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 3 months. Despite their near-identical looks, the pair are actually fraternal rather than identical twins.
Road to Fame
Born in Sherman Oaks, California, the Olsens started their acting careers on the television series Full House. The show was widely popular during the late 80s and early 90s, and both sisters played one character, Michelle Tanner, taking turns during the recordings to do so, in order to comply with child labor laws regarding child actors. Because the producers did not want viewers to know that Michelle was played by twins, the sisters were originally credited as "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen", but later credited as separate people.
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 2004 the Olsen twins 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.
Made for TV:
They also have a new book series named Mary-Kate And Ashley In Action, where they are portrayed as secret spies, and has since been made into an animated series.
On May 15, 2004, the girls co-hosted the season finale of Saturday Night Live.
The film New York Minute was released to critical and commercial failure and ultimately became a box office bomb.
Mary-Kate Olsen accidentally crashed into her bodyguard's car on May 21, 2004, when her brakes 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 Ashley. In this episode, Ashley, posing as a photographer, 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".
The same day, rumors began to spring that Mary-Kate Olsen was rehabilitating for a cocaine addiction, contrary to the previous rumors of her having anorexia.
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 genetics .
They are currently studying at New York University at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
In February of 2005, Ashley Olsen was featured on the cover of National Enquirer, a gossip magazine that claimed that she was using drugs. Ashley Olsen announced on February 16 that she was suing the company for about 40 million dollars for making that claim.
The two are currently (as of March 2005) going through some turmoil, living seperately and hardly seeing eachother, at least until their apartment is finished. Both are doing internships for credit, Mary-Kate with Annie Leibovitz, and Ashley with a fashion designer.
The twins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April 2004 . They are reported to be worth $150m each .
Who is who
A popular allegation among fans, albeit without reliable scientific confirmation, is that, although over a billion people are acquainted with the image of the Olsen twins, less than 400 can actually tell them apart. Some known differences:
||1.58m / 5'2"
||1.55m / 5'1"
||Blue, but with tinge of green
|Age difference (3 minutes)
Though both have become style icons, Mary-Kate dresses more boho- (also called homeless-)chic, while Ashley is more conventionally stylish. Both are known for wearing a large number of accessories, and large sunglasses.
Last updated: 05-16-2005 15:05:50