The Olsen Twins —Mary-Kate And Ashley — Are The Prettiest Sisters Alive Today

Jun 11, 2021 by apost team

There probably hasn’t been a more famous pair of twins than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who first rose to fame at the tender age of six months after appearing in the hit sitcom “Full House.” The twins are also the CEOs of their own production company, Dualstar, which produced some of their most popular films such as “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble” and “How the West Was Fun.” The films were straight to television or video but were extremely popular with their child audience. 

The company also produced the television series “The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley.” The show was a mystery series that aired from 1994 to 1997. The popular series was also made into novels for children. The twins appeared as detectives on the cover of the books, and each story portrayed the pair solving mysteries.

After spending much of their childhood and teenage years starring in movies and shows, they left the limelight for a while before reappearing as bonafide fashion designers. No longer acting, the twins are instead fixtures in the fashion world with their incredibly successful labels: The Row and Elizabeth and James. The twins work well together and have a very healthy professional relationship –– which makes sense since they have been working together since they were 6-months-old. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley have always been beautiful style-icons. Recent photos of the pair show that nothing has changed. Today, the twins lead extremely private lives and rarely give interviews. However, they are seen occasionally at fashion industry events and galas. Read on to learn more about Mary-Kate and Ashley and to see what they're up to lately.

Early Life and Full House

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (1993), (Ron Davis/Getty Images)

Hailing from Sherman Oaks, California, Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen were born in 1986, and as their surname might suggest, have Norwegian and Danish roots. Ashley is the older twin of the pair, being born just two minutes before Mary-Kate. What some people might not know is that the girls aren’t actually identical twins but fraternal, meaning that they only share some of the same genes and actually could have turned out looking much more different.

Mary-Kate and Ashley were born to David and Jarnette Olsen and have other siblings: an older brother named Trent and younger siblings Elizabeth and James, who they later named their fashion line after. They also have two half-siblings from their father’s second marriage.  

After auditioning for “Full House” when they were just six months old, the girls were cast in the role of Michelle Tanner. The show aired from 1987 to 1995 and was a huge success — audiences fell in love with them, and the world got to see them literally grow up in front of their eyes. 

Although now it’s well known, at the time, the producers wanted to keep it secret that Michelle was played by twins, so they were credited simply as “Mary Kate Ashley Olsen.” The reason it helped that twins played the one character was to comply with child labor laws. In 1992, the twins began appearing in films playing separate characters. One popular film that came out during this time was a Christmas movie, “To Grandmother’s House We Go.”

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (1999), (J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images)

But while the girls brought happiness to viewers, years later, Mary-Kate would tell “Marie Claire” magazine that it wasn’t all positive from their end. She described them as “little monkey performers” in reference to their youth spent in front of the cameras. She added: “I look at old photos of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all… I would never wish my upbringing on anyone…”

It’s sad knowing that the twins weren’t truly happy with their childhood in the spotlight, but at least they’ve been able to make choices to lead more private lives as they’ve gotten older.

Production Company

In 1995, when “Full House” stopped airing, their parents divorced, which also made an impact on the young girls. Instead of slowing down with the end of the show, their work schedule ramped up, as they founded and became CEOs of their own company Dualstar, which they are still in charge of today. This period saw them shoot nearly 30 movies, record albums and music videos, and release a book series.

Among their more popular films were “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble,” “How the West Was Fun,” “It Takes Two,” “Passport to Paris,” and “Billboard Dad.” These films were straight to VHS and DVD and were not huge successes critically. However, they were incredibly popular with their demographic and sold well, according to The Telegraph.

The company also produced several television series starring Mary-Kate and Ashley, including “The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley,” “You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s…” and “So Little Time.” The last series only had one season and ended in 2002.

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2000), (Newsmakers/Press release/Getty Images)

By the age of 10, they became the youngest self-made millionaires in American history. Less than a decade after “Full House” ended, the girls would shoot their last movie together in 2004, titled “New York Minute.” It was a critical flop, and soon after, the girls said goodbye to Hollywood.

Fashion Industry 

Known for their incredible sense of style from a young age, the girls moved their focus to fashion and created two fashion labels called The Row and Elizabeth and James, the latter of which was named after their two siblings. Speaking with British Vogue in 2019, Mary-Kate said, as reported by Elle: “We’ve been there, we’ve done that, we started out that way. But this is the way we chose to move forward in our lives: to not be in the spotlight, to really have something that speaks for itself.”

In the same interview, Mary-Kate and Ashley spoke about the opening of their brick-and-mortar storefront for their brand, The Row. Ashley spoke about the process of opening up their own store. “We love curating; we love discovering new products and vintage pieces,” she said.

Mary-Kate added in the interview that she prefers working in London, and the city really suits the brand well. “And London will be totally different, but very much The Row. There’s still a craft in London. There’s authenticity; there are a lot of artisans that are based there,” Mary-Kate said. 

While the girls are passionate about the fashion industry, owning your own label is still a challenge. “If you want things to be perfect or beautiful, it’s a lot of hard work. Nothing comes easy. That’s just the way we were raised; that’s what we believe is necessary to do something different,” Mary-Kate told British Vogue.

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2011), (Amy Sussman/Getty Images/FIJI Water)

Mary-Kate also opened up to Marie Claire about how seriously she takes her designs. “It took us a year-and-a-half to make the first T-shirt. I still read scripts, and if something great comes along, that’s great … but this is my day job. The Row is where I go every day,” she said. It would be nice to see the twins return to the screen someday.

Mary-Kate and Ashley told The Wall Street Journal that their working relationship is more of “a marriage and a partnership,” than a friendship. Ashley added that “We have had ups and downs.” However, the girls have been working together for so long they have the experience to make any issues good by the end.

Dedication to Privacy

These days the twins rarely attend public events, but considering they spent their entire childhood in front of the camera, it’s no surprise they’d want some privacy now, and they definitely deserve it. 

After leaving acting to pursue their careers in fashion, in 2011, Mary-Kate and Ashley spoke to Vogue about the change in direction. Speaking about the career switch, Ashley explained:

“I am so proud of what we did. We made kids smile every day. But we had done the most we could do.” 

When asked if it was frightening to stop, considering they had been acting since before they were 1 year old, Mary-Kate admitted, “There was a fear, but also, an exhale.” Another significant change around this time that helped Mary-Kate and Ashley achieve more privacy was moving from Los Angeles to New York. Ashley told Vogue in the same interview: 

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2003), (Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“The press here in New York respect you more. It was the worst in Los Angeles when we got our license. They would follow us. They knew where we lived. And you don’t know who these people are. People just out of jail.”

In the same interview, Mary-Kate admitted that the situation had made them “paranoid.” It’s no wonder the Olsen twins wanted to get out of the entertainment industry and LA if it was affecting their lives so much. At least they got out when they did, instead of soldiering through and potentially ending up in bad situations. 

The twins’ sister, Elizabeth Olsen, spoke with  Philadelphia Style about her sisters: “They’re very tight-lipped — notoriously so — and I was not caring what I was saying (in interviews) because I’d assumed no one would read it. That’s when we’d have conversations. They’d say, ‘You know, even if you don’t think anyone’s going to read this article, someone might pull the quote later for (something else).’ It’s all part of how you hope someone interprets you, and how they frame who you are and the work you do.” 

In another interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Elizabeth said: “There are ways you can be private — my sisters are intimately private and I respect that. They showed me that you can be private, but also accessible to journalists, for those reasons. It’s helpful and I learnt my value system from them.” Despite having their own challenging lives, Mary-Kate and Ashley always set an excellent example for their younger siblings.

Sisterly Love

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2004), (Chris Polk / FilmMagic/Getty Images)

As twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley have always shared a special connection. This bond is also shared with their younger sister, Elizabeth, who also went into acting. Elizabeth watched her sisters act on the set of “Full House” and other projects, and seeing her older siblings work so hard made her decide to wait and pursue acting as an adult instead.

Elizabeth told Parade, “What I saw my sisters do was work, not play, and I really enjoyed ballet, and I really enjoyed playing sports. It took away from that experience. I wrote a pros and cons list and I decided that it was more important for me to be able to do extracurriculars.”

Knowing that Elizabeth has been able to follow her acting dreams and maintain some semblance of privacy for herself and her notoriously private older sisters shows progress for the Olsen family. We’re sure the world will be seeing a lot more of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s previously unknown younger sister.

Mary-Kate and Ashley are devoted older siblings, as we can see from the name they chose for their fashion brand, Elizabeth and James. However, they are most dedicated to one another. The twins told the Times of India that they “both carry the weight of each other.”

Even when they are apart from each other, the sisters can sense what the other is feeling. “Our bond is really beyond words. I know when she’s hurting, I know when she’s going through something,” Ashley said in the same interview.

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2013), (Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images)

The twin’s connection is inspiring and shows how much the girls treasure each other. “I know when she’s happy - whether I’m with her or not, I know,” Ashley added in the interview with Times India. The relationship between twin siblings is clearly very unique and special. That connection is even more important when one of the twins is going through personal hardships.

Mary-Kate went through a hard time after the death of her boyfriend and fellow actor, Heath Ledger. “I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong. I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.” Mary-Kate told Marie Claire. It is wonderful that Mary-Kate has someone like Ashley who always knows when she needs help and will be there for her to lean on. 

Mary-Kate explained the bond she has with her sister to Life and Style Magazine and shares why the two could never live far apart from one another. Mary-Kate said, “I think we’re too dependent on each other. When you have a twin, it’s so much closer than your best friend. It’s like a certain connection.” 

Mary-Kate and Ashley have had very successful lives for only being 34 years old. Even though they are not acting anymore, the pair’s work lives on, and children still enjoy their films and TV shows to this day. The twins also still have their two fashion brands, The Row and Elizabeth and James, so they have no shortage of work to keep them busy. 

Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen (2017), (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

What do you think of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s current photos? Did you ever watch “Full House” while it was airing, or any of the twins’ other works? Let us know your thoughts and be sure to send this story on to your friends and family.

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