Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Duff appeared in local theatre productions and television commercials before coming to prominence in the title role of Disney Channel's teen comedy Lizzie McGuire. Established as a teen idol, Duff reprised that role in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003) and ventured into motion pictures with her early films Agent Cody Banks (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), A Cinderella Story (2004) and Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005) being among the biggest commercial successes of her career. Most recently, she has performed in a string of independent films and television dramas like Gossip Girl in addition to sharing production credits.
After signing with Hollywood Records, Duff expanded her repertoire to include pop music and has released several albums. Her debut studio album Metamorphosis (2003) was RIAA-certified triple platinum while the subsequent studio album Hilary Duff (2004) and compilation album Most Wanted (2005) were both certified platinum. She exhibited a more adult image with the release of Dignity (2007), which displayed a shift to more of a dance-oriented sound. Certified gold, the album spawned her highest charting US single to date "With Love" which also peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart, becoming the first of her three consecutive number ones on that chart. Prior to the release of Best of Hilary Duff (2008), a compilation of her greatest hits, Duff had sold thirteen million albums worldwide and had performed across the world on four concert tours.
Branching into various other industries, Duff has turned her hand to fashion with the launch of her own clothing lines Stuff by Hilary Duff and Femme for DKNY Jeans in addition to being signed with IMG Models and releasing two exclusive perfume collections with Elizabeth Arden. In addition to writing a series of young adult novels, comprising Elixir (2010) and Devoted (2011), she has also contributed to several humanitarian causes. She is married to former hockey player Mike Comrie, with whom she has one child.
Hilary Erhard Duff was born on September 28, 1987 in Houston, Texas. She grew up between Houston and San Antonio with her father Robert Erhard Duff, a partner in a chain of convenience stores in the two areas, her mother Susan Colleen (née Cobb), a homemaker turned film/music producer, and her older sister Haylie, who is also an actress and singer. From a young age, Duff took after her older sister and, encouraged by their mother, the pair enrolled in acting, singing and ballet classes. Both girls won roles in local theatre productions and, together, at the ages of six and eight, they participated in a touring BalletMet production of The Nutcracker in San Antonio.
Increasingly interested about pursuing show business, the sisters and their mother moved to California in 1993, while their father stayed in Houston to take care of his business. The sisters auditioned for several years and were cast in several television commercials. Due to her acting career, Duff was home-schooled from the age of eight.
1997–02: Career beginnings and Lizzie McGuire
During her initial acting years, Duff primarily played minor roles like her uncredited part in the Hallmark Entertainment western miniseries True Women (1997) and as an uncredited extra in the ensemble dramedy Playing by Heart (1998). Her first major role was as a young witch Wendy in Casper Meets Wendy (1998) but was released to mostly unenthusiastic reviews. After appearing in the supporting role of Ellie in the television film The Soul Collector (1999), which was based on a Kathleen Kane novel, Duff accrued a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot (Supporting Young Actress).
In March 2000, Duff appeared in the small guest role as a sick child in the medical drama Chicago Hope right before being cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom Daddio. Her Daddio co-star Michael Chiklis stated, "After working with her the first day, I remember saying to my wife, 'this young girl is going to be a movie star'. She was completely at ease with herself and comfortable in her own skin." However, prior to the airing of the show, the producers dropped Duff from the cast. Depressed, Duff was reluctant to pursue her acting career further.
A week later, she landed the title role of a newly developed Disney Channel children's television series Lizzie McGuire after her manager and mother urged her to audition. The character, a clumsy teen who dreams to fit in and be popular, made Duff a popular household name particularly with its target demographic of preteens and adolescents. Focusing on its central character, the show's mixed media format stood out from the rest of the Disney Channel's programming of the time and, in essence, became the channel's flagship and definitive show of the early 2000s. The show first aired on the Disney Channel on January 12, 2001 and was a ratings hit that attracted about 2.3 million viewers per episode. However, after Duff fulfilled her 65 episode contract with Lizzie McGuire, the show finished. Disney considered expanding the franchise to films and a prime-time television series. The plans however failed, because Duff's representatives said she was not being paid enough for the proposed series.
Duff's first role in a theatrical motion picture was in Human Nature (2002) in which she portrays the younger version of a female naturalist, played by Patricia Arquette. The film was showcased first at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. Duff also starred as a free-spirited girl who struggles in a strict military school in the Disney Channel television film Cadet Kelly (2002), which became the network's most watched program in its 19-year history.
2003–06: Breakthrough film roles
In 2003, Duff received her first major role in a feature film when she was cast alongside Frankie Muniz, playing his love interest in Agent Cody Banks. The film received positive reviews; Scott Foundas of Variety magazine labelled Duff's performance "charming," yet thought she was "sidelined with little to do much of the time." The same year, Duff reprised her role as Lizzie McGuire for The Lizzie McGuire Movie. It received mixed reviews; some slammed her acting skills whilst David Levine from Filmcritic.com called it "an unabashed promotion of Duff's image." Later that year, Duff played one of the 12 children of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the family film Cheaper by the Dozen, which remains her highest grossing film to date, despite not-so-complimentary reviews of Duff's performance. Slant Magazine reviewer Nick Schager wrote that Duff "does nothing more than look perky and stylish."
Duff also made several guest appearances in television shows which included the role of a makeup salesperson in a 2003 episode of George Lopez; she later reappeared in the show in 2005 as Kenzie, a feminist poet friend of the character Carmen (Masiela Lusha). In 2003, she also portrayed one of The Shangri-Las opposite her sister Haylie in season two of American Dreams, while in 2005, she played a classmate and idolizer of the title character in Joan of Arcadia.
In 2004, she starred in the romantic comedy A Cinderella Story alongside Chad Michael Murray. Reviews of her performance mostly negative: "her appeal lies precisely in being Hilary Duff," wrote Reel critic Sarah Chauncy. However, the film went on to become a moderate box office hit, and some critics were impressed by Duff's performance. Later that year, she starred in Raise Your Voice, her first drama film. While some critics praised her for appearing in a more mature and serious role than her previous films, the film itself was heavily panned and was not successful at the box office. Several reviews were indifferent towards her acting performance and were critical of Duff's vocals, with critics pointing out what appeared to be her digitally enhanced voice. Her roles in the two films combined led to her first Razzie nomination for Worst Actress in 2004.
Her subsequent role in The Perfect Man (2005) and the reprisal of her character in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005) combined accrued her second Razzie nomination for Worst Actress in 2005. The former, in which she co-stars with Heather Locklear and Chris Noth, "Duff plays her standard character—an introverted romantic who falls for a guy whose hunky exterior belies an artistic soul," wrote Matt Singer from the Village Voice. It was poorly received both critically and commercially. The latter, which was less successful as the original Cheaper by the Dozen, was panned by critics. "Duff just looks like she'd rather be in a different movie," wrote a harsh Mike Clarke from USA Today.
Additionally, the Duff sisters lent their voices to the computer animated comedy Foodfight! in late 2005, but the film has never been released. Duff paired with her sister again in the satirical comedy Material Girls (2006) but it was unsuccessful, both commercially and critically, earning both sisters a shared Razzie nomination for Worst Actress, becoming Hilary's third consecutive nomination in this field in three years. The two were also nominated for Worst Screen Couple.
2007–present: Independent films and return to television
A two-part introspective documentary television special Hilary Duff: This Is Now was produced to chronicle Duff's return to the recording industry. The show took two weeks to film and was shot in both the US and around Europe. It was broadcast on MTV in April 2007. Duff was also the guest star on The Andy Milonakis Show for its third season premiere in September 2007.
Duff was cast in War, Inc. (2008) a political satire. Her role as an oversexed Central Asian pop star garnered praise, despite the film receiving generally negative reviews from critics. War, Inc. opened on an extremely limited release in only two theaters across the United States. The film went on to open in a further thirty theaters across the United States.It was second in largest per theater gross. It closed on August 7, 2008 without a wide release, grossing only $580,862 domestically.
In 2009, she starred in two independent drama films. The first, as a young suicidal and rebellious teen in According to Greta which received mixed reviews; Andrew Barker of Variety magazine was unkind to Duff's "child star" approach to acting and wanted her to stay away from teen parts. However, Los Angeles Times critic Robert Abele wrote that her attempt to "transform her bright-eyed wholesomeness into rebellious snark" in Greta "is a valiant one." The second, as a narcissistic seductress in What Goes Up which also received mixed reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety magazine stated that Duff's performance "amounts to a near-adult role" yet labeled her role, and the film in general, "confused."
Despite turning down the lead role of Annie Mills in the television series 90210 in early 2008 as she was more interested in looking for projects outside the teen genre, Duff attained a recurring guest star role in the third season of Gossip Girl. She played the character of Olivia Burke, a movie star who enrols at NYU in search of a traditional college experience. The following year, she won a Teen Choice Award for Best Female Scene Stealer for her role as Olivia Burke; Enid Portugez of the LA Times also praised her performance by giving a positive review to her involvement in this adult role. In 2010, Duff starred in the ABC Family television film Beauty & the Briefcase, in which she plays a fashion magazine columnist who writes about her dating struggles in the city. The film had a rating of 2.4 million viewers.
Her most recent credits include Raven Halfacre, the teenage daughter of a promiscuous alcoholic mother, in the drama film Bloodworth (2011) in which Los Angeles Times reviewer Sheri Linden thought she "acquits herself well" despite not warming to the film. The Examiner also wrote that the "biggest surprise performance [in the film] probably belongs to Hilary Duff." She also played Shasta O'Neil, a sexy high school senior, in the Polish brothers' comedy Stay Cool (2011) in which she co-starred with Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Sean Astin, Chevy Chase, and Jon Cryer to neither much critical or commercial avail. In 2012, she appeared in the independent film She Wants Me, directed by Rob Margolies, as a well-known starlet Kim Powers who enters a love triangle.
In August 2012, Duff signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a television comedy for which she will star and produce
2011–present: Fourth studio album
In October 2011, Duff mentioned plans of a possible new album to E! Online. In January 2012, she confirmed that she had begun recording via her official website and Twitter. No official date has been announced but the album is expected to be released in 2012
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilary_Duff