Haylie Duff Biography

Television Actress, Film Actress, Theater Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Actress (1985–)
Actress and musician Haylie Duff is Hillary Duff’s older sister. Haylie earned national fame as Summer Wheatley in the 2004 cult classic Napoleon Dynamite.


Haylie Duff was born on February 19, 1985 in Houston, Texas. She made her film debut in The Addams Family Reunion (1998). After the film, she continued to land minor television roles. She gained wider exposure in 2003 on Lizzie McGuire. In 2004, she earned national fame in Napoleon Dynamite. In 2005, she took a role on 7th Heaven. In 2008, she produced and hosted the MTV reality show Legally Blond.


Actress Haylie Duff was born on February 19, 1985 in Houston, Texas. She was born two years before her younger sister, fellow actress and singer Hilary Duff. Her mother, Susan, is a film and music producer, and her father, Bob, owns a chain of Texas convenience stores. Natural born performers, Haylie Duff and her younger sister both began taking ballet lessons as toddlers. They made their stage debuts together in a 1993 production of The Nutcracker in San Antonio, when Haylie was 8 years old.

Despite competing for roles, the sisters were inseparable best friends. "We started out as children being very close even when we were very little," Haylie Duff remembers, "and I can't imagine it being any other way." Hilary says that her elder sister is her inspiration. "I always wanted to be like my older sister Haylie. When she learned to ride a bike, I had to as well. If she took ballet lessons, I did too. I took singing lessons because she did. It all just got more intense until it turned into careers for both of us," she recalled.

Acting Career

In 1993, Haylie Duff moved with her mother and sister to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career while her father remained in Texas to manage his convenience stores. After doing several small guest spots on television shows, Duff made her film debut in the The Addams Family Reunion (1998), winning the Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress for her performance. After the film, she continued to land minor television roles, most notably on the primetime shows Chicago Hope (2000), Boston Public (2001) and Third Watch (2003). Duff gained wider exposure in 2003 on her little sister's popular Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire, playing Cousin Amy in a three-episode stint.

Shortly after appearing on her sister's show, Haylie Duff earned national fame for her role in the 2004 cult comedy classic Napoleon Dynamite. Duff played Summer, the popular girl nemesis of Napoleon and Pedro. The film became a surprise hit and Duff won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Movie Performance, emerging from her little sister's shadow as a star in her own right. Building on the success of Napoleon Dynamite, in 2005 Duff landed the role of Sandy Jameson on the popular TV show 7th Heaven and remained in the cast until the show went off air in 2007.

In addition to her TV and film career, Duff has also turned in several notable stage performances. In 2006, she played bratty blonde Amber Von Tussle in the popular Broadway musical Hairspray. She also acted in the well-reviewed 2009 off-Broadway production of Love, Loss and What I Wore. Fusing her television and stage experiences, in 2008 Duff produced and hosted the MTV reality show Legally Blonde—The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods. Duff guided contestants through a competition to play the part of Elle Woods in the Broadway production of the show.

Interests and Recent Work

Besides acting, Duff has also dabbled in music, modeling and cooking. She wrote several songs on her sister Hilary's albums Metamorphosis, Hilary Duff and Dignity. As a singer, Haylie Duff has performed songs on the soundtracks of The Lizzie McGuire Movie, A Cinderella Story and Material Girls. Duff has also forayed into the modeling world. She appeared on the cover of Maxim in January 2006 and landed on that magazine's 2007 list of the world's 100 most beautiful women. Despite her slim figure, Duff says that she loves to eat and cook, and she writes her own food blog in her spare time. On her blog, Real Girl's Kitchen, Duff shares her favorite dishes and original recipes "for real girls, who love real food." She is dating fellow actor Nick Zano.

Fully emerged from her younger sister's shadow, Haylie Duff's career continues its upward trajectory. She stars in two films, Tug and Slightly Single in L.A., scheduled for release in 2010. Still, the Duff sisters insist that their friendship is more important than either of their careers. Duff attributes their enduring great relationship to the way their parents forbade them from fighting or competing as kids. She recalls, "Everyone thinks siblings would be jealous over each other and fighting, but my dad always said, 'If you ever fight over a part or cry over a part, you guys have to come home!'" They haven't had to come home yet.

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