Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank

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Full Name: Hilary Ann Swank

Date of Birth: July 30, 1974

Place of Birth: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Occupation: Actress

Height: 5' 7''

Best Known For: Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby

Hilary Swank Biography

Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress. She is best known for her two Oscar-winning performances: a troubled transman, Brandon Teena, in the movie Boys Don't Cry, and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby.

Her film career in Hollywood began with a small part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and then a major part in The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she played Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of the legendary sensei Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita.

Swank was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and makes no secret of her humble beginnings, particularly as a child growing up near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington. After winning her second Best Actress Oscar, she said: "I don't know what I did in this life to deserve this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream."

When she was nine years old, Swank made her first appearance on stage starring as Mowgli in The Jungle Book, and thereafter became heavily involved in her school and community theater programs. She went to school in Bellingham, where she lived with her family, until she was 16. She competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington State championships in swimming; she ranked 5th in the state in all-around gymnastics. Swank's parents separated when she was 15, and her mother, supportive of her daughter's desire to act, moved the two of them to Los Angeles, California, where they lived out of their car until Swank's mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. She enrolled in South Pasadena High School, and started acting professionally. Swank also helped pay the rent with the money she earned appearing in television programs such as Evening Shade and Growing Pains.

In 1998, Swank was cast as single mother Carly Reynolds on Beverly Hills 90210. She was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes. Swank later said that she was devastated at being cut from the show, thinking, "If I'm not good enough for 90210, I'm not good enough for anything." As it turned out, the firing was the best thing to happen to Swank, as it freed her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. The role made her a star, with almost every critic hailing hers as the best female performance of 1999. The performance ultimately won her the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actress.

Swank married actor Chad Lowe on September 28, 1997. They met at a 1992 Hollywood Athletic Club party and are both members at the AGAPE Spiritual Center in Culver City, California, along with fellow stars Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. Swank infamously forgot to thank Lowe during her acceptance speech after winning her first Oscar in 2000, and she spent nearly every public appearance afterward making up for it. Upon winning her second Oscar in 2005, Lowe was the first person she thanked. However, in January 2006, the couple separated. In subsequent interviews, Swank expressed hope that they could reconcile, but they later announced in May 2006 that they were divorcing.
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