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Hilary Swank Bio
Hilary Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and producer. She has received two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Critics Choice Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Swank made her film debut in a minor role in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, before making her breakout role in the fourth installment of The Karate Kid franchise, The Next Karate Kid in 1994. On television, she was part of the main cast in the eighth season of the drama series Beverly Hills 90210 as single mother Carly Reynolds from 1997 to 1998. Swank garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in the 1999 biographical film Boys Don’t Cry, which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. She starred in Clint Eastwood’s 2004 sports drama film Million Dollar Baby as struggling-waitress-turned-boxer Maggie Fitzgerald, which won her a second Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
She has also starred in films such as The Gift (2000), Insomnia (2002), The Core (2003), Iron Jawed Angels (2004), Red Dust (2004), The Reaping (2007), P.S. I Love You (2007), Freedom Writers (2007), The Homesman(2014), You’re Not You (2014) and Logan Lucky (2017). In 2018, she portrayed Abigail Harris Getty in the FX series Trust, opposite Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty.
Swank made her film debut in the 1992 comedy horror Buffy the Vampire Slayer, playing a small role, after which she acted in the direct-to-video drama Quiet Days in Hollywood, where she co-starred with Chad Lowe, who would become her husband for a time. Her first leading film role was in the fourth installment of the Karate Kid series, The Next Karate Kid (1994), which utilized her gymnastics background and paired her with Pat Morita. In 1994, she also starred in the drama Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story as the abused step-daughter who was protected by Donna (Jaclyn Smith). In 1995, she appeared with British actor Bruce Payne in Kounterfeit. In 1996 she starred in a TV movie, family drama Terror in the Family, as a troubled teenager. In September 1997, Swank played single mother Carly Reynolds in Beverly Hills 90210 and was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes in January 1998. Swank later stated that she was devastated at being cut from the show, thinking, “If I’m not good enough for 90210, I’m not good enough for anything.”
The firing from Beverly Hills 90210 freed her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. To prepare for the role, Swank lived as a man for a month and reduced her body fat to seven percent. Many critics hailed her work as the best female performance of 1999 and her work ultimately won her the Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Actress. Swank had earned only $75 per day for her work on the film, culminating in a total of $3,000. Her earnings were so low that she had not even earned enough to qualify for health insurance.
Swank again won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for playing a female boxer in Clint Eastwood’s 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, a role for which she underwent extensive training in the ring and weight room gaining 19 pounds of muscle, aided by professional trainer Grant L. Roberts. With her second Oscar, she had joined the ranks of Vivien Leigh, Sally Field and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress twice and won both times. After winning her second 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.”
In 2006, Swank signed a three-year contract with Guerlain to be the face of the women’s fragrance Insolence. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the motion picture category on January 8, 2007, and was the 2,325th star presented.
In 2007, Swank starred in Freedom Writers, about a real-life teacher, Erin Gruwell. Many reviews of her 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”. Swank next starred in the horror film The Reaping (2007), as a debunker of religious phenomena. Swank convinced the producers to move the film’s setting from New England to the Deep South, and the film was filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina struck. The same year, she also appeared in the romantic drama P.S. I Love You with Gerard Butler. Swank portrayed the pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart in the 2009 biopic Amelia, which she also co-executive produced through 2S Films, a production company she established with producer Molly Smith.
In 2012, Swank’s audiobook recording of Caroline Knapp’s Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs was released at Audible.com. In 2013, she starred in the television film Mary and Martha alongside Brenda Blethyn. In 2014, Swank played the lead role of Kate Parker, a woman whose life is shattered when she develops the degenerative disease ALS, in You’re Not You. The film co-starred Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel.
In 2017, she appeared in Steven Soderbergh’s heist comedy Logan Lucky as Special Agent Sarah Grayson, alongside Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig, and portrayed lawyer Colette Hughes in Bille August’s drama film 55 Steps. Swank will star in and executive produce the Alzheimer’s disease drama film What They Had, directed by Elizabeth Chomko. She has been cast in two upcoming television projects; she will portray Gail Getty in the first season of FX’s anthology series Trust, and will star as Laura Murphy in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s drama series The One Percent.
Hilary Swank (age: 44) is an actress known for The Next Karate Kid, Beverly Hills 90210, Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby, Iron Jawed Angels and The Reaping.