Hilary Swank's career in
Hilary Swank also had a reccuring role on the
Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974 in Lincoln, Nebraska and raised in Bellingham, Washington) is a two-time Oscar-winning American actress. She is best known for her performances as troubled transman Brandon Teena in the movie Boys Don't Cry and as waitress-turned-boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby; both roles earned her Academy Awards for Best Actress.
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 the title character, the first female protégé of the (by then) legendary sensei played by Pat Morita.
Swank also had a regular role on Beverly Hills 90210 during the show's eighth season, but was fired in the middle of the season, three weeks before landing the role in Boys Don't Cry.
Hilary Swank 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 Hilary Swank was nine years old she starred in her first play as Mowgli in The Jungle Book. She began to appear regularly in local theater and school plays. She went to school in Bellingham, where she lived with her family, until she was 16. She competed in the Junior Olympics and Washington State championships in swimming; she ranked 5th in the state in all-around gymnastics (which would come in handy for starring in The Next Karate Kid (1994) years later). In 1990, Hilary and her mother moved to Los Angeles, where she enrolled in South Pasadena High School, and started acting professionally. Hilary and her husband Chad Lowe, are members at the AGAPE Spiritual Center in Culver City, California along with fellow stars, Dennis Quaid, Liam Stone, and Meg Ryan .
Hilary Swank decided to pursue acting by the age of 16, dropping out of high school. She was still 15 when her parents separated, and her mother, supportive of her desire to act, moved the two of them to California, living in their car at first. Their homelessness did not last long; she soon got roles in television programs such as Evening Shade and Growing Pains.
In 1998, Hilary Swank was cast as single mother Carly Reynolds on "Beverly Hills: 90210." She was promised it would be a two-year role but was written out after 16 episodes. Swank later related she was devastated, 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 Hilary, as it freed her to audition for the role of Teena Brandon in Boys Don't Cry. The role made her a star with almost every critic hailing hers as the best female performance of 1999 and won her the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actress.
But even after winning her first Oscar, she was reminded of her humble roots. Hilary Swank had earned only $75/day for her work on Boys Don't Cry, a total of $3000; her earnings were so low, that (according to an anecdote on 60 Minutes) she hadn't earned enough to qualify for health insurance.
On January 15, 2005, after arriving at a New Zealand airport she was fined NZ$230 by the Manukau District Court for not declaring an apple and orange she had on her person when she landed. Swank appealed the fine but it was upheld on March 30, 2005. She has a strong vegetarian regime which made it somewhat difficult in the physical training for Million Dollar Baby .
Hilary Swank has been married to fellow actor Chad Lowe since September 28, 1997. They met on the set of Quiet Days in Hollywood. Swank infamously forgot to thank Lowe during her acceptance speech after winning her first Oscar in 2001 and spent nearly every public appearance afterward making up for it. Upon winning her second Oscar in 2005, Lowe was the first person she thanked. A year later on January 9, 2006, Swank’s manager announced that the couple was separating. In interviews, however, Swank expressed hope they would reconcile.
Filmography for Hilary Swank
This Hilary Swank Biography Page is Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Chuck Ayoub