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Mary-Kate Olsen

Olsen at the 2009 premiere of Whatever Works
Born June 13, 1986 (1986-06-13) (age 23)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Producer
Fashion model
Fashion designer
Years active 1987–present

 

Mary-Kate Olsen (born June 13, 1986) is an American actress, producer, fashion model and fashion designer. She has had an acting career beginning at a young age, in roles with her twin sister Ashley Olsen.[1]

Since 2006, she has appeared in movie roles independently of her twin sister.

Contents

Career

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Working as a twin

Mary-Kate Olsen began her career in 1987 at the age of nine months when she and her twin sister Ashley were given the role of Michelle Tanner on the television show Full House. To comply with strict labor laws regarding child actors, they alternated in the role during the taping of the show. They were credited as "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen" in an attempt to keep audiences from realizing that the role was played by two children.

In 1995, following Full House, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen released a string of successful straight-to-video movies and became popular figures in the preteen market during the late 1990s and early 2000s. They became a household name, with their likeness seen in clothes, books, fragrances, magazines, movies and posters. There were even fashion dolls made by Mattel from 2000–2005.

They starred in the video series The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley, the ABC show Two of a Kind, and ABC Family's So Little Time, for which Mary-Kate received a nomination for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series at the 2002 Daytime Emmy Awards. They were ranked number three on the VH1 program 100 Greatest Child Stars.

In 2004, Mary-Kate appeared alongside her twin sister in the theatrical comedy, New York Minute, also starring Eugene Levy.

Both Mary-Kate and Ashley work on their fashion line "The Row", and a second called Elizabeth and James, which is named after their brother and sister.

In 2008, Mary-Kate and Ashley released a book titled "Influence", which contained interviews with many creative and influential people including Karl Lagerfeld, Terry Richardson, George Condo and many more. The book featured two different covers, one with Mary Kate and the other with Ashley. The book received positive reviews not only from fans of the twins, but also from critics.

Independently

Seeking to establish independent identities for herself and her sister, Mary-Kate has asked the public and the media to refer to them not as "the Olsen twins" but as Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen respectively.[2]

Subsequently, Mary-Kate's first solo acting appearance was in the movie Factory Girl, released in December 2006. The short scene was ultimately cut from theatrical release, but made part of the DVD. In addition, she has had a recurring role on Showtime's Weeds as Tara Lindman. She appears in the 2008 film The Wackness as Union. At the Sundance Film Festival, co-star and Academy Award–winner Sir Ben Kingsley praised her by saying "Mary-Kate's portrayal of this girl is perfect — she's hysterical. She's a pro. It makes sense. She's been in this business a lot longer than I have."[3]

Mary-Kate made a one-episode appearance on the ABC comedy Samantha Who?. On November 10, 2008 during the second season of the show, Mary-Kate played Natalie in episode 5, a self-destructive, bad girl whom Samantha tries to help while doing community service.[4][5] Her most recent job is a roll in the upcomming movie "Beastly" which is based of the book by Alex Flinn.

CEO

In 2004, both Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen became CEO of their company Dualstar (created in 1993 following the success on Full House), the brand currently selling in over 3,000 stores in America and 5,300 stores worldwide. Their success has been marked on Forbes The Celebrity 100 list since 2002, and in 2007 Forbes ranked the twins as the eleventh-richest women in entertainment, with an estimated net worth of $100 million.[6]

Fashion designer

Mary-Kate Olsen in 2006.

Following a high volume of public interest in the sisters' fashion choices, both worked in collaboration on a string of fashion lines available to the public.

Starting as young girls, they have a clothing line in Wal-Mart stores across America for girls ages 4–14 as well as a beauty line called "Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls". In 2004, they made news by signing a pledge to allow all the workers that sew their line of clothing in Bangladesh full maternity leave. The National Labor Committee, which organized the pledge, later praised the twins for their commitment to worker rights. The director of the organization, Charles Kernaghan, is quoted as saying:

The Olsen twins have done the right thing. Now it is up to Wal-Mart to either support Mary-Kate and Ashley’s commitment to women’s rights, or tragically to shut them down.[7]

In 2006, the sisters appeared together in an ad campaign for an upscale fashion line Badgley Mischka[8] Mary-Kate and her sister have released The Row, a high-end fashion line inspired by London's Savile Row. The clothing is sold at high-end retailers such as Barneys, Maxfield, Harvey Nichols, Brown's, and others around the world.

Ashley and Mary-Kate continued their expansion in the fashion industry with the Fall '07 launch of Elizabeth and James, their contemporary collection inspired by many of their unique vintage finds and pieces in their personal wardrobes.[9]

Her latest project is a line in collaboration with celebrity stylists Jane Magnitude and Fred Holston, who have worked with designers such as Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, and Christian Louboutin in the past. The exact details have not been announced, but much buzz has been surrounding the trio's up coming line.[10][11]

Public image

Though her fashion choices have become somewhat popular, Olsen has been publicly criticized for wearing and promoting fur.[12]

PETA the international animal rights group has a website dedicated to the “Trollsen Twins”[13]. The animal rights organization is upset with the way that the Olsens wear and promote the wearing of fur by including it in their clothing lines. They’ve stated both twins “ignored pleas to stop wearing fur and using it in their fashion collection.” They go on to call both Mary Kate and Ashley “fur fiends” each with their own name— Mary- Kate (“Hairy Kate”) and Ashley (“Trashley”) — with a tag line: “Fur Is Worn by Beautiful Animals and Ugly People.”

Personal life

In 2005, Mary-Kate Olsen ended her romance with Greek shipping heir Stavros Niarchos III. Mary-Kate said that the breakup was one of the main factors in her leave of absence from New York University. "I miss him and I adore him," Olsen said, "It's a hurtful and a painful subject." When asked if there was a specific reason for her leaving NYU, she replied, "I think we can all guess."[14] The breakup and Niarchos's pairing with Paris Hilton led to a rift between Hilton and Mary-Kate. "[Paris and I] always only had nice things to say about each other," Olsen said. "Now I guess you can tell we're not talking."

Mary-Kate was a close friend of late actor Heath Ledger around the time of his January 22, 2008 death. Responding to a claim by an anonymous law enforcement official that she would not speak to federal investigators without a promise of legal immunity, Olsen's attorney Michael C. Miller said:

We have provided the government with relevant information including facts in the chronology of events surrounding Mr. Ledger's death and the fact that Ms. Olsen does not know the source of the drugs Mr. Ledger consumed.[15]

In 2003, Olsen started dating David Katzenberg, they broke up in 2004.[16] Olsen dated Maxwell Snow, the younger brother of the late New York based artist Dash Snow, from September 2006 until the summer of 2007.[17]. In 2008 Olsen started dating Nate Lowman.[16]

Health issues

In mid-2004, Olsen announced she had entered treatment for an eating disorder, anorexia nervosa.[18] On November 20, 2007 she was hospitalized for a reported kidney infection.[19]

Filmography

For productions in which Mary-Kate appeared with her sister Ashley, see Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Film
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Factory Girl Molly Spence Small scene/guest
2007 Weeds Tara Lindman 8 episodes
2008 The Wackness Union
Samantha Who? Karen McNeicep 1 episode
2010 Beastly Kendra Hilferty Post-Production

Awards and nominations

See also

Further reading

References

  1. ^ "Rich Girls: The Olsen Twins". http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/12/22/48hours/main589814.shtml?source=search_story. Retrieved 2008-04-06. ""Fraternal twins Mary-Kate and Ashley had been splitting a role on the television network sitcom "Full House" since they were 9 months old and in diapers"" 
  2. ^ People Magazine: WEEK IN REVIEW: Olsens Test Audiences
  3. ^ Williamson, Kevin. "Kingsley bonds with 'real actor' Olsen". Edmonton Sun.com. 22 January 2008.
  4. ^ Mary-Kate Olsen Guest Stars on Samantha Who?
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Goldman, Lea and Kiri Blakeley. "In Pictures: The Richest 20 Women In Entertainment". forbes.com. 17 January 2007.
  7. ^ Grossberg, Josh. Mary-Kate, Ashley: No Sweat. E! Online. 9 December 2004.
  8. ^ Hall, Sarah. Olsen Twins Strike a Pose. E! ONline. February 15, 2006.
  9. ^ Ashley and Mary-Kate's sisterly bond. Times of India. 11 August 2007.
  10. ^ Mary Kate's New Line. NY Mag. August 2008.
  11. ^ Mary Kate Olsen Biography. Biography. 2009.
  12. ^ "PETA Sends Olsens a Birthday Gift". http://www.observer.com/2008/peta-sends-olsens-birthday-gift.  The New York Observer
  13. ^ Meet The Trollson Twins, Peta2
  14. ^ Sherpe, Gina. Mary-Kate Talks Paris, Stavros. E! Online. 9 December 2005.
  15. ^ "Official: Olsen seeks immunity in Ledger probe", Associated Press
  16. ^ a b http://search.people.com/TIISearch/people/search/search.html?search=mary-kate+olsen&type=
  17. ^ http://nymag.com/arts/art/profiles/26288/
  18. ^ Soriano, César G. "Mary-Kate Olsen seeks treatment for eating disorder." USA Today. 22 June 2004.
  19. ^ "Mary-Kate Olsen hospitalized for kidney infection". USA Today.com. 20 November 2007.

External links


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