Liv Rundgren Tyler (born Liv Rundgren; July 1, 1977) is an American actress and former model. She is the daughter of Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler, and model Bebe Buell.
Tyler began a career in modeling at the age of 14, but, after less than a year, she decided to focus on acting. After her film debut Silent Fall (1994), she appeared in supporting roles in Empire Records (1995), Heavy (1996) and That Thing You Do! (1996). Tyler later achieved critical recognition in the leading role in Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty (1996), playing a teenage girl visiting her deceased mother's artist friends in Italy. She followed this by appearing in supporting roles including Inventing the Abbotts (1997) and Robert Altman's black comedy Cookie's Fortune (1999).
Tyler achieved international recognition with her portrayal of Elf maiden Arwen Undómiel in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003). She has appeared in an eclectic range of films, including the 2004 comedy Jersey Girl, the indie film Lonesome Jim (2005), the drama Reign Over Me (2007) and big-budget studio films such as Armageddon (1998), the home invasion horror film The Strangers (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). In 2014, Tyler made her television debut on the HBO series The Leftovers in a regular role.
She has served as a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador for the United States in 2003, and as a spokesperson for Givenchy's line of perfume and cosmetics.
Tyler was born Liv Rundgren at Mount Sinai Hospital in East Harlem, New York. She is the only daughter of Bebe Buell, a model, singer, and former Playboy Playmate (Miss November 1974), and Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith. Her mother named her after Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann, after seeing Ullmann on the cover of the March 5, 1977 issue of TV Guide. She is of Italian, German, Polish and English ancestry on her father's side and German ancestry on her mother's side. Tyler has three half-siblings: Mia Tyler (born 1978), Chelsea Anna Tallarico (born 1989), and Taj Monroe Tallarico (born 1991). Her maternal grandmother, Dorothea Johnson, founded the Protocol School of Washington.
From 1972 to 1979, Liv’s mother Bebe Buell lived with rock musician Todd Rundgren. In 1976, Buell became unexpectedly pregnant from a brief relationship with Steven Tyler. On July 1, 1977, Buell gave birth, naming the daughter Liv Rundgren and claiming that Todd Rundgren was the biological father. Rundgren and Buell ended their romantic relationship but Rundgren put his heart and soul into the "white lie". At age eight Liv met Steven Tyler and he noticed a resemblance she shared with his other daughter, Mia. When she asked her mother about the similarity, the secret was revealed. The truth about Tyler's paternity did not become public until six years later in 1991, when she changed her surname from Rundgren to Tyler, but kept the former as a middle name. Buell's stated reason for the initial decision was that Steven was too heavily addicted to drugs at the time of her birth. Since learning the truth about her paternity, Liv and Steven have developed a close relationship. They also have worked together professionally, once when she appeared in Aerosmith's music video for "Crazy" in 1993, and again when Aerosmith performed many of the songs in the film Armageddon (1998) in which Tyler starred.
According to Tyler "... Todd [Rundgren] basically decided when I was born that I needed a father so he signed my birth certificate. He knew that there was a chance that I might not be his but ...." He paid to put her through private school, and she visited him several times a year.
Tyler maintains a close relationship with Rundgren. "I’m so grateful to him, I have so much love for him. You know, when he holds me it feels like Daddy. And he’s very protective and strong."
Tyler attended the Congressional Schools of Virginia, Breakwater School, and Waynflete School in Portland, Maine, before returning to New York City with her mother at age 12. She went to York Preparatory in New York City for junior high and high school after her mother researched the school to accommodate Tyler's ADHD. She also attended, for a time, the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, California. She graduated from York in 1995 and left to continue her acting career. When asked about the way she spent her youth, Tyler said: "For me, I didn’t get much of a childhood in my teen years because I’ve been working since I was 14. But that also kept me out of trouble. When everybody was doing acid and partying like crazy, I was at work on a movie in Tuscany ... having my own fun, of course, but it was a different kind of thing. I have no regrets. I love the way my life has gone."
Tyler received her first modeling job at age 14 with the assistance of Paulina Porizkova, who took pictures of her that ended up in Interview magazine. She later starred in television commercials. She, however, became bored with her modeling career less than a year after it started, and decided to go into acting, although she never took acting lessons. Tyler first became known to television audiences when she starred alongside Alicia Silverstone in the music video for Aerosmith's 1993 song "Crazy".
Tyler made her feature film debut in Silent Fall in 1994, where she played the elder sister of a boy with autism. In 1995, she starred in the comedy drama Empire Records. Tyler has described Empire Records as "one of the best experiences" she has ever had. Soon after, she landed a supporting role in James Mangold's 1996 drama Heavy as Callie, a naive young waitress. The film received favorable reviews; critic Janet Maslin noted: "Ms. Tyler ... gives a charmingly ingenuous performance, betraying no self-consciousness about her lush good looks."
Tyler had her breakthrough role in the art house film Stealing Beauty (1996), in which she played Lucy Harmon, an innocent, romantic teenager who travels to Tuscany, Italy, intent on losing her virginity. The film received generally mixed reviews, but Tyler's performance was regarded favorably by the critics. Variety wrote: "Tyler is the perfect accomplice. At times sweetly awkward, at others composed and serene, the actress appears to respond effortlessly and intuitively to the camera, creating a rich sense of what Lucy is about that often is not explicit in the dialogue." Empire noted, "Liv Tyler (here radiantly resembling a ganglier young Ava Gardner) with a rare opportunity to enamour, a break she capitalizes on with composure." The film was directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, who chose Tyler for the role after meeting with a number of young girls in Los Angeles, including Tyler's music video co-star Alicia Silverstone. Bertolucci said "there was something missing in all of them". He later said that what he saw in Tyler was a gravitas he described as "a New York aura". During promotion of the film, Tyler said she wanted to separate herself from the character during production: "I tried my damnedest not to think of my own situation. But at one point, after a take, I just started to cry and cry. I remembered when I found out about my dad and how we just stared at each other from head to toe taking in every nook and cranny."
She later appeared in That Thing You Do! (1996), a movie about a fictional one-hit wonder rock band called The Wonders, following their whirlwind rise to the top of the pop charts, and just as quickly, their plunge back to obscurity. The film was written and directed by Tom Hanks. It grossed over $25 million worldwide, and was met with favorable reviews. The following year, she appeared in Inventing the Abbotts in 1997, in which she played the daughter of Will Patton and Barbara Williams' characters. The movie is based on a short story by Sue Miller. Entertainment Weekly declared Tyler's performance as "lovely and pliant". That same year, Tyler was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People.
Tyler next appeared in Armageddon (1998), where she played the daughter of Bruce Willis' character and love interest of Ben Affleck's character. The film generated mixed reviews, but it was a box office success, earning $553 million worldwide. The movie included the songs "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and "What Kind of Love Are You On" by Aerosmith. In a 2001 interview with The Guardian, she said that she initially turned down the role in Armageddon; "I really didn't want to do it at first and I turned it down a couple of times, but the biggest reason I changed my mind was because I was scared of it. I wanted to try it for that very reason. I mean, I'm not really in this to do amazing things in my career – I just want it to be special when I make a movie."
She was then cast in the drama Onegin (1999), a film based on the 19th century Russian novel of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, in which she portrayed Tatyana Larina and co-starred with Ralph Fiennes. Tyler was required to master an English accent, though Stephen Holden of The New York Times felt that her approximation of an English accent was "inert". The film was critically and financially unsuccessful. That same year, she appeared in the historical comedy film Plunkett & Macleane.
She later appeared in two films directed by Robert Altman, Cookie's Fortune (1999) and Dr. T & the Women (2000). In Cookie's Fortune, she was part of an ensemble cast that included Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Chris O'Donnell, and Patricia Neal. Her performance was well received among critics; Salon.com wrote: "This is the first time in which Tyler's acting is a match for her beauty (she's always been a bit forlorn). Altman helps her find some snap, but a relaxed, silly snap, as in the cartoon sound she makes when she takes a midday swig of bourbon. The lazy geniality of the movie is summed up by the way Emma [Tyler's character] saunters off to take a swim with her cowboy hat and pint of Wild Turkey." Entertainment Weekly also noted that Tyler is "sweetly gruff as the tomboy troublemaker". In the romantic comedy, Dr. T & the Women, she played Marilyn, a gynecological patient of Richard Gere's character and the lesbian lover of his daughter, played by Kate Hudson.
In 2001, Tyler played the object of infatuation for three men (Matt Dillon, John Goodman, and Paul Reiser) in the comedy One Night at McCool's. In discussion of the role, she said it was "definitely the first part where I had to be so physically aware and have people so aware of me physically. Maybe it's not hard for anybody else, but it is a bit for me. I mean I love my body and I feel very comfortable in my skin but this was tough." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "Tyler, a true beauty, gives the role a valiant try, but her range is too limited to play this amalgam of female perfection."
In 2001, she starred in the feature film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, directed by Peter Jackson. She played the Elf maiden Arwen Undómiel. The film is based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The filmmakers approached Tyler after seeing her performance in Plunkett & Macleane. She learned to speak the fictitious Elvish language that was created by Tolkien. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Tyler's performance was "lovely and earnest".
A year later, Tyler again starred as Arwen in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the second installment of the series. The film received favorable reviews. She spent months learning sword fighting to be used during the concluding battle scenes in The Two Towers, but her scenes were removed after the script was changed. The film was an enormous box office success, earning over $926 million worldwide, out-grossing its predecessor, which earned over $871 million. In 2003, Tyler featured in the third and last installment of the series, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Following the success of The Lord of the Rings, she appeared opposite her Armageddon co-star Ben Affleck in writer-director Kevin Smith's romantic comedy Jersey Girl (2004), playing a woman who meets a widowed father played by Affleck, re-opening his heart to love. In an interview with MTV News, Tyler confessed that she felt "scared and vulnerable" while filming Jersey Girl, adding "I was so used to those other elements of the character [Arwen]. On The Lord of the Rings, a lot of things were done in post-production, whereas this was really just about me and Ben sitting there, just shooting off dialogue." However, she reiterated that doing Jersey Girl was what she wanted to do.
In 2005, she appeared in Steve Buscemi's independent drama Lonesome Jim, where she was cast alongside Casey Affleck, as a single mother and nurse who reconnects with an old fling who has returned to their small town in Indiana after a failed run as a novelist in New York. The film was screened at a special presentation at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Her next appearance in film was in a supporting role as an insightful therapist who tries to help a once-successful dentist (Adam Sandler) cope with the loss of his family in the September 11th attacks in Reign Over Me (2007).
In 2008, she starred in the home invasion horror film The Strangers with Scott Speedman, a film about a young couple who are terrorized one night by three masked assailants in their remote country house. Although the film garnered a mixed reception among critics, it was a major box office success, earning over $80 million over its considerably smaller $9 million budget. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she noted that The Strangers was the most challenging role of her career. "It was as far as I could push myself in every way: physically, emotionally, mentally."
She appeared in The Incredible Hulk (2008), in which she played Dr. Betty Ross, the love interest of the title character, played by Edward Norton. Tyler was attracted to the love story in the script, and was a fan of the television show. She said filming the part was "very physical, which was fun", and compared her performance to "a deer caught in the headlights". The Incredible Hulk was a box office success, earning over $262 million worldwide. The Washington Post, in review of the film, wrote: "Tyler gives Betty an appropriately angelic nimbus of ethereal gentleness as the one Beauty who can tame the Beast ... during their most pivotal encounters."
Tyler appeared in two films released in 2011: Super and The Ledge. In April 2011, publishing house Rodale announced that Tyler and her grandmother Dorothea Johnson, an etiquette expert, have written a book called Modern Manners. It was released October 29, 2013.
In 2014, she appeared in Space Station 76, a film directed by Jack Plotnick, starring also Matt Bomer and Patrick Wilson.
In June 2014, Tyler began appearing as a regular in the HBO television series The Leftovers.
In 2016, Tyler took on a role opposite Bel Powley in the fantasy/horror drama Wildling directed by Fritz Böhm. The film also marks her debut as a producer.
Tyler moved to London in late 2016 and quickly landed a role in the BBC/HBO mini-series Gunpowder co-starring Kit Harington, and joined the second season of the ITV/Hulu period drama Harlots as a new series regular.
In 1998, Tyler began dating British musician Royston Langdon of the band Spacehog. They became engaged in February 2001, and married in Barbados on March 25, 2003. On December 14, 2004, she gave birth to a son, Milo William Langdon. On May 8, 2008, the couple confirmed through representatives that they would be separating. In June 2010, Tyler stated she was "far too sensitive" for casual dates, adding "I fall in love once in a blue moon."
Tyler and her partner David Gardner, a sports and entertainment manager, have two children together, son Sailor Gene (born 11 February 2015) and daughter Lula Rose (born 9 July 2016).
Tyler was formerly a vegan, but later began to eat meat. In 2003, she became the spokesperson for Givenchy perfume and cosmetics; in 2005 the brand named a rose after her, which was used in one of its fragrances. In 2009, Tyler signed on for two more years as Givenchy spokesperson. On December 8, 2011, Givenchy announced a collaboration between Givenchy perfumes and Sony Music. In the video released on February 7, 2012, Liv Tyler covered the INXS song "Need You Tonight".
Tyler learned transcendental meditation in New York City. In December 2012, she participated in a charity gala for the David Lynch Foundation to provide transcendental meditation to disadvantaged sections of society. At the event she said, "it helps me make better decisions and be a better mother, and just deal with the daily stress of the modern world that we live in. It helps with everything."
Tyler is an active supporter of the charitable United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). She was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United States in 2003. In November 2004, she hosted the lighting of the UNICEF Snowflake in New York City. Tyler also served as spokesperson for the 2004 Givenchy Mother's Day promotion, in support of UNICEF's Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus campaign.
Since 2004, she has donated to the Women's Cancer Research Fund to support innovative research, education, and outreach directed at the development of more effective approaches to the early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all women's cancers. In October 2007, Tyler, along with her mother Bebe Buell and her grandmother Dorothea Johnson, helped launch the Emergen-C Pink energy drink, in which the event was in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month.