The name “Olsen” has taken on a whole new meaning ever since Mary-Kate and Ashley snagged the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House back in 1987. They became an overnight sensation, which led to a global empire of straight-to-video movies. Everybody and their mother knew who the Olsen twins were. But did you know that they aren’t the only Olsen kids?!
The twins have since shifted to living much more private lives, but their sister Elizabeth has landed roles in a little group called the Marvel Universe. With so much success, it might come as a surprise that we’ve only listed the accomplishments of half of the Olsen siblings. There are three more: Trent, Taylor, and Jake! Check out all the information we found about the members of this famous family.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
For one of the most famous sets of twins to come out of the entertainment industry, let’s just review what made them the household names they are today. These two started off strong when they shared the part of Michelle Tanner on Full House at only nine months old.
As a result of their success on the show, and with the help of their parents, they launched Dualstar Entertainment Group. The group produced all types of media, including books, TV shows, films, and more. The twins became the sole owners of the company after they turned eighteen.
Dualstar Entertainment Group
By 1993, Mary-Kate and Ashley had become so popular that their parents helped found the Dualstar Entertainment Group production company. This production company exclusively put out made-for-TV movies and direct-to-video releases that starred the twins in the lead roles. Some of their siblings even guest-starred in these productions.
Their notable releases included 1999’s Passport to Paris, 2000’s Our Lips Are Sealed, 2001’s Holiday in the Sun, 2001’s Winning London, and the TV series So Little Time, from 2001 through 2002. The girls were also in movies, including 2002’s When in Rome, 2003’s The Challenge, and they cameoed in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. The Olsen twins’ last movie together was 2004’s New York Minute.
Conquering the Media World
The combined success that resulted from their roles in Full House and all the Dualstar Entertainment Group projects made Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen mini-moguls by the time they were seniors in high school. Speaking of high school, these two starlets didn’t even make it to their senior prom. Are we shocked? Not really, since these two had such a busy start to life.
We’d argue that the most shocking part of the whole thing is their reason for missing the school function. They had to skip the high school dance because they were co-hosting Saturday Night Live that same night! The cast was made aware that the twins skipped their prom, so they wrote in a sketch for that night’s show that took place at a prom.
Very Similar but Different
For as long as we can remember, the Olsen twins have been marketed as entertainment’s darling identical twins. Well, apparently, that isn’t true! In reality, Mary-Kate and Ashley are fraternal twins, but seriously, we still have trouble identifying who is who in photographs of them together. The fact that they’re fraternal twins, and they have looked this similar throughout their lives, is nothing short of remarkable.
Typically, people can tell twins apart by their clothes or doing different things with their hair, but the Olsens became famous for doing the exact opposite of that during their most popular years. Even now, as adults, using their clothes to try and determine which twin it is isn’t necessarily a foolproof strategy.
Toddlers Who Wore Dentures
Even twins who resemble each other as much as Mary-Kate and Ashley have their share of differences. For twins who share the same role, like the Olsens did on Full House, this becomes somewhat of an issue. When they were younger, the girls began losing their baby teeth.
The only problem was that they were losing different teeth at different times, so their physical differences were more apparent to the audience. While they were filming episodes of Full House and going through this, Mary-Kate and Ashley actually had to wear fake teeth so that the differences were undetectable.
Hired at Nine Months Old
The Olsen twins began their television careers with the sitcom Full House, a job they booked when they were less than one year old. Their co-star John Stamos, Uncle Jesse on the show, has recalled in interviews that the girls cried almost of the time, so he tried to convince producers to bring in replacements.
They did – but the other pair of twins also cried much of the time. Mary-Kate and Ashley were brought back, and the rest is history. Stamos assures that he continues to hold good relationships with both Mary-Kate and Ashley.
That Special Twin Bond
Growing up in a loving home can strengthen bonds between siblings. But it’s taken to a completely different level if those siblings are twins. The way that they learn to communicate with each other can begin developing as early as their time together in their mother’s womb. This is what happened with the Olsen twins.
From a young age, the sisters would use secret hand signals or their own language to communicate with each other. Even on the Full House set, people would catch the two of them using their “twin telepathy” to signal to each other.
From Full House to Fuller House
Reboots seem to have taken over streaming services, but back in 2015, it was still a pretty new concept. John Stamos and Netflix had come out with the exciting announcement that the streaming service was going to offer the show Fuller House, a reboot spinoff of Full House.
Many of the original cast members were part of the cast, at the very least as guest stars. Plus, the show focused on the Tanner girls’ children, so it brought in many young cast members. But fans of the original show were left wondering where the youngest Tanner daughter was?
Why Wasn’t Michelle on Fuller House?
When the Fuller House reboot was officially announced, the Olsen twins initially turned down the chance to reprise their role as Michelle Tanner. But, a few months later, Netflix reps said that the sisters had moved from “absolutely not” to “well maybe” when it came to their position about appearing on the show.
In the end, both Mary-Kate and Ashley declined the offer to join the cast, although each had her own reason. Mary-Kate claimed that the timing was bad, and Ashley wasn’t sure she was ready to be in front of a camera after a 12-year hiatus.
The Row Couture Clothing Brand
Since they’ve retired from acting, the sisters have put their focus and energy into their couture clothing brand, The Row. The concept behind the brand came from a personal goal of Ashley’s in 2005 to create the perfect T-shirt. She wanted to find a way to make the wardrobe staple more accessible and reliable for all women.
Within a year, the twins had worked together to put together a collection of seven staple pieces, including the T-shirt, leggings, and a tank dress. The brand has since expanded its products and continues to use high-quality materials for its simple designs.
Ashley had a very difficult time handling the laundry list of demands that came from being a child actress, especially one that started from such a young age. Ashley doesn’t remember all parts of her childhood lovingly when she stops and thinks about it.
She even mentioned in a Marie Claire magazine interview that she’s shocked she didn’t have a breakdown similar to the one that Britney Spears had in 2007. She mostly recalled just how busy and controlled her life used to be, all in the name of celebrity.
Reclaiming Her Public Reputation
Her time in the industry forced her to grow a thick skin, which we saw in 2005 when Ashley stood up for herself publicly. The National Enquirer, the notoriously cruel tabloid magazine, had published photos and an excerpt making it appear that she was part of a large drug scandal.
After years of enduring paparazzi and tabloids spinning stories to make her and her sister look bad, she had finally had enough. She ended up filing a lawsuit against the magazine for more than $40 million. They eventually apologized and claimed that wasn’t their intention.
Transition to a Calmer Adulthood
Her work ethic today as an adult is a direct result of all that she had to endure as a child. That work ethic has served her well after she retired from acting and threw herself into fashion.
Taking a backseat to the models who wear her clothes has been a happy change for Ashley. She has found a creative outlet that feeds her love of fashion without constantly thrusting her into the spotlight. As far as her personal life goes, she has been dating Louis Eisner for the last several years.
Much like her sister Ashley, being a child star was very hard for Mary-Kate. She was simultaneously treated as a young child but also expected to uphold the responsibilities of an adult. All of this seemed to come to a head when she and her twin sister retired from acting.
Mary-Kate’s reaction seemed to be to withdraw inward. Since their childhood required so much time in front of a camera, on sets, and interviews, we started to wonder why we were seeing less and less of the Olsens doing public appearances.
Forced to Publicly Address Health Issues
Tabloid magazines and media outlets seem to find joy in pouncing on young women who are trying to deal with their health issues privately. Unfortunately, the more famous you are, the more aggressive these paparazzi are about wanting to see you at your worst. This is exactly what happened to Mary-Kate Olsen.
Both she and Ashley were constantly surrounded by paparazzi, trying to catch them off guard and make them admit they had an eating disorder. What should’ve been a private matter became public in 2004 when People Magazine ran a story about Mary-Kate’s anorexia and how she was getting treatment.
They Saw a Ring on What Finger?!
In the past decade, Mary-Kate has made headlines for her romantic relationship. Starting in May 2012, Mary-Kate was romantically linked with Olivier Sarkozy. It was a notable couple as Sarkozy is half-siblings with Nicolas Sarkozy, the former President of France.
Also, their age difference was always mentioned in articles about them, but the fact that she dated someone relatively high up in the French political world seems like the coolest part to us! After two years of dating, pictures were published of what looked like an engagement ring on THAT finger on Mary-Kate’s hand.
Pandemic Prolonged Divorce Proceedings
At the end of November 2015, the couple had a private wedding ceremony in New York City. Things seemed like they were going well, especially since Mary-Kate isn’t photographed very often, so we’re honestly guessing at that point. It turns out it wasn’t that good because she filed for divorce in April 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic also managed to affect the lives of celebrities; Mary-Kate filed motions in an attempt to keep things moving despite COVID-related delays. Her motions were denied, so the divorce was only finalized in January 2021.
Elizabeth: The Emmy Nominated Sister
Before she was a Marvel superhero, Elizabeth Olsen used to just be Mary-Kate and Ashley’s little sister. Growing up with older sisters who are some of the most famous actresses in the world sounds like a tough reality. Now imagine thinking about going into the same industry as them!
This was what Elizabeth Olsen had to deal with, and it was very difficult for her to handle when she was first starting out. She is an independent person and didn’t love the idea of getting anywhere in life simply because everyone on the planet knew her family.
Who Is Elizabeth Chase?
Elizabeth was worried that she would only be offered roles based on favoritism from casting executives, so she channeled it into an impressive work ethic. Elizabeth knew that every casting call she ever walked into would be filled with people who already had an idea about her based on her last name.
She worked extra hard to combat the inner voice in her head that told her she didn’t deserve the work that was coming her way. It affected Elizabeth so much that she nearly went by Elizabeth Chase’s stage to avoid the Olsen connection, comparisons, and judgment about their earnings.
Forging Her Own Path
Though it didn’t end up becoming her professional name, she did use it throughout high school to sidestep any Olsen twin interest from other students. She hasn’t let that fear hold her back and has had her fair share of rejection, just like everyone else.
She made it a point to forge her own path in the industry and separate herself professionally from the legacy of her older sisters. Elizabeth tends to prefer her privacy, which she learned from her sisters. Older sisters are great for advice and lucky for Elizabeth. She got double the wisdom.
Love in a Hopeless Place
After making the commitment to pursue a career in acting, Elizabeth went to study drama in Russia. There was a Russian man who was also in the drama program she was studying in who started a relationship with her. They were together for the duration of their studies and tried to figure out their future.
After Elizabeth returned to the United States, it became glaringly obvious that they genuinely cared about one another. The problem was the distance. As time passed and the distance remained, their relationship came to an end after about seven months.
Her First Big Break
Like her older siblings, Elizabeth graduated from New York University in 2013. Following in Trent’s footsteps, Elizabeth started her acting career by appearing in a number of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s video shorts and movies. This included a brief stint in How the West Was Fun and more than three installments of the series The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley.
But that wasn’t her first big break! In 2011, she received praise from critics for her role in Martha Marcy May Marlene. The role was incredibly complex, which offered her the chance to push herself and her skills.
Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Elizabeth’s biggest box-office role came to her in 2015, after a few years of making smaller films. She was cast in the coveted role of Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch for the media franchise.
So far, she has starred as Wanda in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. All these movies were smash-hits, and to top it all off, Elizabeth as Wanda led a WandaVision miniseries on Disney+ in 2021. She earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for her role in the miniseries.
The Next Time We’ll See the Scarlet Witch
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken the television and film industry by storm and left everyone else in the dust. Big-name actors have been making their way into these movies, and lesser-known actors have become household names due to the franchise’s success.
Looking ahead to future Marvel Cinematic projects, we’re pretty confident that we will be seeing a Scarlet Witch movie soon enough. But in the meantime, we will see Elizabeth reprise her role in the upcoming Doctor Strange movie installment, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Receiving the Recognition She Deserves
Elizabeth has reached another level when it comes to the Olsens and the film critics. Media outlets and critics rave about her performances because of her talent, the smart choice of roles she’s accepted, or a combination of the two.
With her Emmy Award nomination paired with winning the distinguished Pauline Kael Breakout Award, Elizabeth’s future in the entertainment industry looks like a fantastic one. Outside of acting, she’s a spokesperson for the Bobbi Brown Cosmetics franchise. She had been dating Robbie Arnett since 2016 and, in 2021, casually mentioned that the two had tied the knot.
Trent: The Oldest Brother
James Trent Olsen, the oldest Olsen siblings, goes by Trent in both his professional and personal life. Though he doesn’t boast as many credits as his sisters, Trent has dipped his toe into the world of acting. Lucky for him, he knew some people with their own production company for smaller budget movies – his twin sisters!
He was cast to appear in several of the twins’ VHS shorts, including You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Sleepover Party and The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the U.S. Space Camp.
Using His Siblings’ Fame to His Advantage
After those appearances, Trent decided that he was done with acting. It was tough being the older sibling to some of the most famous twins in show business, and Trent often felt overlooked in daily life. At the same time, his sisters continued to put out new movies, and he took full advantage of their fame.
He was in high school while they were making these movies and short programs, so he would sell pictures with their autographs on them to students at his school. From this little side business, he was able to make a decent amount of money.
Striking Out on His Own
Since striking out on his own, he graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and then graduated from the New York Film Academy. According to the public record, Trent has been working at Storm King Productions as one of their in-house comic book writers since 2014.
Other than that, he has pretty much followed the family pattern and kept his life very private. He has numerous social media platforms but keeps them private and just seems to stick to his in-person relationships with people in his life.
Jarnette: The Olsen Matriarch
Jarnette, also known as “Jarnie” to her closest friends, might take the cake for the most private person in this family. Honestly, we’re so impressed and totally get where her children get their low-key attitude towards the press and tabloids.
Jarnette is known for not giving interviews, no matter if it’s about one of her children’s projects or their personal lives. She was married to her children’s father, David, for 18 years before they got divorced in 1995. When they were married, they had four children together: Trent, Mary-Kate, Ashley, and Elizabeth.
Integral Part of Her Children’s Careers
Professionally, Jarnette was a former ballet dancer and eventually became a personal manager. Her professional connections were actually how her twin daughters scored the audition of a lifetime for the TV sitcom Full House in 1987. Initially, she was a little bit nervous about having her infant daughters begin acting so young.
But once she saw how much they seemed to enjoy what they were doing and how popular they had become, she came to terms with their newfound fame. She continued to use her business knowledge and networking skills to further her daughters’ careers in the entertainment industry.
David: The Olsen Patriarch
David Olsen, the patriarch of the Olsen family, had four children during his marriage to his ex-wife Jarnette and another two children with his second ex-wife, McKenzie. Professionally speaking, David was a mortgage broker but ended up quitting his other engagements to commit to the careers of his twin daughters.
He is, essentially, an earlier version of what iconic “momager” Kris Jenner is for her daughters. Because he made this his full-time job, David technically made money off his daughters’ success. He definitely made more being their manager than he ever did while being a broker!
Hesitant About Child Acting
When Jarnette pitched David to bring the twins in to audition for a new TV sitcom called Full House, he was initially against the idea. He didn’t see the point and put it on Jarnette to make the final decision. She decided to bring them in, and they got the part.
Even after landing the part, David was worried about having his daughters continue to act while they were still so young. He considered the idea of taking them off of the show after they finished filming the first season.
Getting Divorced and Remarried
His worries melted away when the twins exploded in terms of how popular they became. The proud dad attributed his daughters’ on-screen success to how photogenic they were and their ability to use their personalities. But things in the Olsen household didn’t stay as happy as they had once been.
David filed for divorce from Jarnette in 1995, and their divorce was finalized later that year. In March 1996, he married his much younger secretary McKenzie. At that time, tabloid magazines covered the whole thing as a stressful period in the twins’ lives since only Mary-Kate was at the wedding.
Not Everything Is As It’s Written
In typical media coverage fashion, the details of the split were completely blown out of proportion. When media outlets followed up with David about how the family was doing after the split was publicized, he assured them that everyone was doing fine.
Obviously, it was a big life transition for everyone, but David claimed that everybody was on the same page. Years later, his daughter Ashley confirmed his claims. She backed up her dad, saying when her parents split, work was crazy busy, and her support system assured her that everything would be even better now.
Running Into Financial Troubles
Even though he successfully managed his girls’ career, David found himself in some financial trouble. In 2010, the internet was abuzz about reports that David was bankrupt. Rumor had it that he hadn’t been paying his mortgage on his California house and that he owed the bank around $2 million.
Fans wondered why Mary-Kate and Ashley hadn’t jumped at the chance to help their dad out, and their inaction prompted further rumors about their relationship with him. None of these rumors were proven, and the twins have only had good things to say publicly about their parents.
Courtney: The First Half-Sibling
Courtney was David and McKenzie Olsen’s first child together. She was born in 1996, so, unfortunately, she missed an opportunity to star in one of her half-sisters’ iconic VHS tapes. But she didn’t let that stop her from exploring acting as a career option because this girl has got her own IMDb page!
According to her page, she dropped the “Courtney” and goes by Taylor Olsen for professional projects. Her page only lists three projects which include 2014’s Malignant Spirits: Sense of Fiction, 2015’s YOLO: The Movie, and BNow! in 2016.
Supporting Her Siblings Online
In general, Courtney seems to take inspiration from her brother Trent when it comes to how much she shares about herself on the internet. She does have an Instagram but only uses it every so often. She has posted a few pictures celebrating her sisters’ projects, like her sister Elizabeth in Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
Besides the select photos that she chooses to upload to her social media accounts, there were photos circulating from when she attended the 2017 Kids Choice Awards with her friend, Disney star Madison Pettis.
Jake: The Youngest of the Bunch
Jake is the youngest of the six Olsen children and David and McKenzie’s second kid. Being born into an entertainment business family can be intimidating for anyone, never mind someone related to Michelle Tanner or the Scarlet Witch!
Maybe it’s for that very reason why Jake has yet to try his hand at acting – he probably didn’t want to endure comparisons with his older sisters. Granted, he’s still young, and things change all the time! In 2016, he was part of a print campaign for Runway magazine as one of the male models.
Joyful but Private Chaos
As part of this campaign, Jake discussed what it was like growing up in a family with six siblings. He highlighted the joyful chaos that comes out of that environment. He continues to sporadically dabble with print modeling, but we were unable to find anything that would suggest he has plans to move to runway modeling as well.
Beyond his modeling shots, Jake keeps his life pretty private in a way that’s similar to his oldest twin sisters. He has an Instagram account that he sparingly uses. Among his few posts are pictures of him with his siblings and family.