|Real Name: Ashley Olsen|
|Birthday: June 13, 1986|
|Birth Place: Sherman Oaks, CA|
|Hair Color: Blonde|
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Biography:
Having accumulated a billion dollar media kingdom before they were old enough to drive, twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen showed proof to the value of slick marketing and dedicated business management. The sisters made their joint screen introductions in 1987 as eight-month-old infants on the television series, “Full House” (1987-1995).
Their reputation only seemed to grow with the cancellation of the series, to the point that by their 18th birthdays, tabloids and media press started invading their private lives in a big way. News on everything from Mary Kate’s eating disorder, rumors of drug use, trips to rehabilitation to their millionaire romantic interests kept readers of all ages captivated, but almost to the point of overshadowing their accomplishments as actors and CEOs of their profitable production company, Dualstar Entertainment Group.
Born on June 13, 1986, in Sherman Oaks, California to parents David and Jarnette, Ashley was the
oldest sister by three minutes. The
sisters, soon to be known the world over as “the Olsen twins,” were
selected from thousands of prospective twins to play the role of newborn
Michelle Tanner on “Full House”, a television situation
comedy detailing the funny daily activates of a house full of men raising three young girls in a San
As was routine in Hollywood when working with on-screen babies, the producers of “Full House” intentionally cast twins in order to get around California’s child labor laws. By having the twins take turns filming in front of the camera between tapings, producers were actually able to make best use of baby Michelle’s screen time without violating the law.
Each sister had her own individual view of the role, with Mary-Kate acting out the comedy scenes while Ashley was often used for the more solemn ones. Hesitant to share that Michelle was, in fact, played by twins, producers originally credited the sisters as "Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen", making it look like a single actress played the role. Nevertheless, as the shows success exploded in the early 1990’s, and producers tailored the credits to show the twins as two separate actors, an approach that drew in more viewers, all eager to check out these tiny girls who would, literally, grow up in front of America.
Unlike many of their “Full House” equals, the twins enjoyed an amazing amount of success in the 1990’s outside of their television roles. During the eight season run of “Full House,” they aggressively diversified into other business projects, developing a unique brand identity. Capitalizing on their enormous kid-friendly charm, the sisters starred in a chain of television movies including “To Grandmother's House We Go” (1992) and “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” (1993). They expanded their career with the release of "Brother for Sale" in 1992, a children's pop music album.
Next they formed "Dualstar Entertainment", a production company in association with ABC, to develop and produce projects for the twin sisters. Their empire grew with the release of their second album, "I'm the Cute One", and the home video, "Mary-Kate and Ashley: Our First Video." While ignored by the industry at first, the success of these and other related projects quickly got Hollywood’s money seeking attention. By the mid 1990's, it was evident that the twins were a commercial conglomerate, with both becoming the youngest self made millionaires in American history before they were eleven years old.
Following the 1995 cancellation of “Full House,” the sisters made the most of their reputation by merchandising their images. Digging into the still unknown market of tween age girls, the twins took the world by surprise by promoting their pretty, clean-living images on such products as clothes, dolls, fragrances, magazines, movies, and posters. The sisters also starred in a string of incredibly popular videos entitled “The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley” (1995-99) and the “You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s” series (1995-2000). The twins made their feature film introduction with 1995's "It Takes Two" starring Kirstie Alley, and continued to crank out video projects, alternating from scripted story lines to mysteries to musical parties.
In 2001, the Olsen twins returned to television in the spoof reality show, “So Little Time” (2001-02). They then played Riley and Chloe Carlson, two Malibu sisters torn apart by their parents’ divorce. Laughed at by critics and audiences alike, the series tried to present a reality based view of the twins’ lives. Criticized for its dull story line, bad scripts, and interfering laugh track, “So Little Time" was canceled almost before it aired.
Worth an estimated $1 billion each, the two were named the "Most Powerful Young Women in Hollywood" by the Hollywood Reporter. Although as children they were labeled as cute, but awkward, they grew into very beautiful young women, gaining a male fan base as well. Media and tabloid attention surrounding the two had been stirred into a fury on the eve of their 18th birthdays, especially since they sat on an empire worth an estimated $3 billion dollars.
That same year, the twin sisters starred in their first movie as legal adults in the comedy “New York Minute.” Filmed on location in Canada, the movie failed to be the breakthrough project they had hoped for as adults. In addition to being panned by the critics, the $45 million “New York Minute” did not do well at the box office, pulling in a disappointing $15 million in domestic ticket sales.
It was during the promotion of “New York Minute”, in April of 2004, when the Olsens received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, that photographers took photos of a dangerously thin looking Mary-Kate kneeling down with her family to take pictures. The weight loss quickly became the gossip of the day, with tabloid magazine and television programs speculating on everything from drug use, cocaine, anorexia, stress, and to a dangerous eating disorder. The actress ended her promotional tour in 2004, when her family checked her into a Colorado rehabilitation center for six weeks, citing anorexia nervosa.
Ashley put on about five to seven pounds at once after her rehabilitation sessions, all reported on a daily basis by the never ending Hollywood press. There was a benefit to the tragic turn of events, because of one twin’s public battle with self destruction, drug use and anorexia, they had finally become individual people in the publics view.
Shortly after the release of “New York Minute”, but before the drug and anorexia rehabilitation visit, the sisters had announced that they were taking a break from their life long acting careers to attend college like any other young adults. After her rehabilitation, the two attended New York University in the fall, where they studied at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study. Ashley chose to study psychology, and Mary-Kate chose to study the culinary arts. A year later, Mary-Kate left NYU and returned to California by herself, causing a lot of speculation in the tabloids - had she had an anorexia relapse? Are there more drug problems? Some thought it had been too soon after her disorder to deal with the stresses of moving away from her family to attend college.
A frustrated Ashley publicly came to her sister’s defense and dismissed all rumors about her sister’s decline as untrue. The tabloids press got even by putting her in the hot seat in 2006, when the National Enquirer printed scandalous photos of a drunk Ashley on its cover, with the headline reading, "Ashley Olsen Caught in Drug Scandal!”. She denied the accusation, saying that she was not, nor was she ever, a drug user. She then filed a libel suit against the tabloid for a massive $45 million.
In 2006, Mary-Kate was hired and cast in a small role, without her sister, in George Hickenlooper’s star-studded drama “Factory Girl” (2006) starring Sienna Miller, Hayden Christensen and Jimmy Fallon, based on the rise and fall of socialite Edie Sedgwick, concentrating on her relationships with Andy Warhol and a folk singer. She wrapped up the year with the dramatic comedy "The Wackness" (2008), a drug and sex tale about a man who spends his last summer before college selling dope throughout New York City, trading it with his doctor for therapy while falling in love with his step-daughter.
As the very private sisters and sexy celebrities tried to age into adulthood under the watchful eyes of the media and press, it became obvious that the interest shown to them as children, and as young teens, and into young adults was not about to slow down. With each new change in hair color or boyfriend, both sisters are guaranteed to make headlines, though unfortunately, it was no longer for their movie and film, or business talents, but more for their personal lives and private problems.
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