Mary-Kate Olsen

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For details about Mary-Kate Olsen's career and activities shared with her sister, see Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen 2011 Shankbone.jpg
Olsen attending the premiere of The Union at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011
Born (1986-06-13) June 13, 1986 (age 28)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress (1987–2012),
fashion designer, author, producer, businesswoman
Years active 1987–present
Partner(s) Olivier Sarkozy (2012-present)
Relatives Ashley Olsen (twin sister)
Elizabeth Olsen (sister)

Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986)[1] is an American actress, fashion designer, producer, author, and businesswoman. She co-founded luxury fashion brands The Row, Elizabeth and James, and the more affordable lines Olsenboye and StyleMint alongside her twin sister Ashley Olsen. Olsen pursued acting independently as an adult until 2012.[2]

Birth and family[edit]

Olsen was born in Sherman Oaks, California, the daughter of Jarnette "Jarnie" (née Jones;[3] b. 1954), a personal manager, and David "Dave" Olsen, a real estate developer and mortgage banker.[4] Along with her twin, Ashley, she has an older brother, Trent; a younger sister, Elizabeth (who is also an actress), and two other siblings from her father's second marriage to McKenzie.[2] Olsen's parents divorced in 1996.[5]


Acting career[edit]

Along with Ashley, Olsen was cast at the age of nine months to share the role of Michelle Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House. The Olsen twins portrayed Michelle throughout the series' 1987–95 run. In the early 1990s, she and Ashley established a company, Dualstar, which produced a long string of TV movies and direct-to-video releases featuring the girls. The Olsens continued to release direct-to-video films up to the early 2000s, along with starring in the 1995 feature film It Takes Two. In 1997, the Olsen twins guest starred in an episode of Sister, Sister, alongside fellow twin actresses Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry. After Full House, the sisters starred in two other sitcoms (Two of a Kind and So Little Time) and an animated series (Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!). The former lasted one season while the latter ran for two seasons. These ventures, combined with an array of licensing deals for their names and likenesses, made Olsen wealthy at a young age. In 2004, Olsen's wealth was estimated at $137 million.[6]

Olsen and her sister became co-presidents of Dualstar upon their eighteenth birthday. Olsen's first solo acting appearance was in the movie Factory Girl, released in December 2006. Olsen's one short scene was ultimately cut from theatrical release, but was included on the film's DVD. In 2007, the sisters said that if they became involved in movies together again it would be as producers.[7] Olsen had a recurring role on Weeds as 'Tara Lindman-)'.[8] In 2008, she appeared The Wackness as 'Union'. At the Sundance Film Festival, Academy Award–winner Sir Ben Kingsley, her co-star' praised her.[citation needed] In 2008 Olsen also made a guest appearance on the ABC comedy Samantha Who? as a self-destructive girl that Samantha tries to help.[9] Olsen appeared in the motion picture adaption of the Alex Flinn novel Beastly.[10]

Olsen at the premiere of the Woody Allen film Whatever Works at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

In March of 2012, both Mary-Kate and Ashley indicated their interest to retire as actresses in order to focus on their careers in fashion.[11] Mary-Kate and Ashley felt that their futures were in fashion, and not in acting. They discussed wanting to open a store as one of their future fashion-based endeavors.[12][13]


Main article: Dualstar

In 1993, following Mary-Kate and Ashley's success on Full House, a limited liability company, Dualstar was created to produce Mary-Kate and Ashley-branded products.

In 2004, both Mary-Kate and Ashley took control of Dualstar, becoming joint-CEOs and presidents of the company, which at the had its merchandise being carried in over 3,000 stores in America and 5,300 stores worldwide.

Net worth and influence[edit]

Mary-Kate and her twin Ashley's success has been marked by their inclusion on every Forbes The Celebrity 100 list since 2002,[citation needed]. In 2007 Forbes ranked the twins jointly as the eleventh-richest women in entertainment, with an estimated combined net worth of $100 million.[14]

Fashion career[edit]

Following a high volume of public interest in their fashion choices, the sisters began work in collaboration on a string of fashion lines available to the public. Starting as young girls, the Olsen twins started a clothing line in Wal-Mart stores across America for girls ages 4 to 14 as well as a beauty line called "Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls". In 2004 they made news by signing a pledge to allow all the workers that sew their line of clothing in Bangladesh full maternity leave. The National Labor Committee, which organized the pledge, later praised the twins for their commitment to worker rights.[15]

In 2006, in an attempt to gain credibility in the fashion industry after their association with Wal-Mart tarnished their reputations, they were tapped as the faces of the upscale fashion line Badgley Mischka.[16]

As adults, the Olsen twins have devoted much of their attention to the world of fashion. They head a couture fashion label, "The Row," as well as "Elizabeth and James", "Olsenboye", and "StyleMint"[17] retail collections. Mary-Kate's sometimes controversial fashion choices have often found her on both the best[18][19] and worst dressed fashion lists, particularly for her decision to wear fur.[20] Mary-Kate and Ashley designed an Olsenboye Change Purse in 2011 and donated the money to "Pennies From Heaven".[21]

In 2011, Mary-Kate and Ashley teamed up with TOMS Shoes to design footwear for kids without shoes in more than 20 countries worldwide.[22] Mary-Kate and Ashley are now the creative directors for Superga.[23] Mary-Kate and Ashley released an Elizabeth and James perfume in Spring 2013.[24] The girls won the top prize at the 2012 CFDA Fashion Awards.[25] StyleMint is now available in the UK.[26]

In October 2012, Mary-Kate and Ashley won the WSJ magazine Innovator of The Year Award.[27]


In 2008, the Olsen twins co-authored Influence, a book featuring interviews with fashion designers that have inspired the twins' fashion lines.[28]

Personal life[edit]

In 2004, Olsen graduated from Campbell Hall School and began attending New York University with Ashley. Both of them withdrew from NYU the following year, a few months apart, and returned to California. Also in 2005, Olsen ended her romance with Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III. "I miss him and I adore him," Olsen said. "It's a hurtful and a painful subject." When asked if there was a specific reason for her leaving NYU, she replied, "I think we can all guess."[29]

Olsen dated Maxwell Snow, the younger brother of the late New York-based artist Dash Snow, from September 2006 until mid-2007.[30] In 2008, Olsen dated artist Nate Lowman. The two split in February 2010.[1] In May 2012, Olsen began dating Olivier Sarkozy, half brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also 17 years her senior.[31] On March 2, 2014, it was reported that Olsen and Sarkozy were engaged.[32]

Health issues[edit]

In mid-2004, Olsen announced she had entered treatment for an eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.[33] A Got Milk? ad featuring the twins was pulled following the announcement.[34][35] On November 20, 2007, she was hospitalized for a reported kidney infection.[36]

Death of Heath Ledger[edit]

Mary-Kate was a close friend of late actor Heath Ledger.[37][38][39] After discovering Ledger unconscious in his bed in January 2008, his masseuse called Olsen twice before contacting police. Olsen sent a private security guard to the scene.[40]

Responding to a claim by an anonymous law enforcement official that she would not speak to federal investigators without a promise of legal immunity, Olsen's attorney Michael C. Miller said, "We have provided the government with relevant information including facts in the chronology of events surrounding Mr. Ledger's death and the fact that Ms. Olsen does not know the source of the drugs Mr. Ledger consumed".[41]


For productions in which Mary-Kate appeared with her sister Ashley, see Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Factory Girl Molly Spencer/Art Gallery Patron
2007 Weeds Tara Lindman TV series (8 episodes)
2008 Samantha Who? Natalie Episode: "Help!"
2008 The Wackness Union
2011 Beastly Kendra Hilferty

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Mary-Kate Olsen". People. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Olsen twins: We’re all about fashion". Yahoo! News. May 11, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Birth of Mary-Kate Olsen". n.d. 
  4. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen Biography (1986- )". n.d. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Tauber, Michelle (May 3, 2004). "Two Cool". People. Vol. 61 No. 17
  6. ^ Hopkins, Jim (May 6, 2005). "Billion-dollar teens take business seriously". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  7. ^ Act 2 for the Olsen twins: A fashion career
  8. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen steps out solo as "Weeds" regular". Reuters. May 24, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen Guest Stars on Samantha Who?". People. June 24, 2008. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ "A 'Beastly' Halloween Treat Features Mary-Kate Olsen". October 30, 2009. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Olsen twins: We won't act again". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 7, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Mary-Kate, Ashley Olsen 'want to launch shop'". Digital Spy. May 30, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ "'We think big... huge!': Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen pose in pyjamas as they reveal secrets behind their billion dollar empire". Daily Mail. March 23, 2011
  14. ^ Goldman, Lea and Kiri Blakeley (December 18, 2007). "In Pictures: The Richest 20 Women In Entertainment". Forbes.
  15. ^ Grossberg, Josh. Mary-Kate, Ashley: No Sweat. E! Online. December 9, 2004.
  16. ^ Hall, Sarah.Olsen Twins Strike a Pose. E! Online. February 16, 2006.
  17. ^ "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launch StyleMint". SheKnows. July 7, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ Balser, Erin (June 25, 2009). "Mary-Kate and Ashley are on Glamour UK's Best Dressed List". Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ Lomrantz, Tracey (February 24, 2010). "Best Dressed In The Front Row Of Burberry: Vote Now! : Slaves to Fashion: Fashion". Glamour. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ "peta2's 'Worst-Dressed' Celebrities 2009 |". PETA. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  21. ^ Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Create a Change Purse for Charity. (August 8, 2011). Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  22. ^ Olsen Twins Join Forces with TOMS Shoes. (July 22, 2011). Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  23. ^ Mary Kate & Ashley team with Italian sneaker brand Superga. (September 13, 2011). Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  24. ^ Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Launch Perfume For Elizabeth and James Brand
  25. ^ Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Win Top Prize At CFDA Fashion Awards
  26. ^ Fashion's favourite twins Mary-Kate and Ashley launch high-street clothing line alongside Cheryl Cole's shoes
  27. ^ Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen complete their transformation from child stars to serious designers as they are honoured for fashion label The Row
  28. ^ Caplan, David. (July 31, 2008) SNEAK PEEK: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's New Book. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  29. ^ Sherpe, Gina. Mary-Kate Talks Paris, Stavros. E! Online. December 9, 2005.
  30. ^ Levy, Ariel (January 7, 2007). "Chasing Artist and Downtown Legend Dash Snow". New York Magazine. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  31. ^ Mary-Kate Olsen Is Dating Nicolas Sarkozy’s Brother: Reports. (May 31, 2012). Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  32. ^ Takeda, Allison (March 2, 2014). "Mary-Kate Olsen, 27, Engaged to Olivier Sarkozy, 44!". Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  33. ^ Soriano, César G. (June 22, 2004). "Mary-Kate Olsen seeks treatment for eating disorder". USA Today. 
  34. ^ "Olsen Twins' 'Got Milk?' Ad Pulled" All Business. June 8, 2004. Accessed 2011-02-19.
  35. ^ "Olsen twins no longer 'Got milk'" MSNBC. July 7, 2004. Accessed 2011-02-19.
  36. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen hospitalized for kidney infection". USA Today, November 20, 2007.
  37. ^ "Masseuse who found Heath Ledger's body made two calls to actress Mary-Kate Olsen before calling emergency services". Daily Mail (London). January 25, 2008. 
  38. ^ "Olsen twin denies Ledger drugs link". AFP. August 6, 2008. 
  39. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen keeps mum about Ledger's death: police". CBC News. August 4, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen's Connection To Heath Ledger Death Revealed". Access Hollywood. January 24, 2008. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  41. ^ Tom Hays (August 4, 2008). "Official: Olsen seeks immunity in Ledger probe", Associated Press

External links[edit]