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Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986) are twin American actresses who have appeared in television and films since the age of nine months. Despite their near-identical looks, they are fraternal rather than identical twins.

Road to fame[]

Born in Sherman Oaks, California to David Olsen (a Danish American) and Jarnette Jones, the Olsens started their acting careers on the television series Full House in 1987. The show was widely popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and both sisters played one character, Michelle Tanner, taking turns. The spread workload allowed the producers to record more each week while still complying with child labor laws regarding child actors. To hide that fact that that Michelle's role was played by two people, the sisters were originally credited as an individual named "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen", but later credited as separate people. Both sisters played one character Julian 'Frankenstien' McGrath in Big Daddy (1999)

The twins received SAG scale for the first few seasons but then hired Robert Thorne at the suggestion of other parents who pointed out the popularity of the twins.

Shortly after the end of Full House, they returned to the entertainment industry, riding the momentum of their role on Full House by heavily merchandising their image. Taking the world of pre-teens and children by storm, their names have become a very profitable industry, with their likeness seen in movies, posters, magazines, clothes, and even video games like Mary Kate and Ashley's Magical Mystery Mall.

As of 2005, Mary-Kate and Ashley are popular figures in today's pre-teen market, following along the lines of such Hollywood child stars as Shirley Temple, Ron Howard and Macaulay Culkin among others.

They starred in The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley and the ABC show Two of a Kind (now rerun on ABC Family), as well as ABC Family's So Little Time. They also have their own book series.

In 2004 Mary-Kate and Ashley surprised many when they announced that they would be attending college after graduating high school. Most child and teenage actors usually choose to pursue acting full time after graduating from high school, with few (such as Brooke Shields, Jodie Foster, Julia Stiles, and Natalie Portman) choosing to further their education. They both studied at New York University at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study until Mary-Kate dropped out in late 2005 to persue her acting career in LA while Ashley remained on the east coast.

MKO ring1c

Mary-Kate Olsen and her husband, Olivier Sarkozy.

In April 2012, Mary-Kate began dating Olivier Sarkozy, the half-brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is 17 years older than her. In February 2014, the couple became engaged, with Olivier presenting Mary-Kate with a vintage 1953 Cartier 4-carat diamond ring worth a reported $81,000.[1] In mid-September 2014, the couple appeared in public wearing matching thin gold wedding bands, sparking rumors that they were now married. The wedding was confirmed by an anonymous source close to the couple on September 25th, who added that they had married in a small private ceremony attended by family and a few close friends.[2][3]

Selected filmography[]


  • New York Minute (2004)
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) (sequel) (cameo appearance)
  • It Takes Two (1995) - The only film in which they don't play sisters.
  • The Little Rascals (1994) (cameo appearance)

Direct to video[]

  • Getting There (2002)
  • Now You See Him, Now You Don't (2002)
  • When In Rome (2002)
  • Holiday in the Sun (2001)
  • Winning London (2001)
  • Our Lips Are Sealed (2000)
  • Passport To Paris (1999)
  • Billboard Dad (1998)

Made for TV[]

  • The Challenge (2003)
  • Switching Goals (1999)
  • Big Daddy (1999)
  • How the West Was Fun (1994)
  • Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993)
  • To Grandmother's House We Go (1992)


  • Mary-Kate accidentally crashed into her bodyguard's car on May 21, 2004, when her brakes supposedly failed on a jammed Los Angeles freeway, and she could not stop in time to avoid crashing into his car. No one was injured in the accident.
  • On June 22, 2004, it was revealed that Mary-Kate had entered a rehabilitation program for the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. Gossip had swirled for months that her appearance was more and more drawn, but the actress and her management refused to discuss the issue. She herself had poked fun at the rumors on an episode of Saturday Night Live, which she had hosted with her twin sister. In this episode, Ashley, Mary-Kate, and Amy Poehler posing as photographers, yelled to "Mary-Kate", "You're too skinny! Eat a sandwich!"
  • Rumors started swirling that Mary-Kate had also attempted suicide, the headlines accompanied by a photograph of a scar on her wrist.
  • It was reported, on July 7, that the Olsens' participation in the "Got Milk?" campaign would be cancelled, mainly due to Mary-Kate's illness. The ad in which they would have appeared read, in part: "we want our fans to be healthy".
  • When they appeared on the British TV show, Ministry of Mayhem, the twins were both sawn in half by magician Steven Mulhern. Having cut them both in half, Mulhern then swapped their lower halves, giving Ashley's legs to Mary-Kate, and Mary-Kate's legs to Ashley.
  • The Strange Truth About Twins questions the supposed fact that they are fraternal twins, citing that just because they are different-handed, doesn't mean they have different genes
  • In February of 2005, Ashley was featured on the cover of National Enquirer, a gossip magazine that claimed that she was using drugs. Ashley announced on February 14 that she was suing the company for about $40 million for making that claim.
  • The two are currently (as of March 2005) going through some turmoil, living separately and hardly seeing each other. Both are doing internships for credit, Mary-Kate with photographer Annie Leibovitz, and Ashley with fashion designer, Zac Posen.
  • The twins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 29, 2004. They are the youngest celebrities to receive this honor. They are reported to be worth $150 million each
  • In the episode of Family Guy "Fifteen Minutes of Shame", they replaced Brian and Stewie in the show-within-a-show The Real Live Griffins.
  • They ranked at number three on the VH1 program 100 Greatest Child Stars.
  • They are mentioned and insulted along with other celebrities in the song Ass Like That by rapper Eminem. The song was released as a single in 2005. A portion of the music video features the two as puppets who engage in lesbian activity together. The song also makes references about the 2004 movie New York Minute which they both starred in.
  • Mary-Kate dated Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III, who is now dating Paris Hilton.
  • They are the youngest self-made billionaires, being worth a reported 2.2 billion dollars combined.
  • They originally had their ears pierced when they were ten, but the piercings became infected and they had to remove the earrings and let the holes in their ears heal up. They then waited until they were sixteen before having them pierced again.
  • They attended LA's Campbell Hall for highschool.
  • They have an older brother, Trent, a younger sister, Lizzie, and two step-siblings- brother Jake and sister Taylor.
  • Both girls have been sawed in half by a magician. In 2002, Ashley was sawed in half during the filming of the movie Now You See Him, Now You Don't. A few years later, when they appeared on the UK TV show Ministry of Mayhem, both girls were sawed in half by magician Stephen Mulhern in an illusion called the Double Sawing. Although this was the second time Ashley had been sawed in half, it is the only time that Mary-Kate has been sawed in half.