Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is an American actress, producer and fashion designer. She made her career debut in 1986 alongside her twin sister Ashley in the television series Full House.Following the huge success of Full House in America, Mary-Kate, alongside her sister Ashley, was able to establish a successful career starring in television and film roles that saw her become an international household name.Founded in 1993, the production company Dualstar was created to produce and merchandise films and TV shows starring Mary-Kate and Ashley, becoming an extremely profitable enterprise. Mary-Kate became joint CEO of Dualstar in 2004, securing her position in the Forbes celebrity rich list.

Since 2006, Mary-Kate has been pursuing acting roles independent of her sister and the "Mary-Kate and Ashley" tag. Her first part was a supporting role in the 2006 film Factory Girl. She has also starred in TV shows such as Weeds and Samantha Who?. The upcoming Beastly is her first major role in a film without her sister Ashley.

Mary-Kate's personal life has also been the subject of tabloid attention. In 2004 her health and subsequent admittance to a treatment facility for anorexia nervosa were subject to intense tabloid attention.Following the death of Heath Ledger in early 2008 Mary-Kate received worldwide press attention speculating her connection to the case, however she was never interviewed by investigating officers.Her sometimes controversial fashion choices have often found her on both the best and worst dressed fashion lists, particularly for her decision to wear fur.


Career beginnings (1986–1993)Edit

Mary-Kate began her career in 1987, aged just nine months old, when she and her twin sister Ashley were given a shared role as Michelle Tanner on the television show Full House.[The twins were cast as one character in the shared role because of strict labor laws that limited the amount of time children their age could work. By hiring twins, the producers were able to double the available filming time. The producers also liked that in their audition, Mary-Kate and Ashley did not cry and made minimal fuss when they would refuse to eat or be handled.

Mary-Kate and Ashley success (1993–2005)Edit

Their huge success on Full House led to the creation of Dualstar in 1993, which produced their TV and film roles, and also marketed an extremely profitable line of merchandising including from make-up and clothes. Whilst still starring in the series, Mary-Kate and Ashley were given roles in TV movies especially created for them as twins and seeking to expand their fan base beyond the viewers of Full House.

When the show ended in 1995, Mary-Kate continued to work with Ashley, and together they released a string of successful straight-to-video movies and became popular figures in the preteen market during the late 1990s and early 2000s. They became a household name, with their likeness seen in clothes, books, fragrances, magazines, movies and posters. There were even fashion dolls made by Mattel from 2000–2005.

They starred in the video series The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley, the ABC show Two of a Kind, and ABC Family's So Little Time, for which Mary-Kate received a nomination for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Awards. They were ranked number three on the VH1 program 100 Greatest Child Stars.

In 2004, Mary-Kate appeared alongside her twin sister in the theatrical comedy, New York Minute, also starring Eugene Levy.

Career independence (2006–present)Edit

Seeking to establish independent identities for herself and her sister, Mary-Kate has asked the public and the media to refer to them not as "the Olsen twins" but as Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen respectively.

Subsequently, Mary-Kate's first solo acting appearance was in the movie Factory Girl, released in December 2006. The short scene was ultimately cut from theatrical release, but made part of the DVD. In addition, she has had a recurring role on Showtime's Weeds as Tara Lindman. She appears in the 2008 film The Wackness as Union. At the Sundance Film Festival, co-star and Academy Award–winner Sir Ben Kingsley praised her by saying "Mary-Kate's portrayal of this girl is perfect — she's hysterical. She's a pro. It makes sense. She's been in this business a lot longer than I have." However, this is hyperbole; as Kingsley's first film credit was in 1966, and he even won his Academy Award a few years before Olsen was born.

Mary-Kate made a one-episode appearance on the ABC comedy Samantha Who?. On November 10, 2008 during the second season of the show, Mary-Kate played Natalie in episode 5, a self-destructive, bad girl whom Samantha tries to help while doing community service.Her most recent job is a role in the upcoming movie "Beastly", which is based on the book of the same name by Alex Flinn. She also landed the role as Stacey in the movie Story of a Girl the film is in pre-production.


Year Title Role Notes
1987 - 1995 Full House Michelle Tanner Part-time role
1999 Switching Goals Sam Stanton Main role
2002 Getting There Kylie Hunter Main role
2004 New York Minute Roxy Ryan Main Role
2006 Factory Girl Molly Spence Small scene/guest
2007 Weeds Tara Lindman 8 episodes
2008 The Wackness Union Part-time role
Samantha Who? Karen McNeicep 1 episode
2011 Beastly Kendra Hilferty Completed

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Daytime Emmy Awards
    • 2002: Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series (So Little Time) - Nominated
  • DVD Exclusive Awards
    • 2003: Franchise Performers Award - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
  • Kids' Choice Awards
    • 1996: Favorite Movie Actress (It Takes Two) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)1998:two of a kind
    • 1999: Favorite TV Actress (Two of a Kind) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
  • Razzie Awards
    • 2005: Worst Actress (New York Minute) - Nominated (with Ashley Olsen)
    • 2005: Worst Screen Couple (New York Minute) - Nominated (with Ashley Olsen)
  • Stony Awards
    • 2008: High Times Magazine Stonette of the Year - Nominated
  • Teen Choice Awards
    • 2004: Choice Movie Blush (New York Minute) - Nominated (with Ashley Olsen)
  • TV Land Awards
    • 2004: Quintessential Non-Traditional Family (Full House) - Nominated (with Candace Cameron Bure, Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin, Ashley Olsen, Bob Saget, John Stamosand Jodie Sweetin)
  • Walk of Fame
    • 2004: Star on the Walk of Fame (with Ashley Olsen)
  • Young Artist Award
    • 1989: Best Young Actor/Actress — Under Five Years of Age (Full House) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
    • 1990: Outstanding Performance by an Actress Under Nine Years of Age (Full House) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
    • 1992: Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten (Full House) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
    • 1994: Best Youth Actress in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or Special (Double, Double, Toil and Trouble) - WON (with Ashley Olsen)
    • 1996: Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten — Feature Film (It Takes Two) - Nominated