Real name: Hilary Ann Swank
Birthdate: July 30, 1974
Partner: Chad Lowe
Click here for more images!
Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is a two-time Oscar winning American actress. Her Hollywood film career 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 Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of the sensei Mr. Miyagi. She has become known for her two Academy Award-winning performances: first as Brandon Teena, a transgender man in the movie Boys Don't Cry, and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby. She will be acting in Iron Man, an upcoming flick based on fictional Marvel Comics character due for release in May 2008.
When she was nine years old, Swank made her first appearance on stage starring in The Jungle Book, and thereafter became heavily involved in her school and community theater programs, including those of the Bellingham Theatre Guild. She went to Sehome High School in Bellingham until she was sixteen. Swank also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington State championships in swimming; she ranked 5th in the state in all-around gymnastics (which would come in handy when starring in The Next Karate Kid (1994) years later). Swank's parents separated when she was thirteen, and her mother, supportive of her daughter's desire to act, moved the two of them to Los Angeles, California, where they lived out of their car until Swank's mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. Swank has described her mother as the inspiration for her acting career and her life during this time period and subsequently. In California, Swank enrolled in South Pasadena High School (although she later dropped out of high school) and started acting professionally. She also helped pay the rent with the money she earned appearing in television programs such as Evening Shade and Growing Pains.
In early 2006, Swank signed a three-year contract as spokesperson for Guerlain (a women's fragrance). In 2007, Swank starred in and executive produced Freedom Writers, a drama about a real-life teacher who inspired a California high school class. Many reviews of Swank's performance were positive, with one critic noting that she "brings credibility" to the role and another stating that her performance reaches a "singular lack of artifice, stripping herself back to the bare essentials". Later the same year, Swank starred The Reaping, a horror film released on April 5, 2007, in which she plays a debunker of religious phenomena. Swank convinced the producers to move the film's setting from New England to the Deep South, and the movie was filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina struck. Swank has also completed filming on the romantic comedy PS, I Love You.
Swank married actor Chad Lowe on September 28, 1997. The two met in 1992, on the set of Quiet Days in Hollywood, a direct-to-video film. Swank infamously forgot to thank Lowe during her acceptance speech after winning her first Oscar in 2000, and she spent nearly every public appearance afterward making up for it. Upon winning her second Oscar in 2005, Lowe was the first person she thanked. However, in January 2006, the couple separated. In subsequent interviews, Swank expressed hope that they could reconcile, but they announced in May 2006 that they were divorcing. In December 2006, Swank confirmed that she is dating John Campisi, her agent.