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Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank

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Also Known As: Hilary Ann Swank Died:
Born: July 30, 1974 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though she struggled to gain her footing for almost a decade, actress Hilary Swank finally had a major breakthrough when she earned the Academy Award for her gripping performance in the indie darling "Boys Don't Cry" (1999). A classic "overnight" success story that Hollywood loves to sire, Swank quickly proved that she was no one-trick-pony with quality turns in Sam Raimi's supernatural thriller "The Gift" (2000), the period romantic drama "The Affair of the Necklace" (2001) and Christopher Nolan's excellent crime thriller "Insomnia" (2002). She went on to find her star-making niche playing steely women who succeeded against the odds, best exemplified by her performance as a female boxer who meets a tragic end in Clint Eastwood's moody drama "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), a role that earned her a second Oscar. From there, she etched powerful performances as real-life women such as American suffragist Alice Paul in "Iron Jawed Angels" (HBO, 2004), unorthodox teacher Erin Gruwell in "Freedom Writers" (2007) and groundbreaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in "Amelia" (2009). In 2006, Swank was the subject of tabloid headlines following her divorce from actor Chad Lowe and subsequent romance with her own...

Though she struggled to gain her footing for almost a decade, actress Hilary Swank finally had a major breakthrough when she earned the Academy Award for her gripping performance in the indie darling "Boys Don't Cry" (1999). A classic "overnight" success story that Hollywood loves to sire, Swank quickly proved that she was no one-trick-pony with quality turns in Sam Raimi's supernatural thriller "The Gift" (2000), the period romantic drama "The Affair of the Necklace" (2001) and Christopher Nolan's excellent crime thriller "Insomnia" (2002). She went on to find her star-making niche playing steely women who succeeded against the odds, best exemplified by her performance as a female boxer who meets a tragic end in Clint Eastwood's moody drama "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), a role that earned her a second Oscar. From there, she etched powerful performances as real-life women such as American suffragist Alice Paul in "Iron Jawed Angels" (HBO, 2004), unorthodox teacher Erin Gruwell in "Freedom Writers" (2007) and groundbreaking aviatrix Amelia Earhart in "Amelia" (2009). In 2006, Swank was the subject of tabloid headlines following her divorce from actor Chad Lowe and subsequent romance with her own agent, John Campisi. Five years later, she was criticized for attending the birthday celebration of Chechnyan president Ramzan Kadyrov, who had been cited for human rights violations, leading her to publicly apologize. Despite such embarrassment, Swank remained one of Hollywood's more versatile actresses who drew upon her working-class roots to deliver one informed performance after another.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Homesman, The (2014)
2.
 Mary & Martha (2013)
3.
 You're Not You (2013)
4.
 Resident, The (2011)
5.
 New Year's Eve (2011)
6.
 Conviction (2010)
7.
 Amelia (2009)
8.
 Birds of America (2008)
9.
 P.S. I Love You (2007)
10.
 Reaping, The (2007)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Bellingham, WA
1983:
Began acting career as Mowgli in a school play of "The Jungle Book"
:
Won the Best Junior Actress Award from the Bellingham Theatre Guild
1990:
Moved to Los Angeles at age 16
1991:
Landed first job as guest star in episode of the syndicated series "Harry and the Hendersons"
1991:
Played recurring roles in ABC's "Growing Pains" and CBS' "Evening Shade"
1992:
Portrayed Kimberly, Kristy Swanson's Valley Girl pal, in the feature "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
1992:
Had regular role on ABC's comedy series "Camp Wilder"
1994:
Played lead in the feature "The Next Karate Kid"
1997:
Was regular on the short-lived ABC series "Leaving L.A."
1997:
Joined the cast of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox) as Carly Reynolds, a single mother who becomes a love interest for Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering)
1999:
Gave a Oscar winning performance as Teena Brandon, a young woman undergoing a <i>sexual identity crisis</i> who opted to live as a man and was brutally raped and murdered when it was discovered she was born female in "Boys Don't Cry"
2000:
Cast in the Sam Raimi directed "The Gift"
2001:
Appeared as a French noblewoman in "The Affair of the Necklace"
2002:
Co-starred with Al Pacino in the American version of "Insomnia"
2003:
Co-starred as Major Beck Childs in the sci-fi thriller "The Core"
2004:
Signed to be the exclusive celebrity model of the Calvin Klein intimate apparel
2004:
Co-starred with Clint Eastwood in "Million Dollar Baby" as a woman determined to establish herself as a boxer
2004:
Starred opposite Anjelica Huston and Frances O'Connor in the HBO movie "Iron Jawed Angels," about the stuggle for women's right to vote; received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie
2006:
Signed on to be the spokeswoman for a new women's fragrance launched by Guerlain
2006:
Cast as Josh Hartnett's love interest in "The Black Dahlia," Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's classic noir novel
2007:
Starred as a inspiring teacher in the drama "Freedom Writers"
2007:
Played Katherine Winter, a university professor in religion-themed horror film "The Reaping"
2007:
Co-starred as a widow whose life is turned upside down by letters left behind by her husband in "P.S. I Love You"
2007:
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
2009:
Portrayed Amelia Earhart in Mira Nair's biopic "Amelia"; also co-executive produced
2010:
Portrayed Betty Anne Waters, an unemployed single mother, who spent a decade earning a law degree so she could represent her brother in the film "Conviction"
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role ("Conviction")
2011:
Nominated for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
2011:
Cast in the ensemble romantic comedy "New Year¿s Eve," directed by Garry Marshall
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Sehome High School: Bellingham , Washington -
South Pasadena High School: South Pasadena , California -
Santa Monica City College: Santa Monica , California -

Notes

When asked if she had ever done martial arts before "The Next Karate Kid": "No, never. I had flexibility in gymnastics, and I took instruction and worked hard, hours and hours a day. I wanted to do all my stunts." And did she? "Oh, God, I've got plenty of bruises. Yes!"---Hilary Swank in Parade Magazine, August 7, 1994.

"It took about four weeks for me to detox from masculinity... I felt like I had lost every ounce of my femininity and I honestly didn't know if I'd ever get it back."---Swank on playing Brandon in "Boy's Don't Cry", quoted in Talk, October 1999.

"I figured out why it was so easy. I had so much fear and anxiety about it, but when we did it, it was so professional, it didn't live up to my fear. It was just make-believe."---Hilary Swank, on the brutal rape scene in "Boy's Don't Cry", to Stacy D'Erasmo of Out, October 1999.

"I hope ['Boys Don't Cry'] can help people be inspired to be themselves and to live their dream. And live every single moment fully."---Hilary Swank quoted in USA Today, October 21, 1999.

Swank was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004

"The second after I won the Academy Award [for 1999's Boys Don't Cry], I felt inhibited, like I was being watched under a microscope, she says. "People weren't necessarily putting that on me so much as I was putting that on myself. It took a while before I could relax and enjoy acting again."---Swank quoted in Premiere, December 2004/January 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Chad Lowe. Actor. Met c. 1992; married on October 2, 1997; worked together on feature "Quiet Days in Hollywood" (shown at 1997 Cannes Festival).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Stephen Swank. Was officer in the National Guard; separated from Swank's mother c. 1990.
mother:
Judy Swank. Secretary. Accompanied daughter to L.A. after separating from husband c. 1990.
brother:
Dan Swank. Businessman. Born c. 1966; owns marketing company in Edmonds, Washington.

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