01/16/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
16 Total fortune:
$76 million Indulgence:
Ice Blendeds at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Directing Mary-Kate and Ashley in Holiday in the Sun
in the Bahamas in 2001 gave Steve Purcell a glimpse of their huge popularity -- especially when guests at the Atlantis Resort learned the twins were on the premises. "It was like being with the Beatles," Purcell says. "They couldn't come out of their rooms."
Parlaying that charisma into cash is the job of Robert Thorne, 48, the girls' partner in the Dualstar Entertainment Group. Along with their straight-to-video movies, the company licenses a line of Olsen clothes, books, electronics, games, bedding, and dolls (second only to Barbie in sales) to Wal-Mart that grossed $1 billion last year.
How do the sisters, in showbiz since they were 9 months old on Full House,
handle being the public faces of an empire? Says Purcell: "They are very good examples of how people should be who achieve that kind of success."
At private school in Los Angeles their main concern is prepping for the SAT. They like shopping (for Seven jeans and Marc Jacobs), boys (Ashley has a steady in college) and Jimmy Choo shoes. As for big splurges, they employ a private hairdresser, and each has a horse. Parents Dave, 51, and Jarnie, 48, who split in '96, "raised them not to be impressed with themselves," says Thorne. "They live really normal lives." < PREVIOUS: Intro
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