • Olivia d'Abo spent her first eight years in London and attended a French school. Her father Michael remembers: "She used to compose songs at the age of 3. I remember riding in the car and she would make up songs about cats." But until the family left England in 1976 for an artists' colony of Taos, New Mexico, all her songs were in French. Olivia recalls: "I went to a French school, and it was more or less my first language. I didn't know how to read and write English until I came to this country." At the artists' colony she got involved in theatre music and dance. At the age of 13, she moved to Los Angeles.
  • She has done her first commercial (for McDonald's) at the age of 13.
  • Olivia bought a house with her cousin, actress Maryam d'Abo, whom she calls "Grandma". That was a levelheaded real-estate investment she made at the age of 19 to avoid "piddling my money down the toilet every month."
  • Later, when "The Wonder Years" was produced, she often asked Jason Hervey and Fred Savage for spontaneous rap sessions. "All my music is very simple, just piano and voice," she says. "It's like Carole King or Rickie Lee Jones, a lot of ballads and honky-tonk."
  • When Olivia's agent brought her the first script for "The Wonder Years" in 1987, she knew it was something special. ("The script just had so much wonder and mysticism to it.") To win the part of Karen Arnold, she spent weeks researching the '60s and showed up for the auditions in tie-dyed duds and love beads.
  • About the same time the fourth season of "The Wonder Years" started, Olivia went off to college. Later, she studied at the London Royal Ballet Theatre for a short time. She also participated in Robert Redford's acting workshops at the Sundance Institute.
  • When D'Abo and Julian Lennon were introduced by mutual friends at Olivia's 21st-birthday party, they immediately hit it off. "When we met each other, we spent the whole evening playing different things on the piano together," she says. "I've never met anyone who was as much like me as Julian. He's like a male version of me." She thinks one of the reasons is the similarity of their childhoods. "We have the same background and influences, coming out of the 1960s from our parents," she says. "It's funny." Olivia has a background-vocals credit on his 1991 album "Help Yourself."
  • She is a master of foreign accents and of physical comedy.
  • She refused a regular spot on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," because she didn't want to make the five-year commitment. Instead, she appeared on stage in the Mark Taper Forum production of "Scenes from an Execution" and in L.A. Theater's a capella musical "It's a Girl." 
  • In 1996, Dan Ireland directed "The Whole Wide World" starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger. Zellweger's role was originally developed with Olivia d'Abo in mind. But Olivia was five months pregnant when the film went into production, and, as a result, was unable to appear. 
  • Olivia plays a role on "Party of Five," in which Neve Campbell's character (Julia) "experiments" with lesbianism with Olivia's character. "Entertainment Weekly" (April 30, 1999, #483) contained a short article about Olivia (with a

  • picture) that quotes her regarding PO5, in which she plays a gay professor: "There's no big lesbian affair ... We do share one rather nice kiss but, like, GET OVER IT already." Olivia will also portray a porn star in the upcoming independent film "The Velocity of Gary."  Though she only has seven minutes of screen time, "Olivia steals every scene she's in," according to the film's director, Dan Ireland. The article also contained some background bio info (growing up, who her parents are, her McDonald's commercial at age 13) which are consistent with this bio. 
  • On the web it was mentioned that Olivia went to Apple school and is now a former scientogist.
  • There is a fanclub: 

  • Olivia D'Abo 
    1122 South Robertson Boulevard 
    Suite Suite 15 
    Los Angeles, CA 90035
Title Character she played Year Type
The Enemy Penny Johnson 2001 Movie
"Disney's the Legend of Tarzan"  Jane Porter (voice) 2001 TV series
"Justice League" Carol Ferris/Star Sapphire (voice) 2001 TV series
The Triangle Charlotte "Charlie" Duval 2001 TV movie
It Had To Be You Tracy Meltempi 2000 Movie
Seven Girlfriends Hannah 2000 Movie
Till the End of Time ? 2000 Movie
A Texas Funeral Charlotte 1999 Movie
Soccer Dog: The Movie Elena 1998 Movie
The Velocity of Gary Veronica 1998 Movie
Hacks Lynn 1997 Movie
National Lampoon's Dads Week Off Cherice 1997 TV movie
"The Single Guy"  Marie Blake 1996-1997 TV series
"Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm" voice of 
Sonya Blade
1995 Animated 
TV series
The Big Green
Other Link
Anna Montgomery 1995 Movie
Kicking and Screaming Jane Hayworth 1995 Movie
Live Nude Girls Chris 1995 Movie
Clean Slate Judy 1994 Movie
Greedy Molly Richardson 1994 Movie
The Last Good Time Charlotte Zwicki 1994 Movie
Bank Robber Selina 1993 Movie
For Love and Glory Emily Doyle 1993 TV movie
Point of No Return
aka The Assassin
Angela 1993 Movie
Wayne's World 2 Betty Jo 1993 Movie
Midnight's Child Anna Bergman 1992 TV movie
The Spirit of '76 Chanel-6 1990 Movie
Another Chance unknown 1989 Movie
Beyond the Stars
aka Personal Choice
Mara Simons 1989 Movie
The Wonder Years Karen Arnold 1987-1993 TV series
Crash Course
aka Driving Academy
Maria Abeja 1988 TV movie
Into the Fire
aka Legend of Lone Wolf 
Liette 1987 Movie
The Mission ... Kill Rebel Girl 1987 Movie
Really Weird Tales unknown 1987 TV movie
Bullies Becky 1986 Movie
aka Dream to Believe
Robin 1986 Movie
Bolero Paloma 1984 Movie
Conan the Destroyer
other link
Princess Jehnna 1984 Movie

Guest Star in:

TV Series  as in Episode Date
"The Twilight Zone" Shannon

The Lineman (1.6)
The Lineman (1.11)


"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" Dr. Elizabeth Hitchens / Nicole Wallace Anti-Thesis (2.3) 10/13/02
"Justice League" Star Sapphire (voice)
Star Sapphire (voice)
Star Sapphire (voice)
Star Sapphire (voice)
Morgan Le Fay (voice)
Fury (Part 1) (1.14)
Fury (Part 2) (1.15)
Injustice for All (Part 1) (1.18)
Injustice for All (Part 2) (1.19)
A Knight of Shadows (Part 1) (1.22)
A Knight of Shadows (Part 2) (1.23)


"Invader ZIM" TAK (voice) TAK: The Hideous New Girl (1.20) 05/10/02
"Spin City"  Allison The Arrival (6.1)
A Tree Falls in Manhattan (6.2)
"3rd Rock from the Sun" Andrea Dick Solomon's Day Off (5.20) 05/16/00
"Party of Five"  Perry Marks  Fragile (5.22)
I'll Show you Mine (5.23)
Haunted (5.24)
"Batman Beyond"  Ten/Melanie Walker (voice)
Ten/Melanie Walker (voice)
Melanie (voice)
Dead Man's Hand (1.8)
Once Burned (2.7)
King's Ransom (3.1)
"Fantasy Island" Florence Jenkins Secret Self (1.5) 10/24/98
"The Wild Thornberrys" Jao (voice) Only Child (1.8) 10/01/98
"The Single Guy" Deliah The Single Guy - Pilot (1.1) 09/21/95
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Amanda Rogers True Q (6.6) 10/24/92
"The Bronx Zoo" Terri Avila Behind Closed Doors (2.4) 03/30/88
"Tour of Duty" Leslie Soldiers (1.15) 02/18/88
"Simon & Simon" Alison Tyner Shadows (7.4) 01/07/88
"Growing Pains"  Wendy
Superdad (1.5)
Employee Of The Month (2.5)

(Movie Database checked November 2002, check again)

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Copyright © 1996-2002 of reynders@merck.de Peter Reynders.