|Born||June 13, 1986|
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
|Years active||1987–2012 (actress)|
2004–present (fashion designer)
(m. 2015; div. 2021)
|Relatives||Ashley Olsen (twin sister)|
Elizabeth Olsen (sister)
Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is an American fashion designer, former actress and producer. She began her acting career nine months after her birth, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner with her twin sister Ashley Olsen in the television sitcom Full House (1987–1995). They also starred in numerous films together.
In 1993, the production company Dualstar Entertainment Group was founded, which produced a long string of television films and direct-to-video releases featuring the girls; they starred in Passport to Paris (1999), Our Lips Are Sealed (2000), Winning London (2001), Holiday in the Sun (2001) and in the television series, So Little Time (2001–2002), for which she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming.
They starred in Getting There (2002), When in Rome (2002), The Challenge (2003) and made cameos in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). The last film she starred in with her twin sister was New York Minute (2004). She continued with her acting career independently, appearing with a few guest-star roles in films and television shows, and with her last film being Beastly (2011).
In March 2012, both Mary-Kate and Ashley officially indicated their interest to retire as actresses in order to focus on their careers in the fashion industry.
She and her twin sister co-founded luxury fashion brand The Row, lifestyle brand Elizabeth and James, and more affordable fashion lines Olsenboye and StyleMint. They are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Birth and family
Mary-Kate 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 Olsen, and two half siblings, Taylor and Jake, from her father's second marriage. Olsen's parents divorced in 1996. She attended the Campbell Hall School in Los Angeles. Mary-Kate and Ashley attended New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, beginning in 2004.
Olsen began her acting career at the age of nine months old when she and her twin sister, Ashley Olsen, were hired to share the role of Michelle Tanner on the popular television sitcom Full House (1987–1995). She starred alongside her twin sister in the films, To Grandmother's House We Go (1992), Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993), How the West Was Fun (1994), It Takes Two (1995), Billboard Dad (1998) and in the television series, Two of a Kind (1998–1999). In 1997, the Olsen twins guest starred in an episode of Sister, Sister, which starred twin actresses Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry.
In 1993, following Mary-Kate and Ashley's success on Full House, a limited liability company, Dualstar Entertainment Group was created to produce Mary-Kate and Ashley-branded products. It produced a successful long string of TV movies and direct-to-video releases featuring the girls. They starred in Passport to Paris (1999), Switching Goals (1999), Our Lips Are Sealed (2000), Winning London (2001), Holiday in the Sun (2001) and in the television series, So Little Time (2001–2002).
They became household names and popular figures in the preteen market during the late 1990s and early 2000s, with Mary-Kate's likeness seen in clothes, books, fragrances, magazines, movies, and posters, among others. There were fashion dolls of her made by Mattel from 2000 to 2005. They also starred in the films Getting There (2002), When in Rome (2002), The Challenge (2003) and made cameos in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003). In 2004, the twins appeared in the theatrical light-hearted romantic comedy, New York Minute.
In 2004, both Mary-Kate and Ashley took control of Dualstar, becoming joint-CEOs and presidents of the company, which at the time had its merchandise being carried in over 3,000 stores in America and 5,300 stores worldwide. Olsen and her sister became co-presidents of Dualstar upon their eighteenth birthday.
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's first solo acting appearance was in the movie Factory Girl (2006). Her one short scene was ultimately cut from theatrical release, but was included on the film's DVD.
In 2008, Olsen made a guest appearance on the ABC comedy Samantha Who? as a self-destructive girl that Samantha tries to help. She also appeared in the film The Wackness (2008). Olsen appeared in the motion picture adaption of the Alex Flinn novel Beastly (2011), which was her final acting project.
In March 2012, both Mary-Kate and Ashley indicated their interest to retire as actresses in order to focus on their careers in fashion. They felt that their futures were in fashion, not in acting and discussed wanting to open a store as one of their future fashion-based endeavors.
In 2015, it was announced that John Stamos signed on with Netflix to produce and co-star in Fuller House, a spin-off of Full House that would reunite the original cast members for a 13-episode series. Mary-Kate and Ashley originally announced in May 2015 that they will not reprise their role as Michelle Tanner. Nickelodeon acquired the rights to the Olsen twins' video library in 2015.
Net worth and influence
Following a high volume of public interest in their fashion choices, the Olsen twins began work in collaboration on a string of fashion lines available to the public. Starting as young girls, they 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.
Business and philanthropy
As adults, the Olsen twins have devoted much of their attention to the world of fashion. They head a designer fashion label, "The Row," as well as "Elizabeth and James", "Olsenboye", and "StyleMint" retail collections. The idea for The Row started as a personal project in 2005 when her twin sister, Ashley Olsen, challenged herself to create a perfect T-shirt. She tested the design on a variety of women of all body shapes and ages in an attempt to find a "commonality in fit and attitude."
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. In 2008, the Olsen twins co-authored, Influence, a book featuring interviews with fashion designers that have inspired the twins' fashion lines.
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 designed an Olsenboye Change Purse in 2011 and donated the money to "Pennies From Heaven".
In October 2012, Ashley and Mary-Kate won the WSJ magazine Innovator of The Year Award.
Mary-Kate and Ashley released an Elizabeth and James perfume in Spring 2013.
She and Ashley are members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, CFDA a not-for-profit trade association of over 450 prominent American fashion and accessory designers. The twins are now the creative directors for Superga.
Olsen began horseback riding in 1992 when she was six years old. During her time at Campbell Hall, she was a member of the school's equestrian team. After moving to New York to attend NYU, Olsen temporarily quit riding. She eventually started riding again. In 2013, her horse Marvelous, ridden by James Anderson, won the 38th Hampton Classic Horse Show. Today,[when?] Olsen is a competitive equestrian. In 2016, Mary-Kate competed at The American Gold Cup in upstate New York.
In 2008, Mary-Kate and Ashley released their book Influence.
In May 2012, Olsen began a relationship with Olivier Sarkozy, half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In March 2014, photos were published showing Olsen wearing what appeared to be an engagement ring. Olsen and Sarkozy were married on November 27, 2015, at a private residence in New York City. On April 17, 2020, Olsen filed for divorce from Sarkozy. On May 13, she filed an emergency order to proceed despite delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 14, the emergency order was denied. In January 2021, the divorce was finalized.
In mid-2004, Olsen announced she had entered treatment for anorexia nervosa. A Got Milk? advertisement featuring the twins was pulled following the announcement. On November 20, 2007, she was hospitalized for a reported kidney infection.
Death of Heath Ledger
Olsen was a close friend of late actor Heath Ledger. After discovering Ledger unconscious in his bed on January 22, 2008, his massage therapist 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".
|2004||New York Minute||Roxy Ryan||Last film with Ashley Olsen|
|2006||Factory Girl||Molly Spence|
|2013||Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's||Herself||Documentary|
|2007||Weeds||Tara Lindman||Recurring role (Season 3)|
|2008||Samantha Who?||Natalie||Episode: "Help!"|
Awards and nominations
|1989||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actor/Actress – Under Five Years of Age (with Ashley Olsen)||Full House||Won|
|1990||Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
|1992||Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
|1994||Best Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or Special (with Ashley Olsen)||Double, Double, Toil and Trouble||Won|
|1996||Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten – Feature Film||It Takes Two||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
|1999||Favorite TV Actress (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
|2002||Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series||So Little Time||Nominated|
|2004||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Blush (with Ashley Olsen)||New York Minute||Nominated|
|2012||Wall Street Journal||Innovator of the Year: Fashion (with Ashley Olsen)||The Row||Won|||
|Council of Fashion Designers of America||Womenswear Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|||
|2014||Accessories Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|||
|Womenswear Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
|Accessories Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Nominated|
|Womenswear Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Nominated|
|Accessories Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)||Won|
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- "Olsen Twins' 'Got Milk?' Ad Pulled" All Business. June 8, 2004. Accessed February 19, 2011.
- "Olsen twins no longer 'Got milk'" MSNBC. July 7, 2004. Accessed February 19, 2011.
- "Mary-Kate Olsen hospitalized for kidney infection". USA Today, November 20, 2007.
- "Olsen twin denies Ledger drugs link". AFP. August 6, 2008.
- "Mary-Kate Olsen keeps mum about Ledger's death: police". CBC News. August 4, 2008.
- "Mary-Kate Olsen's Connection To Heath Ledger Death Revealed". Access Hollywood. January 24, 2008. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
- Tom Hays (August 4, 2008). "Official: Olsen seeks immunity in Ledger probe", Associated Press
- "Sisters of the Divine". Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2012.
- "The Row Wins CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Once Again". fashionista.com, June 1, 2015.
- "And the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards Winners are…". cfda.com, June 3, 2014.
- "2017 CFDA Fashion Awards Nominees Named". wwd.com, March 23, 2017.
- "2018 CFDA Fashion Awards Nominees Named". wwd.com, March 25, 2018.
- "And the 2019 Winners Are ...". cfda.com, June 3, 2019.
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