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Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff

Heather Graham Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress and singer. After gaining prominence in the television show Lizzie McGuire, she has since gone onto a film career, with roles in mainstream pictures such as Cheaper by the Dozen and independent films such as Material Girls. Duff has also ventured into a music career as a pop musician.

Early Life and Career

Hilary Duff was born in Houston, Texas as the second child of Robert (Bob) Erhard Duff, owner of a chain of convenience stores, and his wife Susan Colleen Cobb, a homemaker. Duff's middle name of "Erhard" was the maiden name of her part German American paternal grandmother, Mary Erhard; Duff also has German ancestry on the part of her maternal grandmother, Amy Beulah Schlemmer.

After Duff's mother encouraged her to take an acting class alongside her older sister, Haylie Duff, both girls won parts in various local theatre productions. At the age of six, the Duffs participated in the ballet The Nutcracker Suite with Columbus Ballet Met in San Antonio. The siblings became more and more enthusiastic about the idea of acting professionally, and they eventually relocated to California with their mother. Bob Duff stayed at the family home in Houston to maintain their business. Through years of auditions and meetings, Hilary and Haylie managed to clinch appearances in several television commercials.

Hilary Duff

 

Television and Film

Most of Duff's first few acting roles were small, starting off with an uncredited appearance in Hallmark Entertainment's western miniseries True Women (1997). She also served as an extra, again uncredited, in writer and director Willard Carroll's ensemble comedy drama Playing by Heart (1998). Her first major part was as the star of the 1998 film Casper Meets Wendy, playing the young witch Wendy who encounters the animated character Casper. Like Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997), the first sequel to the hugely successful Casper (1995), the film went direct-to-video with generally unenthusiastic reviews.

Duff later appeared in a supporting role in the television movie The Soul Collector in 1999, which was based on a Kathleen Kane novel, and starred Bruce Greenwood as an angel who helps out a female farmer (Melissa Gilbert) whose husband has recently died. Duff ended up winning a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot (Supporting Young Actress).

Duff's first serious shot at fame came when she was cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom Daddio (2000). Said Michael Chiklis, star of Daddio, "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". Before the show had even aired, Duff was dropped from its cast lineup and became reluctant to continue her acting career. Her manager and mother, Susan Duff, spurred her on, and she successfully auditioned for the family comedy show Lizzie McGuire a week later.

Lizzie McGuire, which first aired on the Disney Channel in January 2001, was a ratings hit, drawing in 2.3 million viewers per episode, and became the career breakthrough Duff had been waiting for. Her participation in the show led to her becoming highly popular among children between the ages of seven and fourteen, with Richard Huff of the New York Daily News calling her "a 2002 version of Annette Funicello". After fulfilling her entire sixty-five episode contract, as well as participating in a film spin-off entitled The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), Disney toyed with the idea of continuing the franchise in further films and a prime-time television series to be broadcast on ABC, but Duff refused the proposal.

Duff's second role in a theatrical motion picture was in Human Nature, an independent film first shown at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, the film follows a female naturalist, played by Patricia Arquette, who has body hair growing all over her body. Duff played the younger version of Arquette's character.

She starred in the Disney Channel television film Cadet Kelly (2002) with Christy Carlson Romano and Gary Cole, which became the network's most watched program in its nineteen-year history. Her first major role in a feature film was in Agent Cody Banks with Frankie Muniz in 2003, and it was successful enough to spawn a sequel which she did not participate in. After the commercially successful The Lizzie McGuire Movie, she played one of the twelve children of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the family film Cheaper by the Dozen, which remains her most widely seen film appearance. She reprised her role in the sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), which failed to repeat the financial success of the original film and was panned by critics.

In 2004, Duff starred in the romantic comedy A Cinderella Story, a twenty-first century update of Charles Perrault's fairy tale Cinderella. The film became a moderate box office hit, and some critics were impressed by Duff's performance, as well as her chemistry with co-star Chad Michael Murray. Later that year, she starred in the romance film Raise Your Voice. The Las Vegas Weekly wrote: "Effortlessly combining Duff's bad acting and bad singing with bad writing and bad direction, Raise Your Voice is an insulting waste of time that begs to be silenced." While some critics praised Duff for appearing in a more dramatic role than she had previously been seen in, the film was heavily panned. Reviews were, by and large, negative to Duff's vocals (several critics have pointed out what appears to be her digitally enhanced voice) and indifferent towards her acting performance, although she did receive a Razzie award nomination for "Worst Actress" (in addition to her work in A Cinderella Story). The film also received a muted reception at the box office, where it became Duff's least commercially successful film to date.

In Duff's next film, The Perfect Man (2005), she played the eldest daughter of a divorced woman (Heather Locklear) who moves to New York City as she desperately searches for a good man to settle down with. Reviews were uniformly negative, and it was a box office failure. She was nominated for a Razzie Award for both The Perfect Man and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

Duff's next film is the satirical comedy Material Girls. The Martha Coolidge-directed film, co-produced by Madonna's independent film production company Maverick Entertainment, stars Duff and her real-life sister Haylie Duff as wealthy siblings who must fight to reclaim their fortune following a scandal. It will be released in the U.S. on August 25, 2006. The Duff sisters are also due to lend their vocal talents to the computer animated comedy Foodfight!, to be distributed by Lions Gate Films in 2007. The film's director, Larry Kasanoff, said that he is "absolutely thrilled to have Hilary and Haylie Duff as part of the cast".

Music Career

Hilary Duff

After seeing her sister perform in a band, Duff decided that she wanted to try music too. She recorded the song "I Can't Wait" for the original television soundtrack for Lizzie McGuire in August 2002, and "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" for the first Disneymania compilation album released the following month. Her first album was Santa Claus Lane (2002), a collection of Christmas songs which included duets with Lil' Romeo, Christina Milian, and her sister, Haylie. It peaked well outside of the top 100 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, but eventually achieved gold certification. The album's title track was included on the soundtrack to The Santa Clause 2. Duff sang on several tracks on the soundtrack to The Lizzie McGuire Movie, including "Why Not". Released as a single, "Why Not" became a modest top twenty hit in Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

There has been speculation regarding whether or not Duff performs live. She has said in an interview that she and her band are all live, but she was alleged to have lip synced a performance at MTV's New Year's Bash 2004.

Duff's first non-holiday album, Metamorphosis (2003), included contributions by songwriter-producers such as The Matrix and went to number one on the U.S. and Canadian charts. It became one of the biggest selling albums of the year in the U.S. and has since gone to sell over 3.7 million copies. The lead single, "So Yesterday", was a top ten hit in several countries, while "Come Clean" became Duff's first top forty U.S. hit and reached the top twenty elsewhere. The final single, "Little Voice", was not released in the U.S. and was a minor hit in Canada and Australia.

The second Disneymania disc was released in January 2004, and contained a duet with her sister Haylie, "The Siamese Cat Song". Another song, "Circle of Life", featured Duff and other Disney Channel Stars. Duff and her sister also recorded a cover of The Go-Gos' "Our Lips Are Sealed" for the soundtrack to A Cinderella Story.

Duff said that her third album, the self-titled Hilary Duff, had an edgier, rock feel to it. It was released on her seventeenth birthday (in September 2004) and debuted at number two in the U.S. and number one in Canada. The album has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. to date, but "Fly" and "Someone's Watching over Me" failed to achieve substantial success apart from reaching the Australian top forty.

Duff's fourth album, Most Wanted (2005), consisted of a selection of her favourite tracks from her previous two albums alongside new songs inspired by rock musicians such as The Killers and Muse. Duff had more creative control over the album compared to her previous releases, co-writing and co-producing all of the new material with boyfriend Joel Madden . Lead single "Wake Up" became her highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and her highest peaking single in the U.S. The second single, "Beat of My Heart", was far less successful. The album itself debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and became her third number one debut in Canada, and by March 2006 it had sold 1.3 million copies in the U.S.

Duff and her sister have recorded a cover of Madonna's "Material Girl" for the soundtrack of the film Material Girls. The track was produced by Timbaland, and a music video is to be released in the near future.

Personal Life

Duff has dated singer Aaron Carter. There were reports that she had tried to have fellow teen actress Lindsay Lohan banned from the preview of Cheaper by the Dozen because Lohan had allegedly been dating Carter at the same time as Duff in late 2003, as well as other reports about a fistfight that supposedly took place between the two actresses. Duff had a disagreement with pop punk singer Avril Lavigne over criticisms by Duff that Lavigne did not respect her own fans for copying her dress style. Although this occured, the two have made up and are not fighting. They were seen at a party conversing and taking pictures with their beaus. Duff has also briefly dated Jordan Masterson, younger brother of Christopher Masterson(Malcolm in the Middle) and Danny Masterson(That 70's Show), although they broke up after just a few weeks together. She is currently dating Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden. She finally cleared up all the rumors in June 2005 by admitting they were dating, and had been seeing each other since she was sixteen and he was twenty-four. The rumour began when they were seen together in Toronto for the 2004 MuchMusic Video Awards.

Duff, who doesn't get along well with Lindsay Lohan, however, has many best friends like Susmita Shenoi. Duff is involved with many charities, is an animal rights enthusiast, and a member of "Kids with a Cause". On September 5, 2005 it was reported that she donated US$250,000 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She launched a clothing line, "Stuff by Duff" on March 12, 2004 with clothes distributed through Target in the United States and Australia and Zellers in Canada. Playmates Toys also released a celebrity doll of her that year.

In late 2005, Duff took a month off from work as a belated eighteenth birthday present. She said that after releasing Most Wanted and writing three new songs for it, shooting three films, and embarking on her U.S. "Still Most Wanted Tour", she wanted to take a short break. Her forthcoming film Outward Blonde was then put on hold for "a little while", but Duff planned to commence promotion for the films Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Material Girls after her month off, as well as continuing her "Still Most Wanted Tour" in Canada, Australia and other countries.

By 2005 Duff appeared to have lost weight, leading fans and the media to speculate that she had developed an eating disorder. Duff was interviewed on the Australian current affair show Today Tonight and stated that she lost weight to live a more healthy lifestyle. MuchMusic VJ Hannah Sung interviewed Joel Madden in Tokyo and asked him about Duff's new look. Madden said that he didn't know what she was talking about. In August 2005, Duff said she received veneers because she chipped her teeth on microphones during performances.

Filmography

2007 Foodfight! as Sunshine Goodness
2006 Material Girls ass Tanzie Marchetta
2005 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 as Lorraine Baker
2005 The Perfect Man as Holly Hamilton
2004 In Search of Santa as Crystal
2004 Raise Your Voice as Terri Fletcher
2004 A Cinderella Story as Samantha Montgomery
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen as Lorraine Baker
2003 The Lizzie McGuire Movie as Lizzie McGuire/Isabella Parigi
2003 Agent Cody Banks as Natalie Connors
2002 Human Nature as Young Lila Jute
1998 Playing by Heart — Uncredited
1998 Casper Meets Wendy as Wendy

Television

1997 True Women — Uncredited
1999 The Soul Collector as Ellie
2001—2004 Lizzie McGuire as Lizzie McGuire
2002 Cadet Kelly as Kelly Collins

Guest appearances

Hilary Duff

Duff has made numerous guest appearances in television shows, her first as a sick child in the medical drama Chicago Hope in March 2000. In a 2003 episode of George Lopez, she had a role as a makeup salesperson, and would later appear in the show in 2005 as a feminist poet friend of Carmen (Masiela Lusha), a character whose poetry had roots in the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Toril Moi, and Ranjit Hakim. She acted opposite her sister Haylie as the '60s pop group The Shangri-Las in American Dreams in 2003 and played a classmate and idolizer of the title character of Joan of Arcadia in the winter of 2005.

Discography
Albums:

2002 Santa Claus Lane

2003 Metamorphosis
2004 Hilary Duff

2005 Most Wanted

Hilary Duff Picture Gallery

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