Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is a former American actress, fashion designer, producer, author, businesswoman, and equestrian. She co-founded luxury fashion brands The Row, Elizabeth and James, and the more affordable lines Olsenboye and StyleMint alongside her fraternal twin sister Ashley Olsen. Olsen pursued acting independently as an adult until 2012.
Birth and family
2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Ashley Olsen & Mary-Kate Olsen The Row - Womenswear Designer of the Year - WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT THE 2015 CFDA FASHION AWARDS IN COLLABORATION WITH SWAROVSKI Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row ...
Olsen was born in Sherman Oaks, California, the daughter of Jarnette "Jarnie" (nÃ©e 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' 1987â"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-)'. In 2008, she appeared The Wackness as 'Union'. At the Sundance Film Festival, Academy Awardâ"winner Sir Ben Kingsley, her co-star' praised her. In 2008 Olsen also made a guest appearance on the ABC comedy Samantha Who? as a self-destructive girl that Samantha tries to help. Olsen appeared in the motion picture adaption of the Alex Flinn novel Beastly. "Beastly" was Mary-Kate's final acting project.
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. 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.
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
Mary-Kate and her twin Ashley's success has been marked by their inclusion on every Forbes The Celebrity 100 list since 2002,. In 2007 Forbes ranked the twins jointly 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. Mary-Kate and Ashley released an Elizabeth and James perfume in Spring 2013. The two women won the top prize at the 2012 CFDA Fashion Awards. StyleMint is now available in the UK.
In October 2012, Mary-Kate and Ashley won the WSJ magazine Innovator of The Year Award.
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 dated Maxwell Snow, the younger brother of the late New York-based artist Dash Snow, from September 2006 until mid-2007. Olsen dated artist Nate Lowman from 2008 until the pair split in February of 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. Mary-Kate quit acting because she didn't have any control over it. In 2014, Mary-Kate competed in the Hamptons Horse Show. In 2013, her horse Marvelous competed in and won the 38th Hampton Classic Horse Show. Mary-Kate and Ashley will not reprise their role as Michelle Tanner in "Fuller House". Nickelodeon acquired the rights to Mary-Kate and Ashley's video library in 2015.
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".
Awards and honors
- 1989: Won â" Young Artist Award Best Young Actor/ActressÂ â" Under Five Years of Age (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for Full House
- 1990: Won â" Young Artist Award Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age (with Mary-Kate Olsen)' for 'Full House
- 1992: Won â" Young Artist Award Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for Full House
- 1994: Won â" Young Artist Award Best Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or Special (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
- 1996: Nominated â" Young Artist Award Best Performance by an Actress Under TenÂ â" Feature Film for It Takes Two
- 1996: Won â" Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for It Takes Two
- 1999: Won â" Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for Two of a Kind
- 2004: Nominated â" Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Blush (with Mary-Kate Olsen) for New York Minute
- 2004: Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (with Mary-Kate Olsen)
- 2004: Nominated â" TV Land Awards Quintessential Non-Traditional Family (with Candace Cameron Bure, Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin, Mary-Kate Olsen, Bob Saget, John Stamos and Jodie Sweetin) for Full House
- 2014: Won â" Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Accessory Designer of the Year (with Ashley Olsen)
- Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
- Mary-Kate Olsen at the Internet Movie Database
- Mary-Kate Olsen at TV.com
- Elizabeth and James
- Mary-Kate and Ashley at Nickelodeon