They started their acting careers on the television series Full House. The show was widely popular during the late 80s and early 90s, and both sisters played one character, Michelle Tanner, taking turns during the recordings to do so, in order to comply with child labor laws regarding children film workers.
Rather than disappearing from the scene after growing up, as have many other child stars, Mary Kate and Ashley took a short period off and then came back with a fury. Taking the world of pre-teens and young kids by storm, their names have become an industry that makes them over 160 million dollars each a year, with their likeness seen in movies, posters, magazines, clothes, and even video games like Mary Kate and Ashley's Magical Mystery Mall.
The Olsen twins are popular figures in today's pre-teen market, following along the lines of such Hollywood child stars as Shirley Temple, Ron Howard and Macaulay Culkin among others.
They starred in the ABC's show Two Of A Kind (now in rerun on ABC Family), as well as ABC Family's So Little Time, essentially a white Sister, Sister.
Among the movies they have made (mostly for television and video):