Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had an almost-milestone birthday Saturday, turning 29. Although they have yet to enter their 30s, the twins have made an impact on pop culture. They are part of the collective imagination as the ever-young, ever-cute youngest member of the Tanner clan on Full House.
They chose not to retire when the show ended in the early 90s, however, and went on to produce a series of kid-friendly films and product lines. Once they reached adulthood, they became noted for their fashion lines that earned them praise from the fashion industry’s toughest critics.
Full House fans recently learned that the twins won’t be a part of the series reboot, Fuller House. The twins have long since left acting, although Ashley was in I’m Still Here in 2010 and Mary-Kate was in 2011’s Beastly. Producer Robert L. Boyett said he supported their decision to focus on their fashion and business empire.
As the twins inch closer to the end of their 20s, here are some little-known facts about the women.
Despite their similar appearance, they are fraternal twins.
Although audiences may remember the little girl from Full House as one character frequently seen in overalls and pigtails, the twins are not identical. As an MTV News article from this spring recalled, as the twins aged, their difference in appearance became noticeable. There was talk of only using Mary-Kate to play the role of Michelle Tanner, but John Stamos stepped in so both girls could keep working.
They have true fashion credibility.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen design and run the fashion brand The Row. Pieces from the collection sell at Saks Fifth Avenue for thousands of dollars. A set of leggings will set you back $450.00 and an Augustus Belted Contrast Coat costs $6,290.00. At the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards, they won Womenswear Designer of the Year, beating out the likes of Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.
They were multi-millionaires before they could vote.
The Olsen twins’ empire of products and direct-to-video movies was immensely successful. In 2004, when the twins turned 18, People reported that they had grossed $1 billion in sales the previous year.
Emmy voters singled out Mary-Kate over Ashley one year.
The twins had a short-lived television series, So Little Time, that aired for one season 2001-2002. The show featured the women playing, fittingly enough, twin sisters. It was noticed by the Daytime Emmy Award voters, who graced it with a nomination — for Mary-Kate, who got the nod for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series.
They are different.
Mary-Kate is five feet tall and right-handed. Ashley is five feet, one inch tall and left-handed. Viewers of Full House might have noticed that Michelle is ambidextrous.
[Main image: 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards, June 1, 2015, Larry Busacca / Getty Images Entertainment]