Olsen attending the premiere of The Union at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011
June 13, 1986 |
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
fashion designer, author, producer, businesswoman
|Relatives||Ashley Olsen (twin sister)
Elizabeth Olsen (sister)
Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) 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.
Birth and family
Olsen was born in Sherman Oaks, California, the daughter of Jarnette "Jarnie" (née Jones; b. 1954), a personal manager, and David "Dave" Olsen, a real estate developer and mortgage banker. 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. Olsen's parents divorced in 1996.
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.
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. Olsen had a recurring role on Weeds as Tara Lindman. She appears in the 2008 film The Wackness as Union. At the Sundance Film Festival, co-star and Academy Award–winner Sir Ben Kingsley praised her.
Olsen made a one-episode appearance in 2008 on the ABC comedy Samantha Who?, playing a self-destructive girl whom Samantha tries to help while doing community service. Olsen appeared in the movie Beastly, which was based on the book of the same name by Alex Flinn. Olsen signed on to play Stacey in the movie Story of a Girl, but the movie appears to have been put on hold.
In March 2012, she and Ashley expressed an interest in quitting acting for good in order to focus on their fashion career, including the opening of a fashion shop, as she considers fashion, rather than acting, as her future.
In 2004, both Ashley and Mary-Kate became co-presidents of their company Dualstar (created in 1993 following the success of Full House), the brand currently selling in over 3,000 stores in America and 5,300 stores worldwide. Their success has been marked on Forbes The Celebrity 100 list since 2002, and in 2007 Forbes ranked the twins as the eleventh-richest women in entertainment, with an estimated combined net worth of $100 million.
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.
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.
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" retail collections. Mary-Kate's sometimes controversial fashion choices have often found her on both the best and worst dressed fashion lists, particularly for her decision to wear fur. Mary-Kate and Ashley designed an Olsenboye Change Purse in 2011 and donated the money to "Pennies From Heaven".
In 2011, Mary-Kate and Ashley teamed up with TOMS Shoes to design footwear for kids without shoes in more than 20 countries worldwide. Mary-Kate and Ashley are now the creative directors for Superga (brand). Mary-Kate and Ashley released an Elizabeth and James perfume in Spring 2013. The girls won the top prize at the 2012 CFDA Fashion Awards. StyleMint is now available in the UK.
In 2008, the Olsen twins co-authored Influence, a book featuring interviews with fashion designers that have inspired the twins' fashion lines.
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."
Olsen has dated a number of men. She dated Maxwell Snow, the younger brother of the late New York-based artist Dash Snow, from September 2006 until mid-2007. In 2008, Olsen dated artist Nate Lowman. The two split in February 2010. In May 2012, Olsen began dating Olivier Sarkozy, half brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also 17 years her senior. On March 2, 2014, it was reported that Olsen and Sarkozy were engaged.
In mid-2004, Olsen announced she had entered treatment for an eating disorder, anorexia nervosa. A Got Milk? ad featuring the twins was pulled following the announcement. On November 20, 2007, she was hospitalized for a reported kidney infection.
Death of Heath Ledger
Mary-Kate was a close friend of late actor Heath Ledger. 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.
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".
|2006||Factory Girl||Molly Spencer/Art Gallery Patron|
|2007||Weeds||Tara Lindman||TV series (8 episodes)|
|2008||Samantha Who?||Natalie||Episode: "Help!"|
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- Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Launch Perfume For Elizabeth and James Brand
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Win Top Prize At CFDA Fashion Awards
- Fashion's favourite twins Mary-Kate and Ashley launch high-street clothing line alongside Cheryl Cole's shoes
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen complete their transformation from child stars to serious designers as they are honoured for fashion label The Row
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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, with Damon Romine. Mary-Kate and Ashley: Our Story: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's Official Biography. HarperEntertainment 2000. ISBN 0-06-107569-8.
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