Born June 13, 1986, in Sherman Oaks, CA, Ashley Olsen is one-half of the multimillion-dollar franchise known as The Olsen Twins. Long before the identical pair had unwittingly indoctrinated themselves into the hearts and minds of adoring pre-pubescent girls (and vaguely creepy fraternity boys), however, Ashley and her sister, Mary-Kate Olsen, were simply the youngest members of the long-running sitcom Full House, which hired them just a year after their birth. Because of U.S. child-labor laws, the girls took turns playing Full House's resident cute baby girl, Michelle Tanner. Before long, Ashley and Mary-Kate had their own catchphrase ("You got it, dude"), which reverberated in the ears of Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) and throughout American audiences loudly enough to merit a TVQ rating -- the sitcom world's most prominent popularity contest -- second only to Bill Cosby.
Ashley Olsen continued her part-time role as Michelle until Full House came to a close in 1995, though she took time out to film several family-oriented straight-to-video releases, including To Grandmother's House We Go (1992), Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993), and How the West Was Fun (1994). Luckily for Olsen, the demise of Full House hardly marked the end of her career. Along with her sister, Ashley's success in the family-oriented video market planted the seeds for what would eventually become a multimillion-dollar empire with enough punch to land the twins the 83rd spot in Forbes magazine's list of the world's 100 most powerful celebrities in 2003.
1995 marked Ashley's big-screen debut as the wealthy, worldly twin-sister in It Takes Two, a thinly veiled send-up of The Parent Trap opposite Kirstie Alley and Steve Guttenberg. Olsen also participated in the short-lived 1998 television series Two of a Kind, which, like Full House, followed a widower's efforts to raise his children. This time, however, Ashley and Mary-Kate's identical status served as a gimmick rather than an irksome legal necessity. (The producers of Full House had insisted on crediting the twins as "Mary Kate Ashley Olsen" in an effort to hide their sisterhood.)
By the early 2000s, Ashley had established herself as part of a verifiable marketing gold mine and, oddly enough, the not-quite-legal forbidden fruit of American pop culture. In addition to a juvenile book series, magazine, scads of videos and DVDs, countless talk show appearances, The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley TV series, a clothing line, perfume, and an estimated combined net worth of more than 300-million dollars, the girls also attracted the unwanted attention of hundreds of decidedly less-wholesome Internet sites counting the days until their 18th birthday. The girls deemed this attention, as well as their number 61 ranking in For Him Magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World" in 2003 as, simply, "gross." After a bit part in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle that same year, Ashley both co-produced and starred in New York Minute (2004), which follows a set of identical twins whose attempt at a day in Manhattan lands them in the midst of a high-profile political scandal.