Although born in New York, Wilde was raised in Washington D.C. and went to school there, as well as in Massachusetts, where she graduated in 2002. Her father, Andrew Cockburn, is Irish, giving her dual US and Irish nationality and facilitating her brief study at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland.
After appearing in the short-lived US TV show, "Skin" (2003), she made her Hollywood debut in The Girl Next Door (2004) and then came to public notice in "The O.C." (2003), but it was as "Dr. 'Thirteen' Hadley" in "House M.D." (2004) that she achieved international stardom.