“Me and Ashley feel like we're totally different.” Mary-Kate Olsen
Widely known as one-half of the multimillion dollar franchise The Olsen Twins, Daytime Emmy nominated American actress Mary-Kate Olsen gained TV stardom at age nine months thanks largely to her role of Michelle Elizabeth Tanner on the successful sitcom “Full House” (1987-1995). Sharing the role with twin sister Ashley, she was able to collect three Young Artist Awards for her performance. After the success, Mary-Kate and her sister established a media conglomerate that included their own production company, Dualstar Entertainment Group, in which they currently serve as CEOs. They also released albums, straight-to-video movies, and magazines.
The twins revisited the sitcom realm in 1998 with ABC's “Two of a Kind,” which was axed after only one season in 1999. It was their next sitcom, “So Little Time” (Fox, 2001-2002), that gave Mary-Kate her Daytime Emmy nomination. Making their big screen debut in 1995's “It Takes Two,” Mary-Kate and her sister hoped to achieve a breakthrough as adults with the big budget romantic comedy “New York Minute” (2004). The movie, however, was a dud and brought the twins two Razzie Awards.
As a solo act, Mary-Kate made her debut in the star-studded biopic “Factory Girl” (2006). She then had a recurring role on Showtime's “Weeds” (2007), as Tara Lindman, and played Union in the 2008 film “The Wackness,” opposite Sir Ben Kingsley.
Mary-Kate was named one of FHM's “100 Sexiest Women in the World” in 2005 and one of E's “50 Cutest Child Stars All Grown-Up.” She was once also listed as one of VH's “100 Greatest Kid Stars.” In 2007, she ranked No. 5 in Forbes’ List of “The 20 Top-Earning Young Superstars,” sharing the title with Ashley.
“I'm a person that has high highs and low lows. A lot of things make me sad. Sometimes it's almost easier to be sad. But you do end up finding a balance and I think that as I get older I am learning what I can do for myself to make me happy.” Mary-Kate Olsen
Famous and beautiful Mary-Kate has been linked to several men. She dated David Katzenberg, the son of Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, from November 2003 to September 2004. Shortly after the breakup, she was involved with Ali Fatourechi and in the summer of 2005, she began her highly-published romance with Greek billionaire shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III. He later left Mary-Kate to date Paris Hilton. Commenting about it, she said, “(Paris and I) always only had nice things to say about each other. Now I guess you can tell we're not talking.”
After it was rumored she was dating Max Snow in September 2006, Mary-Kate made headlines by announcing her engagement to a man named Liam Brooks in 2008.
Childhood and Family:
Mary Kate Olsen, nicknamed MK, was born in Sherman Oaks, California, on June 13, 1986. Her father, David Olsen, is a mortgage banker, and her mother, Jarnie Olsen, is a personal manager. They divorced in February 1996. MK has a fraternal twin, Ashley Olsen, who was born two minutes earlier, a younger sister named Elizabeth Olsen (born in 1989) and an older brother named Trent Olsen (born in 1982).
MK was educated at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, California, from 2000 to 2004. After that, she and Ashley attended New York University, in which they studied at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study. While her sister chose Psychology, MK majored in Cuisine. After only a year, however, she left NYU and moved to California.
In June 2004, before attending NYU, MK entered a rehab program for the eating disorder anorexia. She left rehab in July. Three years after the incident, in November 2007, she was hospitalized for a kidney infection.
Lovely twin Mary-Kate Olsen's acting journey started when she and her sister Ashley won the shared role of newborn Michelle Elizabeth Tanner on a new sitcom, “Full House,” in 1987. Also starring Bob Saget, Candace Cameron and John Stamos, the show was a hit and subsequently launched the twins as baby celebrities. During the show's eight-year run, the girls co-won three Young Artists in the categories of Best Young Actor/Actress - Under Five Years of Age (1989), Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age (1990) and Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten (1992).
Lured by their success on “Full House,” the Olsen sisters were hired to star in such television movies as “To Grandmother's House We Go” (1992), “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” (1993) and “How the West Was Fun” (1994). They also branched out to singing by releasing the children's pop album “Brother for Sale” in 1992. Recognizing their potential, the twins' mother joined their managers and agents to found a company to develop and produce projects for the duo. Dualstar Entertainment, a production house in association with ABC, was established in 1993 and shortly after, released the second album “I'm the Cute One” and the twins’ first home video “Mary-Kate and Ashley: Our First Video” (both also 1993). The projects were a huge success and by the mid-1990s, the twins had made history in America by becoming the youngest self-made millionaires.
After “Full House” came to an end in 1995, MK and her sister gained additional fame by starring in a series of popular videos called “The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley” (1995-1999) and the “You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s” series (1995-2000). They also promoted their image on various products like dolls, fragrances, clothes, magazines, movies, and posters. It was also in 1995 that the girls made their first feature film, “It Takes Two” (1995), in which they netted the Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress at the Kids' Choice Awards. The film was not a massive hit in theaters, but it did collect $75 million when it was released on video.
In 1998, Mary-Kate and her sister made their next movie called “Billboard Dad,” in which they played twins Tess and Emily Tyler, respectively. Also that same year, they revisited series TV with costarring roles in the ABC sitcom “Two of a Kind” and were handed Kids' Choice's Blimp Award for Favorite TV Actress for their work. Also starring Sally Wheeler and Christopher Sieber, the show, however, only lasted 22 episodes.
Undaunted, the girls next costarred in the Fox Family Channel sitcom “So Little Time.” Cast as Riley Carlson, MK delivered a good performance and picked up a 2002 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series. The series was canceled after only one season in 2002.
In between the sitcoms, MK starred in the direct-to-video releases “Passport to Paris” (1999), “Winning London” (2001) and “Holiday in the Sun” (2001), the made-for-TV “Switching Goals” (1999) and the movie “Our Lips Are Sealed” (2000). She also appeared in a 2000 episode of “7th Heaven,” playing Carol Murphy. Her sister also acted with her in the projects.
By 2002, MK and Ashley had launched the “Mary-Kate and Ashley” magazine and a clothing line for Walmart.
In 2003, after starring in the direct-to-videos “Getting There” and “When in Rome” (both 2002) and in a TV film, “The Challenge” (2003), they made a cameo appearance in the movie “Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.” It was not until a year later that they had leading roles in a major motion picture. “New York Minute,” a light-hearted romantic comedy, received poor reviews from critics and was a box office failure. With a budget of $40 million, the film only grossed $5.96 million during its opening weekend and received a total of $14 million domestically. As for their acting, MK and Ashley co-nabbed Razzie nominations for Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple.
“Our relationship is stronger when we don't live together, so we don't live together. We're separate people and we have separate lives. But we see each other every single day.” Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate began to appear without her sister. She appeared briefly in the movie “Factory Girl” (2006) and joined the cast of Showtime's dark comedy “Weeds” (2007), in which she played Tara Lindman, a dedicated Christian and girlfriend of Silas (played by Hunter Parrish).
Recently, in 2008, Mary-Kate costarred with Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Josh Peck and Olivia Thirlby in the comedy “The Wackness.” She played the character Union.
Kids' Choice: Blimp Award, Favorite TV Actress, “Two of a Kind,” 1999
Kids' Choice: Blimp Award, Favorite Movie Actress, “It Takes Two,” 1996
Young Artist: Best Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or Special, “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble,” 1994
Young Artist: Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten, “Full House,” 1992
Young Artist: Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age, “Full House,” 1990
Young Artist: Best Young Actor/Actress - Under Five Years of Age, “Full House,” 1989