Their third TV series, So Little Time, airs on the Fox Family Channel. "Our characters are really different," explains Mary-Kate. "Mine has curly hair, and she's into nature and saving the world. Ashley's is the mommy's girl, really high-strung." Mary-Kate earns a Daytime Emmy nomination for her portrayal of the spontaneous Riley Carlson.
Ashley is named one of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful. "I think my sister is beautiful," Ashley, who is labeled as "the shopper," says of Mary-Kate, who is listed separately. "I care more about my outfits," she adds. The girls are given the same honor in 2004.
The twins get a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, recognizing their contribution to television. "We want to thank our family and our friends and everyone at Dualstar, every cast member we've worked with through the years and most especially our fans," Ashley says to the crowd.
Ashley and Mary-Kate produce and star in New York Minute, but it fizzles at the box office, earning a meager $14 million. The movie was supposed to reintroduce the girls to a broader audience and transition them away from being exclusively tween icons.
The twins graduate from Campbell Hall High School in Hollywood. Days later, Mary-Kate checks into Utah's Cirque Lodge, where she is treated for anorexia, leaving Ashley to run their entertainment and beauty empire alone that summer. "She's hanging in there," Ashley tells Teen People. "She is taking the time that she needs for herself right now. I'm here for her whenever she needs me."
After appearing on a cover of PEOPLE, Ashley and Mary-Kate turn 18 and take control of their empire – they're now copresidents of Dualstar. The birthday also puts a stop to the Internet sites that count down the seconds until the twins reach adulthood.
Full House costar John Stamos introduces Ashley, 18, to restaurateur Scott Sartiano, 29, a Columbia grad who once dated actress Anne Hathaway. The two begin dating and are spotted around New York. The relationship lasts until summer 2005.
Ashley and Mary-Kate enroll in New York University's Gallatin School. They take up residence in a rented Tribeca pad while their new $7.3 million apartment undergoes renovation. After her freshman year, Ashley takes an internship with fashion designer Zac Posen.
Ashley sues the National Enquirer for $40 million, accusing the tabloid of libel and false light invasion of privacy over a cover story that claims she was "caught in a drug scandal." The lawsuit is eventually dismissed.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Peter Kramer/STAR MAX; Nicolas Khayat/Abaca; ALAIN ROLLAND/REFLEXNEWS; Image Active/WireImage; Roger Wong/INFGoff