Who is Tao Ruspoli?

Italian-American moviemaker, musician and photographer Tao dei Principi Ruspoli, was born in Bangkok, Thailand on 7 November 1975, making Scorpio his zodiac sign. He’s probably known best for two things: being a co-founder of the annual art festival The Bombay Beach Biennale held in Bombay Beach, California, and for being a former husband of Olivia Wilde, a famous American actress, film producer and director.

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Family and education

Tao was raised in both Los Angeles, California and Rome, Italy, alongside his younger brother Bartolomeo Ruspoli, by their Italian father Alessandro ‘Dado’, Principe Ruspoli who was an actor and aristocrat, and died aged 80 on 11 January 2005, and mother Debra Berger who’s an American actress, and is still today active in the film industry at the age of 66.

Tao has a half-brother Francesco Ruspoli, 10th Prince of Cerveteri from his father’s second marriage to French aristocrat Nancy de Girard de Charbonnieres, and a half-brother Don Theodore Alexandre dei Principi Ruspoli and half-sister Donna Mathilde Melusine dei Principi Ruspoli from his third marriage with Theresa Patricia Genest; Tao’s parents weren’t married.

He became interested in moviemaking while attending a local high school, but was still more focused on his education; he was into several other activities during his teenage years, as he enjoyed playing soccer with his peers, was on the school’s debating team, and took creative writing lessons.

Upon matriculating in 1994, Tao enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1998.

Directing credits

Tao’s directing debut was the 2002 short documentary movie “Just Say Know”, and the following year saw him direct both the short film “El Cable”, and the short biographical movie “This Film Needs No Title: A Portrait of Raymond Smullyan”.

He directed the 2005 documentary movie “Flamenco: A Personal Journey”, and his first notable work was perhaps on the 2008 drama movie “Fix”, which starred Shawn Andrew and Olivia Wilde, and was written by Charles Castaldi and Paul Duran. It follows Milo as he’s driving his brother to rehab, and the movie won nine of its 11 award nominations.

Tao went on to direct the 2008 documentary film “Behind the Wheel”, the 2010 documentary movie “Being in the World”, and the 2011 short comedy film “Oh Shit with Oliver Stone & Ryan Hansen”.

The year 2012 saw him direct the short musical movie “Nothing Like This”, and his only other directing credit has been the 2014 historical documentary film “Monogamish”, which he also wrote. The film starred Diana Adams and Stephanie Coontz, and follows Tao as he’s recovering from his and Olivia’s divorce.

Producing credits

Tao’s producing debut was the above mentioned 2004 movie “El Cable”, and the year 2006 saw him produce the comedy film “Camjackers”, which starred 2Mex and Aceyalone, and was written and directed by Julian Dahl. It follows two wealthy film school graduates as they’re shooting a movie in the streets of Los Angeles, but their equipment’s just been hijacked.

Tao produced the 2008 documentary movie “Behind the Wheel”, and then worked on the popular 2009 documentary film “American Casino”, which starred Ben Bernanke and Sheila Dixon, and was written and directed by Leslie Cockburn. It covers the Wall Street meltdown, and the film won a Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Documentary by or About Women.

Tao produced the 2010 animated news documentary film “2012: Time for Change”, which starred Maude Barlow and Daniel Pinchbeck, and was directed by Joao G. Amorim. It covers potential ways in which we could turn unsustainable society into a regenerative planetary culture, and the movie was nominated for a New Media Film Festival Award.

Tao’s only other producing credit has been the 2014 biographical historical documentary movie “Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary”. It starred John Perry Barlow and Dean Chamberlain, was directed by Gay Dillingham, and follows the friendship between Harvard psychology professors Richard Alpert aka Ram Dass and Timothy Leary.

Other work

Tao starred in the 2021 short fantasy movie “Wasteplanet”.

He’s received special thanks for the soon-to-be-released short horror comedy movie “Smoking Kills”.

Tao’s currently working on several upcoming projects, but is yet to reveal details about these.

Awards and nominations

Tao’s won nine of his 11 award nominations. Some of his wins include a Santa Barbara International Film Festival Heineken Red Star Award, a Strasbourg International Film Festival Prize for Best of the Fest and a Twin Rivers Media Festival Prize for Best Feature Film, all three for “Fix” and in 2008.

Love life and wife

Tao and Olivia exchanged vows in a large ceremony in Washington, Virginia on 7 June 2003; after close to eight years of childless marriage, both revealed on their social media accounts that they had separated on 8 February 2011.

Olivia filed for divorce on 3 March 2011, and it was finalized on 29 September 2011; she didn’t seek spousal support, and she and Tao came to an agreement on property division.

Tao’s since been keeping the details of his love life away from media, and seems to be single as of June 2023.

Olivia, on the other hand, began dating American comedian and actor Daniel Jason Sudeikis in November 2011; she gave birth to their son in 2014, and their daughter followed in 2016, but the two broke up in November 2020. She then dated American singer-songwriter Harry Edward Styles from January 2021 through November 2022.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Tao’s divorce from Olivia wasn’t easy for him, and he took some time to heal after it was finalized, disappearing from the media’s attention; he’s revealed it was especially hard because she began dating Daniel Jason Sudeikis only a couple of months after their split. Some of Tao’s fans believe that Olivia was actually having an affair with Daniel while still married to Tao, but this remains unconfirmed.

Tao’s followed by nearly 15,000 people on Instagram, and has posted close to 4,500 pictures and videos onto the network.

He’s still an avid pianist.

Tao’s a philanthropist, and enjoys helping underprivileged children through various charity organizations.

One of his favorite film directors is Steven Spielberg, and some of his favorite movies include “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, “Jaws” and “Schindler’s List”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Tao’s age is 47. He has brown hair and eyes, is 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall and weighs around 145lbs (66kgs).

Tao’s net worth’s been estimated at over $9 million, as of June 2023, and his former wife Olivia’s at over $10 million.

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