Mary-Kate Olsen: Snapshot

Mary-Kate Olsen
Date of Birth
June 13, 1986
Birth Place
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are known for their signature style, but the twins were first famous as Michelle Tanner on Full House. Before turning 10, they had already earned millions, and at 18, took charge of their billion-dollar brand, Dualstar.

In 2004, Mary-Kate battled anorexia, later ending her studies at New York University. Soon after, the New York Times dubbed her a fashion star, and she modeled couture with her sister Ashley for Badgley Mischka before launching their fashion line, The Row. In addition to settling into her role as in-demand designer, Mary-Kate is also settling down in her personal life: She is set to marry French banker Olivier Sarkozy, half brother of former French president Nicolas.

Mary-Kate Olsen: Five Fun Facts

  1. In 2007, PETA dubbed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen "The Trollsen Twins" because they ignored the activist group’s pleas to stop wearing fur. PETA also unveiled a campaign against them at their Walk of Fame star in L.A.
  2. One of Mary-Kate Olsen's favorite movies is the S&M romance Secretary, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. She told W that she's seen it "at least, like, a hundred times."
  3. When Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wore bandannas in one of their direct-to-video movies, it sparked a run on bandannas in the United States. This gave them the idea to start a line of clothes.
  4. Mary-Kate Olsen, who downs two to four Starbucks drinks a day, has been drinking coffee for much of her life. "I remember at 10 sneaking my own coffee and pouring a ton of sugar in and going up to the playroom and drinking it," Olsen told W magazine in January 2006.
  5. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are not identical twins. Mary-Kate is an inch taller than Ashley. Ashley has a freckle above her lip and Mary-Kate does not. Mary-Kate's a lefty; Ashley is right-handed. They can't "talk to each other through [their] brains," Ashley tells Entertainment Weekly.

Mary-Kate Olsen: Biography


Mary-Kate Olsen


Babies' Big Break

Jarnette Olsen takes her newborn girls to audition for an ABC sitcom, Full House, at Lorimar Studios in Culver City, Calif., and they beat out nine other sets of twins. "They were more open to strangers," Full House executive producer Jeff Franklin told the Washington Post. "They were smiling all the time." When Full House debuts in Sept. 1987, the twins share the role of Michelle Tanner and earn $2,400 each per episode.


Hiring Help

The Olsen family hires entertainment industry attorney Robert Thorne to negotiate the twins' salary up from $4,000 per episode to $25,000 and then to $80,000 by the end of the show. Thorne becomes the CEO of the twins' Dualstar Entertainment Group in 1993 and helps guide the enterprise into a billion-dollar company.


Mary-Kate Olsen

October 27

Singing Sensations

The 6-year-old twins record their first album, Brother for Sale, the release of which launches the Olsen phenomenon. ''I like the song called 'I Want to Trade My Brother,''' Mary-Kate tells PEOPLE. ''Yeah,'' Ashley agrees with a giggle. ''When we were rehearsing it, our brother Trent said, 'I hate that song!'''

Read More on Mary-Kate Olsen's Life

Photo Credits


BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Warner Bros./Everett; Warner Bros./Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Mary-Kate Olsen

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