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Hilary Swank is an American actress who has won Academy Awards for her starring roles in the films Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don't Cry.
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Hilary Swank is an American actress who has won Academy and Golden Globe Awards for her starring roles in the films Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don't Cry. Swank endured a difficult childhood, plagued with poverty, living out of a car with her mom while trying to land roles in Hollywood. Her screen acting work has been met with great success but also numerous box-office failures.
Actress. Born on July 30, 1974, in Lincoln, Nebraska (some sources say Bellingham, Washington). Swank had a difficult childhood. Her parents had a strained relationship, and her father left the family when she was 6 years old. As a young girl, Swank spent her formative years living in a trailer park in Bellingham, Washington. She would often spend time at nearby Lake Samish. Athletic, Swank swam competitively and did gymnastics, but she discovered early on that she wanted to become an actress. "I have dreamed of being an actress since I was 8 years old," she later told Redbook Magazine. "I never had a doubt that I could do it, but I also never expected that I'd have any great success."
After her mother lost her job, the pair moved to Los Angeles and lived out of their car for a while as they tried to get Hilary's career off the ground. "We picked up, with seventy-five bucks to our name, and drove down to California in our Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme," she explained to Interview magazine. Her mother would take a roll of quarters to a pay phone and make calls, trying to get Swank into an audition or a meeting with an agent or manager.
Their hard work eventually paid off with a number of television roles. She had guest appearances on such shows as Harry and the Hendersons and Evening Shade in the early 1990s. Around this time, Swank made her film debut in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) starring Kristy Swanson as the title character. She also landed her first role as a series regular that year on the family comedy Camp Wilder with Jerry O'Connell and Jay Mohr. The show was canceled after only one season.
In 1994, Swank appeared to get a big break, winning the leading role in The Next Karate Kid, the fourth installment in the Karate Kid series. The film, however, proved be a box office disaster, bringing only $8.7 million. Several other forgettable movie projects followed, including Sometimes They Come Back ... Again (1996) and Kounterfeit (1996). On the small screen, Swank landed a role on the popular teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1997, playing a young single mother for one season.
That same year, Swank wed actor Chad Lowe. The couple met at a Hollywood party in 1992 when Swank was only 18 years old. The two quickly became inseparable.
Two years later, Swank finally landed a role that would showcase her immense talent. She played transgendered teen Brandon Teena (born Teena Brandon), in Boys Don't Cry (1999). The film was based on the true story of a young Nebraskan who is beaten, raped, and eventually murdered when her true gender is discovered.
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