Mia Farrow (born Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow; February 9, 1945) is an American actress, singer, and former fashion model. Farrow has appeared in more than forty-five films and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe award (and seven additional Golden Globe nominations), five BAFTA Film Award nominations, and a win for best actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Farrow is also notable for her extensive humanitarian work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is involved in humanitarian activities in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic. In 2008, she was selected by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
Farrow was born as Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Australian film director John Farrow and Irish actress Maureen O'Sullivan. She was raised Roman Catholic. Her sisters are Prudence and actors Stephanie and Tisa. She has three brothers: Michael Damien (1939–1958), Patrick Joseph (1942–2009) and John Charles (born 1946). For the most part, she grew up in Beverly Hills in Southern California, and often traveled with her parents for films that were produced on location. She made her film debut in a 1947 short subject with her mother; the short was about famous mothers and their children modeling the latest fashions for families.
Farrow screen-tested for the role of Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but did not get the part. The footage has been preserved, and appears on the fortieth Anniversary Edition DVD of The Sound of Music. Farrow began her acting career by appearing in supporting roles in several 1960s films. However, she achieved stardom on the popular primetime soap opera Peyton Place as naive, waif-like Allison MacKenzie, a role she later abandoned at the urging of first husband Frank Sinatra. Her first leading film role was in Rosemary's Baby (1968), which was a critical and commercial success at the time and continues to be widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre.