Hilary Swank

Biography

Hilary Swank (born 30.7.1974)

Hilary Swank is an Oscar-winning American actress. She has won Academy Awards for her roles in Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby.

Hilary Swank: Childhood

Hilary Swank was born to Stephen and Judy Swank in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Swank family came from modest beginnings and started out in a trailer park in Bellingham, Washington.

At the age of nine, Hilary Swank became involved in school drama productions, and starred in The Jungle Book as well as becoming involved in the Bellingham Theatre Guild. Whilst attending Sehome High School, Swank developed her sporting talent and competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington State Games in swimming and gymnastics.

When Hilary Swank was 13 years old, her parents divorced. Her mother moved with her to Los Angeles, to pursue Hilary's desire to enter the world of acting. Once there, Hilary enrolled in South Pasadena High School, and began acting professionally. With the money that she earned acting in TV shows such as Growing Pains, she helped her mother to pay the rent.

Hilary Swank: Acting Career

In 1994, Hilary Swank was cast in the final film in the Karate Kid series, entitled The Next Karate Kid. In 1997, she was then cast as Carly Reynolds, a single mother, in Beverley Hills 90210. Initially, she was expecting to be in the series for two years but her character was written out of the show after just 16 episodes.

Luckily for Swank, being dropped from the series enabled her to audition for the film Boys Don't Cry. She landed the role of Brandon Teena and in preparation for the role, Swank had to reduce her body fat percentage to just seven per cent. She starred in the film alongside Chloë Sevigny and earned herself both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress.

Hilary Swank's award-winning success continued when she starred in Million Dollar Baby, directed by Clint Eastwood and again winning a Golden Globe and Academy Award. In preparation for this role, Swank had to learn to box, and gained almost 20 pounds in muscle. This award success put Swank in the same realm as Sally Field, Vivien Leigh. Helen Hayes and Luise Rainer - the only actresses to have been nominated twice for an Academy Award and to have won both times.

In 2007, Hilary Swank appeared in the film Freedom Writers, a drama based on the true story of a teacher who had inspired a Californian high school class. Later that year, she also starred in The Reaping. Swank convinced the film's producers to move the film shoot from New England to Louisiana but the filming was interrupted when Hurricane Katrina struck the area. 2007 also saw the release of P.S. I Love You, in which Swank appeared alongside Gerard Butler.

Hilary Swank also starred in The Black Dahlia, alongside Scarlett Johansson.

Swank became the 2325th celebrity to be presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hilary Swank: Personal Life

Hilary Swank married Chad Lowe, an actor, in September 1997. The pair had met whilst filming Quiet Days In Hollywood. Famously, Hilary forgot to thank her husband in her first Oscar acceptance speech, so in her second, ensured that he was the first person to get a mention. However, the pair separated at the start of 2006 and divorced in May of that year.

In December 2006, it was announced that Hilary Swank was dating her own agent, John Campisi.

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