Mary-Kate Olsen is an actress, fashion designer, producer, author, and businesswoman. 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.
Along with Ashley, Mary-Kate 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’ 1987–1995 run. In the early 1990s, Olsen and her twin sister 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 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!), each of which lasted only one season while So Little Time 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.
Mary-Kate 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, Olsen and her twin sister 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. 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.
Mary-Kate Olsen made a one-episode appearance in 2008 on the ABC comedy Samantha Who?, playing a self-destructive girl whom Samantha tries to help while doing community service. Olsen appeared in the movie Beastly, which was based on the book of the same name by Alex Flinn. Olsen signed on to play Stacey in the movie Story of a Girl, but the movie appears to have been put on hold.
In March 2012, Mary-Kate Olsen and her twin sister expressed an interest in quitting acting for good in order to focus on their fashion career, including the opening of a fashion shop, as she considers fashion, rather than acting, as her future.
Following a high volume of public interest in their fashion choices, Mary-Kate Olsen and her twin sister 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 4–14 as well as a beauty line called “Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls”.
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. In addition, Mary-Kate has embarked on a solo fashion project with celebrity stylists Jane Belfry and Fred Holston. The line was reportedly in development as of 2009. 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 will release an Elizabeth and James perfume in Spring 2013. The girls 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.
How Mary-Kate Olsen Made Her Money – Acting and businesswoman
Estimated Net Worth: $165 Million
Birthday: June 13, 1986