Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress and singer–songwriter. After working in local theater plays and television commercials in her childhood, Duff gained fame for playing the title role in the television series Lizzie McGuire. Duff subsequently ventured into feature films, with her most commercially successful movies being Cheaper by the Dozen, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and A Cinderella Story.
Duff expanded her repertoire into pop music with the release of three RIAA-certified platinum albums and over thirteen million records sold worldwide as of February 2007. Her first studio album, Metamorphosis (2003), was certified triple platinum and she followed it up with two more platinum albums, Hilary Duff (2004) and Most Wanted (2005). Duff had a musical comeback with the release of her third studio album, Dignity (2007), which was certified gold in August 2007 and released two singles, "With Love", her biggest US single to date and "Stranger". In November 2008, she released another Greatest Hits compilation, Best of Hilary Duff with her third #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play single "Reach Out" .
Duff has also launched clothing lines including, "Stuff by Hilary Duff", and Femme for DKNY Jeans and two exclusive perfume collections with Elizabeth Arden. Duff and her mother were listed as producers for the movie Material Girls. Duff is credited as executive producer for the upcoming independent film Greta.
Early life and career
Duff was born in Houston, Texas on September 28, 1987. She is the second child of Susan Colleen (née Cobb), a homemaker and a film producer, and husband Robert Erhard Duff, a partner in a chain of convenience stores, who resides at the family home in Houston to maintain the family's convenience store business. She has an elder sister, Haylie Duff, who is also an actress/singer. Duff's mother encouraged Hilary to take up acting classes alongside her elder sister, Haylie, which resulted in both girls winning roles in various local theatre productions. At the ages of eight and six, respectively, the Duff sisters participated in the ballet, The Nutcracker Suite with Columbus BalletMet in San Antonio. The siblings became more enthusiastic about the idea of choosing acting as a profession, and eventually relocated to California with their mother. Duff's father stayed at the family home in Houston to take care of their business. After several years of auditions and meetings, the Duff sisters were cast in various television commercials.
Duff's early career was marked by playing minor roles, starting off with an uncredited appearance in Hallmark Entertainment's western miniseries True Women in 1997. She also served as an uncredited extra, in writer-director Willard Carroll's ensemble dramedy Playing by Heart in 1998. Her first major role was as a star of the 1998 film Casper Meets Wendy, a direct-to-video sequel to Casper in which she plays the young witch Wendy, who encounters the animated character Casper. The film was released to mostly unenthusiastic reviews.
In 1999, Duff appeared in a supporting role in the television film The Soul Collector, which was based on a Kathleen Kane novel. Duff won a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot (Supporting Young Actress)" for her role in the movie.
Duff's first serious rise to fame came when she was cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom Daddio in 2000. Her co-star Michael Chiklis, stated, "After working with her the first day, I remember saying to my wife, 'this young girl is going to be a movie star'. She was completely at ease with herself and comfortable in her own skin." Duff was dropped from the cast of Daddio before it was aired, which made her reluctant to pursue her acting career further. However, her manager and mother urged her on, and a week later she successfully auditioned for the children's television series Lizzie McGuire, where she portrayed the title role of a clumsy but average middle school girl. The show focused on her growth into teenhood.
In a June 2006 interview with Elle magazine, Duff was quoted as saying: "...(virginity) is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn't mean I haven't thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in". Duff later told MuchMusic that she did not say the quotes attributed to her in the article and that the subject was "definitely not something that I would talk about..." She denied the quotes again in a 2008 interview with Maxim magazine.
Duff is involved with various charities, is an animal rights enthusiast and a member of Kids with a Cause. She also donated $250,000 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, she donated over 2.5 million meals to Hurricane Katrina victims in the south. In August 2006, Duff traveled to a New Orleans elementary school and worked with USA Harvest to distribute meals. She has also served on the Advisory Board of the "Audrey Hepburn Child Benefit Fund" and the Celebrity Council of "Kids with a Cause". On October 8, 2008, Duff starred in a public service announcement for The Think Before You Speak Campaign by Ad Council and GLSEN, to prevent youth from using anti-LGBT vocabulary, such as the phrase "That's so Gay". In July 2009, Duff was named as a Youth Ambassador to the children of the Colombian capital, Bogota.As a Youth Ambassador, she will spend five days in the country, distributing backpacks filled with food to needy children.
In 2005, Duff's earnings were estimated to be $15 million and in December 2007, Duff was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. In 2007, Duff was ranked at #23 in Maxim's "Hot 100" list. In 2008, Duff was ranked #7 for the US edition of FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World", while for the UK edition she ranked in at #8.
Duff has stated numerous times that she’s a strong animal rights supporter and has commented, when asked what she would be doing if she weren’t a celebrity, "I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger, but then I figured out that animals actually die there, so that was not the job for me. Definitely something with kids or animals or something like that."
Duff began dating singer Aaron Carter in 2001. They met on the sets of Lizzie McGuire, during Carter's guest appearance in a Christmas episode. The relationship lasted two years. It was reported that Carter left Duff for Lindsay Lohan, but soon broke up with Lohan and resumed dating Duff. Carter later stated that he also cheated on Duff with her best friend, and that Duff "got her heart broken" and he was "sorry" for his actions. On March 23, 2007, Claymation facsimiles of Duff and Lohan appeared on the celebrity wrestling series Celebrity Deathmatch episode "Where's Lohan?". Duff and Lindsay Lohan were later reported to have been involved in a "feud" with each other over their relationship with Carter. In 2007, Duff and Lohan had reconciled. Lohan attended the release party for Duff's album Dignity and Duff told People magazine that she thought Lohan was "fun" and "a nice girl".
Duff began dating Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden in 2004. After a long period of tabloid speculation, Duff's mother Susan announced their relationship in a June 2005 interview for Seventeen magazine. Duff and Madden broke up in November 2006. The same year, Duff's parents separated after 22 years of marriage, due to infidelity on the part of her father. She wrote about the pain caused by the separation in her songs "Stranger" and "Gypsy Woman".
Duff began dating NHL player Mike Comrie in 2007. She frequently attends his games. Comrie bought Duff a Mercedes-Benz for her 20th birthday.
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