Also Credited As:Hilary Ann Duff
|Actor, Producer, Music|
|Hilary Ann Duff on September 28, 1987 in Houston, Texas, USA|
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Hilary Erhard Duff was born on Sept. 28, 1987 in Houston, TX. Her father, Robert Erhard Duff, owned a chain of convenience stores, while her mother, Susan Colleen, was a homemaker. She had an older sister named Haylie who started acting and singing in preschool. Duff wanted to follow in her sister's footsteps, and after the pair booked a few commercials in Texas, Susan decided to move with her daughters to Los Angeles for pilot season. When Duff was nine, she worked on a pilot with her sister titled "The Underworld" that never came to light. She had minor roles in the films "True Women" (1997) and "Playing by Heart" (1998) before getting her first starring role in the direct-to-video project "Casper Meets Wendy" (1998). After getting a role in the series "Daddio" (NBC, 2000), Duff was dropped from the cast before the show even aired.
Suffering such a setback, Duff almost quit acting after getting dropped from the show. Her mother was ready to take them back home to Texas but then she was cast in the title role as "Lizzie McGuire." The series - about a lovable junior-high student - premiered in January, 2001 and transformed Duff from a Texan teen to a worldwide superstar virtually overnight, with the show drawing in 2.3 million viewers per episode. The success of "Lizzie" made expanding the show and its star's franchise inevitable, so soon the young actress' likeness made it onto apparel, school supplies and toys. Disney Channel knew it had a bankable star on its hands so cast Duff in the 2002 TV movie "Cadet Kelly." That same year, the independent film "Human Nature" was also released. Shot before Duff was cast as Lizzie, she played the younger version of Patricia Arquette's character in the Charlie Kaufman-penned movie.
After Duff's 65-episode contract with "Lizzie" ended, there were talks of turning the Disney Channel show into a primetime series for ABC. However, the actress claimed she was not being paid enough and parted ways with Disney. She eventually agreed to reprise her role in "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" (2003), which earned an impressive $42.6 million in the U.S. and $55 million worldwide. Her follow-up project was the 2003 ensemble film "Cheaper by the Dozen," where she played one of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt's 12 kids. Duff's star power was undeniable, with lead roles in a couple of 2004 films that every teenage girl rushed out to see - the modern fairy tales "A Cinderella Story" and "Raise Your Voice." The latter highlighted Duff's other natural ability - singing. She had released a couple of singles for the "Lizzie" soundtrack and a holiday album entitled Santa Clause Lane in 2002, but it was not until Metamorphosis that gave fans a full dose of Duff's vocal talent. The 2003 album reached number one in the U.S., helped by the infectious first single "So Yesterday" and the song "Come Clean," which was used as the theme to MTV's pseudo-reality series "Laguna Beach" (2004-06).
Fans loved Duff's clean cut, teen-friendly image, especially compared to the party-girl antics displayed by actresses such as Lohan, the Olsen twins, and socialite Paris Hilton. However, she was not entirely free from being targeted by tabloid press and blog sites. The star dated singer Aaron Carter in 2001 for two years before he met and dated Lohan. It was reported that Carter soon left Lohan and went back to dating Duff, starting a feud between the two actresses. Lohan further fueled the bad blood between the two of them by appearing uninvited to Duff's red carpet premiere for "Cheaper by the Dozen." In 2007, the two finally reconciled, with Lohan attending Duff's Dignity album release party - invited this time. A spat with Avril Lavigne also made headlines, because the Canadian rocker called Duff a "goody-goody" and "mommy's girl." The two never had any public reconciliation.
Coming off of the Aaron Carter debacle, Duff also fell in love with rocker Joel Madden, lead singer for the punk-pop band Good Charlotte in 2004. It was a love story for modern times, with the tattooed bad boy dating the all-American good girl. He even co-produced songs for her greatest hits album Most Wanted. After two years, the two broke up and he went on to father socialite Nicole Richie's baby, while she started dating NHL player Mike Comrie in 2007.
While promoting her 2005 film "The Perfect Man" and Most Wanted, Duff showed off a set of veneers that received a great deal of tabloid press. In fact, the paparazzi stepped up following her every move because her look went from girl-next-door to bombshell overnight. She said she got them because she chipped off one of her teeth on a microphone during a concert. In 2006, Duff got the chance to work with her sister Haylie in the movie "Material Girls." Although the film did poorly with critics, as well as in the box office, the sisters grew closer than ever, even scoring a minor hit with the film's theme - a cover of Madonna's classic "Material Girl" produced by Timbaland.
The album Dignity heralded a new chapter in Duff's career. Her fan base had grown a little older while her sound had matured, with the first single "Play with Fire" becoming a dance club hit. It was the right time for Duff to show she had become a woman. After her relationship with Madden ended, the star proclaimed independence through her music. She was also in control of a business empire, as CEO of the clothing line "Stuff by Hilary Duff." In September 2006, she released the fragrance "With Love," a Hilary doll for Mattel, and appeared in the Electronic Arts video game "The Sims 2: Pets" along with her dog Lola.
A month later, Duff was in Bulgaria filming "War, Inc." with John Cusack and Marisa Tomei, proving she had finally come of age. She played a wild pop star who - in a scene from the movie - put a scorpion down her pants in front of Cusack. The clip played everywhere, even before the film was finally released in May 2008, proving the former teen star had grown up. It was reported that she was offered the lead role in the CW Network's remake of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (2008 - ), but she turned it down because she wanted to move away from the teen genre. Duff instead worked on the independent film "Greta" (2008) with Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn and the dark comedy "Safety Glass" (2009).