All About The Olsen Twins
Fraternal twins Mary-Kate and Ashley were born in June 1986 on Friday the 13th. Fun fact: Ashley is two minutes older than her sister! These beautiful baby girls were a blessing to now-divorced parents David and Jarnette Olsen. Along with their older and younger siblings, the family lived in the humble suburbs of Sherman Oaks, California.
Where It All Began
The Olsen sisters booked their first audition at the young age of six months. Among the hundreds of twins that showed up, Mary-Kate and Ashley were the cutest and bravest! Instantly smitten, the director cast them both for the special role that would launch them into Hollywood stardom.
The Small Screen
They bagged their first acting gig in the hit TV series Full House, playing the unforgettable and spunky Michelle Tanner. Because of child labour laws, they weren’t allowed to work more than 20 minutes per episode, so the twins switched places in between takes. For years, audiences couldn’t tell them apart! Here are some of their most memorable TV shows and TV films:
- To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992)
- Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993)
- How The West Was Fun (1994)
- Full House (1987 to 1995)
- You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley (1995 to 2000)
- The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley (1994 to 1997)
- Two of a Kind (1998 to 1999)
- So Little Time (2001 to 2002)
After the success of their first TV show, they founded Dualstar Entertainment Group. The media company allowed them to produce their own projects and star in them, too!
The Big Screen
They did so many shows, movies, and cameos together that it was hard to keep track! Most of their movie plots involved classic switcheroo scenarios, crushing on the same boys, and being total opposites of one another. They were really popular with teenage girls who idolised the trendy twins for their beauty, style, and sense of humour.
- It Takes Two (1995)
- Billboard Dad (1998)
- Switching Goals (1999)
- Passport to Paris (1999)
- Our Lips Are Sealed (2000)
- Winning London (2001)
- Holiday in the Sun (2001)
- When in Rome (2002)
- Getting There (2002)
- The Challenge (2003)
- New York Minute (2004)
While it’s an impressive list, there were lots of hits and misses – meaning some of them were great, and others were totally cringe-worthy. The last time they starred in the same movie was back in 2004 and it was a box office flop. The teen girls pursued a few more solo acting roles before retiring from acting in 2012, occasionally gracing some red carpet events.
The Fashion Scene
They modelled in campaigns and photoshoots for a while, but their true passion was in the world of fashion. As they got older, they enjoyed being behind the scenes and getting creative. Inspired by their own boho-chic aesthetic, they designed their own clothing lines and collaborated with other companies.
In 2006, they founded The Row: a high fashion label that sells premium, tailor-fit pieces, and vintage silhouettes. They eventually branched into furniture, art, and menswear, then opening stores in New York City and Los Angeles.
Elizabeth and James
The super sisters launched their lifestyle brand Elizabeth and James in 2007. Their shop offers a wide selection of clothing from women’s wear and eyewear to handbags, jewellery, and fragrances. After several years of success in the fashion world, they were awarded Womenswear Designer of the Year by CFDA.
Mary-Kate shared her vision with Net-A-Porter: “We like to say that Elizabeth and James is the new luxury. It’s the idea that you can still have fashion, great fabrics and great fits at a lower price point.”
Like other A-list celebrities, the It-girls had their own struggles to deal with. In 2004, Mary-Kate checked herself into rehab for an eating disorder and an alleged drug addiction. She suffered from kidney problems three years later but has been on a steady road to recovery for her mental and physical health.
In an interview with Marie Claire, she shared her thoughts about living through dark moments in her life. “I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong. I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.”
Their Love Lives
Mary-Kate Olsen and Heath Ledger had a brief love affair back in 2008, but she was only publicly linked to him after his overdose on prescription drugs. Her name was cleared from the incident, and seven years later, Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy got married in New York City. In an interview with Net-A-Porter, Mary-Kate shared the truth about her work-life balance.
“I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us. We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder. But then I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner. I ride horses on the weekends. You find the thing that helps you relax and if you don’t have it, look for it. Or you get burned out and then you’re not productive.”
Her sister Ashley was previously linked with Jared Leto, Johnny Depp, and Richard Sachs – but she appears to be madly in love with her current boyfriend Louis Eisner!
Then & Now
Now 33, the two fashion moguls have proven that teamwork makes the dream work, especially when you’re each other’s better half! They were recently spotted celebrating their 33rd birthday together with their partners, complete with wearing matching tiaras that say “Birthday Girl”!
Looking back, it seems like they still have resentment towards their childhood experiences in Hollywood. In a Marie Claire interview, Mary-Kate referred to themselves as “little monkey performers” who did whatever they were told. She continued: “I look at old photos of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all…I would never wish my upbringing on anyone…”
After all these years, Mary-Kate and Ashley refuse to be on social media. They don’t have a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, which makes it easier for them to live their lives without judgement from the public eye. The last time we saw them step into the spotlight was at the 2017 Met Gala, both looking glammed up and gorgeous!
Closer Than Ever
In a rare interview with WSJ Magazine, Ashley expressed how they’ve managed to get through it all. “It’s been 32 years of learning how to communicate.” She also compared their relationship to “a marriage and a partnership. We have had ups and downs....We do everything together."
Twinning In Life
There are a few sisterly bonds like Mary-Kate and Ashley’s, and we’re glad they have each other to lean on for life. Together, they’ve established an empire that earned them a combined net worth of $USD100 million, and we can’t wait to see what they do next!