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.
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
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".
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.
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.
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
1997 True Women Uncredited
1999 The Soul Collector as Ellie
20012004 Lizzie McGuire as Lizzie McGuire
2002 Cadet Kelly as Kelly Collins
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
2002 Santa Claus Lane
2004 Hilary Duff
2005 Most Wanted
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