- Birth nameHilary Ann Swank
- Height5′ 6″ (1.68 m)
- Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and Scottish. During her early childhood, her family moved to Spokane, Washington, and when she was six, to Bellingham, Washington.
Hilary was discovered as a child by producer Suzy Sachs, who coached her in acting. When she 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. She appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) but The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she got the part competing against hundreds of other actresses, was her breakout role. Ever since then, she has been much in demand and has worked non-stop in movies. She won the Best Actress Oscar for playing "Brandon Teena" in Boys Don't Cry (1999). In addition to the Oscar, Hilary won the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress in a Drama" and "Best Actress" prizes from The New York Film Critics, The Los Angeles Film Critics, The Chicago Film Critics and The Broadcast Film Critics Association. She also won the "Breakthrough Performance" prize from The National Board of Review.
Hilary then appeared in supporting roles opposite Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves in Sam Raimi's The Gift (2000) and opposite Al Pacino and Robin Williams in Christopher Nolan's Insomnia (2002). Hilary then starred as "Alice Paul" in HBO's Iron Jawed Angels (2004), which told the story of the women's suffragist movement and she was honored with both SAG and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in this film. In 2004, Hilary starred opposite Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman as the title character in Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004); the story of a young woman's quest to realize her dream of becoming a professional boxer. For this performance, she was honored with her second Academy Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" and has garnered "Best Actress" prizes from the National Society of Film Critics, the Screen Actors Guild, The Broadcast Film Critics, and a Golden Globe for "Best Lead Actress in a Drama".
Hilary Swank is the third youngest woman in history to win two Academy Awards for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role".
She subsequently had a supporting role opposite Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia (2006), starred in Freedom Writers (2007), the true story of Long Beach schoolteacher, Erin Gruwell, The Reaping (2007) for Warner Brothers, and reunited with her Freedom Writers (2007) writer/director, Richard LaGravenese, starring in the film adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's novel, P.S. I Love You (2007).
An aficionado for anything that involves the outdoors, she enjoys: sky diving, river rafting and skiing.- IMDb Mini Biography By: firstname.lastname@example.org
- SpousesPhilip Schneider(August 18, 2018 - present) (2 children)Chad Lowe(September 28, 1997 - November 1, 2007) (divorced)
- ParentsStephen Michael Swank
- RelativesDan Swank(Sibling)
- Frequently portrays women who attempt to achieve their goals in life despite the odds and obstacles that get in their way.
- Her characters often go through an immediate or slow transformation in either appearance or skills.
- Mother Judy Swank moved with her to Los Angeles at age 16, where, impoverished for a while, they lived out of their car.
- Although she was naturally athletic from high school, she totally changed physically to play Maggie in Million Dollar Baby (2004). She gained nearly 20 pounds, becoming so buff that her former clothes are still too small for her.
- On August 18, 2018, Swank wed her boyfriend of two years, Philip Schneider, at the Santa Lucia Preserve (in Carmel, California). They met on a blind date set up by actor Misha Collins's wife, Victoria Vantoch. Swank and Schneider were engaged a year and a half later.
- [2005 Academy Awards acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Leading Role] I don't know what I did in this life to deserve all this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream. I never thought this would ever happen, let alone be nominated. And a working actor, for that matter. And now, this. I thank the Academy. I'm eternally grateful for this great honor. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow nominees, Annette, Imelda, Kate, and Catalina, your work inspires me beyond words.
I am going to start by thanking my husband because I'd like to think I learned from past mistakes. Chad, you're my everything. Thank you for your support. It means the world. I would never be standing here if it weren't for the -- each and every one of the brilliant people I had surrounding me, supporting me and believing in me. Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, thank you for sending me this most marvelous script. You will never know how grateful I am. Paul Haggis, for writing this beautiful script. Our other producers extraordinaire: Albert S. Ruddy (Al Ruddy), Clint, Rob Lorenz (Robert Lorenz). Phyllis Huffman, our casting director. My trainers, Grant Roberts and Hector Roca, you pushed me further than I ever thought I could push myself up to that last pound, actually to that last ounce. I thank you. My sparring partners who were so patient. And everyone at Gleason's.
Well, the ever-amazing Morgan Freeman. Tom Stern, our cinematographer, you are brilliant. Joel Cox, our editor, you're amazing. You know? I'm going to thank my mom for believing in me from the beginning. My dad, for his support. My agents, Josh Lieberman, Tony Lipp, Kelly Tiffan, John Campisi. Jason Weinberg, my manager (You can't do that. I haven't gotten to Clint yet! I saved him for the end)
Karl Austen (Karl R. Austen), Jeff Bernstein, my lawyers. And then Clint. Clint Eastwood. Thank you for allowing me to go on this journey with you. Thank you for believing in me. You're my "macushla" Thank you. Warner brothers, as well. And you know what? Wait! Troy Nankin, my best friend and publicist. Thank you!
- [Newsweek magazine] My most annoying question is "Hilary, are you ever going to play a pretty girl?".
- [on playing Annie Sullivan] I think when you're playing a real character you have an extra responsibility to do it really right, so because of that, I do extensive research. I really try and figure out the person inside and out. I read the lines, but I read in-between the lines and try and find the qualities in that person that makes them human and I hopefully try and bring that out in what I do.
- [Woman's World, July 19, 2005] I cut coupons, love specials and believe in buying toilet paper and toothpaste in bulk. It's just who I am.
- [on working as an actor] I've realized that as an actor you have to just keep working really hard and studying your craft. I think I thought maybe things would be easier after the first Academy Award, that I would get better job opportunities, but then you really realize that there's not a whole lot of great quality out there, for women especially. It's not just something that women say; it's the truth. Because of that I had to be specific about not just doing something that I didn't want to do, but I also needed to pay my bills. I didn't do job after job after job. I would do a job and then still keep working on acting, whether it would be reading a play - something that's inspiring - with a bunch of actors, hearing it, studying, reading books about acting, and watching actors. I think it's an ever-evolving craft. And I think it's something that you always need to work at.
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