Happy Birthday to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen!
June 13, 2012 @ 10:00 am
Here's our wishes to the twins to a joyous year ahead!
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986) are American actresses, fashion designers, and businesswomen. Following their acting debut as infants on the TV series Full House, the twin sisters appeared together in a variety of TV, film and video projects throughout their child and teenage years. Through their company Dualstar, the Olsens joined the ranks of the wealthiest women in the entertainment industry at a young age.
The twins were born in Sherman Oaks, California to David Olsen (b. 1953) and Jarnette (Jarnie) Jones (b. 1954). Despite being very similar in appearance, they are not identical, but fraternal twins. They have an older brother, Trent, and a younger sister, Elizabeth, as well as two half-brothers, Taylor and Jake.
In 1987, at the age of six months, the twins were cast in the role of Michelle Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House. They began filming at nine months old. In order to comply with child labor laws that set strict limits on how long a child actor may work, the sisters took turns playing the role. The Olsens continued to portray Michelle throughout the show's run, which concluded in 1995.
While starring on Full House, the Olsens also began appearing (as separate characters) in films for video and television. The first such film, To Grandmother's House We Go, debuted in 1992 and featured cameos from several other Full House actors. In 1993, the Olsens established the company Dualstar, which would produce the twins' subsequent films and videos, including that year's Double, Double, Toil and Trouble and 1994's How the West Was Fun. A series of musical mystery videos called The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley premiered in 1994 and continued through 1997.
In 1995, following the end of Full House, the Olsens made their feature film debut in It Takes Two, co-starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirstie Alley. In the same year, they introduced a second video series, You're Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley's..., which continued to release new entries until 2000.
The twins returned to series television in 1998 with another ABC sitcom, Two of a Kind, co-starring Christopher Sieber as their characters' widowed father. The series lasted only one season, but aired in reruns on cable for several years afterward. 1998 also saw the release of Billboard Dad, the first of a new string of direct-to-video films starring the Olsens. The final such film, When in Rome, debuted in 2002.
In 2001, the sisters starred in two new series: So Little Time, a live-action sitcom on Fox Family (later ABC Family); and Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!, an animated series airing Saturday mornings on ABC. Both shows were cancelled after one season, although Mary-Kate received a Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for her performance on So Little Time.
In 2004, the twins starred in a second feature film, New York Minute. It would be their last film together, as well as Ashley's last acting role. Mary-Kate has continued to appear in film and television.
In 2008, the sisters published the book Influence, a compilation of interviews with many of the most prominent people in the field of fashion.
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