David Paul Olsen is not the most famous individual one would meet, though he has made appearances in some popular productions, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, NCIS: LA, and Swiss Army Man. Perhaps the case would be different if Hollywood gave as much attention to the stuntmen and women as much as it does the actors.
He began his acting career in 2006 but most of his works are as a stuntman. Regardless, for hardcore fans of Hollywood and celebrity culture, he is a known personality, not just for his work, but also his relationships – both romantic and familial.
David Paul Olsen Grew Up in Middle America
The actor was born in Moline, Illinois, on January 2, 1976. He grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, together with his brother Eric Olsen who is a more established onscreen actor. Both were raised by their parents, Jeanne D. Olsen and Paul Olsen. His mother, Jeanne, is a non-denominational chaplain, while his father, Paul, worked as a head track and cross-country coach for Augustana College. He was also an English professor.
As his last name suggests, David has Scandinavian heritage, specifically of Norwegian descent. There is no information regarding where he got his education. But we know that his brother, Eric, attended Bettendorf Middle and High School. So, there is a likelihood that David went to the same school.
There is no known detail about his background that suggests an inclination towards acting or stunt work. Yet, in 2006, he started his Hollywood career in that capacity and has been working ever since.
The Road to Fame
To discuss how David Paul Olsen became famous would suggest he is a famous name in the first place. While he does have a more prominent name recognition than the average Joe, by Hollywood standards, he is an average Joe.
Regardless, his life in the industry began in 2006, when he did his first stunt work for the TV movie, Deceit. He worked as a stunt man for two years before he got his first credited role as an actor. Specifically, as a voice actor in the video game, Resistance 2.
Although he made his first on-screen appearance in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), as an unnamed soldier in the strike force team, his first named role came in 2014. He played Smith in two episodes of The Last Ship.
Since then, David Paul Olsen has had further named appearances in seven other productions. They include Too Old to Die Young, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Shut Eye. While that seems small and unimpressive, it is worth noting that his real profession in Hollywood lies behind the screen as a stuntman.
David’s Long and Back-breaking Stunt Career
There is a lot of dangerous work that goes into making the action scenes that we’ve come to love and enjoy in Hollywood productions. Often times, these sequences are carried out by professional stuntmen and women whose faces and actions are digitally replaced with the main actor in post-production. David Paul Olsen is one of these professionals, and he has done a lot of stunts.
Since his first stunt work for Deceit in 2006, he has worked on a further 56 productions, across movies, video games, and TV shows. Some of his works include The Young and the Restless, Bones, The Leftovers, Ozark, Z Nation, Lethal Weapon, and several more. Since 2006, he has worked on a project every year to date, except for 2011.
Some of the actors David Paul Olsen has done stunt work for include Alexander Skarsgård, Timothy Olyphant, and Eric Christian Olsen, among others. His 6 feet 2 inches physique, athletic build and body features like blue eyes and light brown hair, makes him a much sought-after double for actors with similar body profile.
Stunt Work Has Earned Him A Comfortable Life
There is no denying that not only do stunt people go unrecognized for their role in Hollywood, they are also not as well paid as actors. However, almost two decades of working in the industry have helped David Paul Olsen amass a significant degree of wealth, enough to live a comfortable life.
How comfortable? The exact figures depend on who you ask, as most outlets report between $1 million and $7 million. The truth supposedly lies in the middle. Whatever the stuntman’s net worth is, it is amply complemented by his wife, Daniela Ruah, who has a net worth of $7 million. She makes her money from a long and lucrative career as an actress, starring in major roles like Kensi Blye in NCIS: Los Angeles.
What We Know about David Paul Olsen’s Personal Life
David might be the tough man at work but he is equally a loving husband and doting dad at home.
Married Life With Daniela Ruah Since 2014
David Paul Olsen is married to NCIS actress Daniela Ruah. The two met after a subtle matchmaking play by his brother, Eric Olsen, who incidentally plays Daniela’s partner onscreen.
The stuntman started dating the Portuguese-American actress in 2011. By June 19, 2014, they became man and wife following a wedding ceremony held in Lisbon, Portugal.
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Thank you 3 for giving me this day… You are my dream family and everything I’d hoped for. Sometimes its tough to play this role but Its worth every second. Happy Mother’s Day to my mama and thank you for teaching me all the do’s and don’ts of motherhood, but mostly to just lead with unconditional love. Thank you to my mother-in-law for treating me like her very own from the very beginning ♥️ . Obrigada a estes 3 por me darem este dia. São a família que sempre sonhei e esperava ter. Por vezes é difícil interpretar este papel mas dou valor a cada segundo. Feliz Dia da Mãe à minha mamã que me ensinou o que se deve e não se deve fazer, mas acima de tudo ensinou-me a viver com amor incondicional. Obrigada à minha sogra por me tratar como filha desde o princípio♥️ . 📸 @jtunberg (2016) . #mothersday #blackandwhite #4 #hubby #river #sierra #mama #mother #kids #parenthood #family #familia #love #ourcubs #luckyme #lucky #grateful
A few months before walking down the aisle, the couple had their first child together, River Isaac Ruah Olsen. In 2016, their family expanded with the birth of their second child named Sierra Esther Ruah Olsen. Before the birth of their second child, Daniela reportedly suffered a miscarriage in 2015 after nine weeks of pregnancy.
His Other Family Members
David Paul Olsen was brought up in a small family by his parents, along with a sibling who is an actor. His younger brother Eric Olsen began his acting career in 1997 with an appearance in Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. In 1998, he was in Black Cat Run.
Eric Olsen has come to be famous for his roles in NCIS: Los Angeles, which he has been a part of since 2010. Also, he has starred in Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2016) and Robot Chicken (2018).
Eric is also not the only actor in the family. Their mother, Jeanne D. Olsen, appeared in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. She appeared alongside real-life mothers of other actors like Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J.