Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank

Birth name: Hilary Ann Swank
Born: July 30, 1974
Age: 43
Birthplace: Lincoln, NE
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Biography

Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and producer. She has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress.

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), and The Homesman (2014).

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Early life

Swank was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her mother, Judy Kay (née Clough), was a secretary and dancer, and her father, Stephen Michael Swank, was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard and later a traveling salesman. She has a brother Daniel, who is eight years her senior. Many of Swank's family members are from Ringgold County, Iowa. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Clough (née Dominguez), was born in El Centro, California, of Mexican descent. Swank's paternal grandmother was born in England; her ancestry also includes German, other English, Swiss-German, Scottish, Scots-Irish, Welsh, and Dutch. The surname "Swank", originally "Schwenk", is of German origin.

After living in Spokane, Washington, Swank's family moved to a trailer park near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington, when Swank was six. She attended Happy Valley Elementary School, Fairhaven Middle School, then Sehome High School in Bellingham until she was 16. She also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington state championships in swimming, and she ranked fifth in the state in all-around gymnastics. Swank made her first appearance on stage when she was nine years old, starring in The Jungle Book.

When she was 15, her parents separated, and her mother, supportive of her daughter's desire to act, moved with her to Los Angeles, where they lived out of their car until Swank's mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. Swank has called her mother the inspiration for her acting career and her life. In California, Swank enrolled in South Pasadena High School, later dropping out because of her ADHD and lack of interest. She described her time at South Pasadena High School, "I felt like such an outsider. I didn't feel like I fit in. I didn't belong in any way. I didn't even feel like the teachers wanted me there. I just felt like I wasn't seen or understood." She explained that she became an actor because she felt like an outsider, "As a kid I felt that I belonged only when I read a book or saw a movie, and could get involved with a character. It was natural that I became an actor because I longed so much to be those other people, or at least to play them."

Career

1991-1998

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 1995, she appeared with British actor Bruce Payne in Kounterfeit. 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 1996 she starred In a family drama Terror In The House 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."

1999-2006

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 and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards 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.

2007-present

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.

Personal life

Relationships

While filming Quiet Days in Hollywood, Swank met actor Chad Lowe. They married on September 28, 1997. They announced their intention to divorce on January 9, 2006, which was finalized on November 1, 2007. In 2007, Swank began dating her agent, John Campisi, but they ended their relationship in May 2012.

On March 22, 2016, Swank announced her engagement to Ruben Torres, a financial advisor with UBS and former professional tennis player. The two had been dating since May 2015. In June 2016, Swank's representative confirmed she and Torres had ended their engagement.

Human rights controversy

In October 2011, Swank attracted controversy for attending an event in Chechnya's capital Grozny on the 35th birthday of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov on October 5. After wishing him "Happy birthday, Mr. President", she reportedly claimed knowledge about Kadyrov saying, "I read. I do my research." Following criticism from human rights groups, that reported having informed her about the human rights abuses in Chechnya prior to the event and asked her to reconsider her participation, Swank said she was unaware that Kadyrov had been accused of human rights violations and that she "deeply regrets" taking part in the lavish concert. She donated her personal appearance fees "to various charitable organizations".

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Kimberly Hannah
1994 The Next Karate Kid Julie Pierce
1996 Sometimes They Come Back... Again Michelle Porter
Kounterfeit Coleen
1997 Quiet Days in Hollywood Lolita
1998 Heartwood Sylvia Orsini
1999 Boys Don't Cry Brandon Teena
2000 The Gift Valerie Barksdale
The Audition N/A Short
2001 The Affair of the Necklace Jeanne St. Rémy de Valois
2002 Insomnia Detective Ellie Burr
The Space Between N/A Short
2003 11:14 Buzzy
The Core Major Rebecca Childs
2004 Red Dust Sarah Barcant
Million Dollar Baby Maggie Fitzgerald
2006 Black Dahlia Madeleine Linscott
2007 The Reaping Katherine Winter
Freedom Writers Erin Gruwell
P. S. I Love You Holly Kennedy
2008 Birds of America Laura
2009 Amelia Amelia Earhart
2010 Conviction Betty Anne Waters
2011 The Resident Dr. Juliet Devereau
New Year's Eve Claire Morgan
2014 The Homesman Mary Bee Cuddy
You're Not You Kate Parker Also producer
2015 Lauda: The Untold Story Herself Documentary
2017 Spark The Queen (voice)
Logan Lucky Special Agent Sarah Grayson
55 Steps Colette Hughes
2018 What They Had Bridget Ertz Also executive producer

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1991 Evening Shade Aimee Thompson 2 episodes
1991-92 Growing Pains Sasha Serotsky 2 episodes
1992-93 Camp Wilder Danielle Main role, 19 episodes
1994 Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story Patty Yaklich Television film
1996 Terror in the Family Deena Marten Television film
1997 Dying to Belong Lisa Connors Television film
The Sleepwalker Killing Lauren Schall Television film
Leaving L.A. Tiffany Roebuck Main role, 6 episodes
1997-98 Beverly Hills, 90210 Carly Reynolds Main role, 16 episodes
2004 Iron Jawed Angels Alice Paul Television film
2013 Mary and Martha Mary Morgan Television film
2018 Trust Gail Getty Upcoming series
TBA The One Percent Laura Murphy Upcoming series

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
1993 Camp Wilder Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Nominated
1999 Boys Don't Cry Academy Award for Best Actress Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
Chicago International Film Festival - Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Won
Gijón International Film Festival Award for Best Actress Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Won
Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance Won
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Won
Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Won
Stockholm Film Festival Award for Best Actress Won
ShoWest Female Star of Tomorrow Won
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
Village Voice Film Poll - Best Lead Performance Won
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress 2nd Place
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
Empire Award for Best Actress Nominated
London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actress of the Year Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Teen Choice Award for Breakthrough Performance Nominated
2000 The Gift Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2002 Insomnia Empire Award for Best Actress Nominated
2004 Iron Jawed Angels TV Land Award for Little Screen/Big Screen Star Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
Million Dollar Baby Academy Award for Best Actress Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Won
Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress Won
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Won
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Won
Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Won
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Won
Empire Award for Best Actress Nominated
MTV Movie Award for Best Performance Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated
2007 Freedom Writers Goldene Kamera Award for Best International Actress Won
P.S. I Love You Goldene Kamera Award for Best International Actress Won
Irish Film & Television Award for Best International Actress Won
2009 Amelia Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Actress Won
Women's Image Network Award for Outstanding Actress - Feature Film Nominated
2010 Conviction Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
N/A Gotham Awards Tribute Award Won
2011 N/A Giffoni Film Festival François Truffaut Award Won
2014 The Homesman Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble Won
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress 2nd Place
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Courage in Acting Nominated
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Invisible Woman Award Nominated
Charities

Hilary Swank supports the following charitable causes: ALS (amyrotrophic lateral sclerosis), Women's Issues, Cancer.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]