Hilary Swank

Hilary SwankBorn in Bellingham, Washington State, Hilary Swank was bitten by the acting bug at an early age. When she was only nine years old and a mere 48 inches tall, Swank starred in her first play as Mowgli in The Jungle Book. After her Jungle Book experience, Swank knew she had not only found love in acting, but also her perfect avenue of expression. She began to appear regularly in local theater and school plays.

At the age of 16, she moved to Los Angeles with hopes of satisfying her ever-growing hunger for a serious film career. It wasn't long after Swank arrived in L.A. before fate intervened and she landed her first professionally paid acting job, two lines on the TV series Harry And The Hendersons (1991).

Several more television appearances followed: Growing Pains, Evening Shade, and a regular gig on Camp Wilder. In the interim she was also cast as Buffy's sidekick in 1992's Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Shortly following Buffy, Swank was cast to play the title role of Julie Pierce in 1994's The Next Karate Kid.

While more televison work followed (Leaving L.A., Beverly Hills, 90210), Swank's performance as Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry (1999) was her breakout role. She won critics awards across the country, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Actress. For the next few years, she appeared in largely forgettable films such as the Affair of the Necklace (2001) and The Core (2003), but finally hit the jackpot again when landed the role of a female boxer in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004), co-starring with Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, for which she won a second Golden Globe and received her second Academy Award.

Swank, who lives in Los Angeles, has filed for divorce from her husband of eight years, actor Chad Lowe.