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Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Claim to Fame
Brandon Teena on Boys Dont Cry
Actor/Actress, Producer, Soundtrack
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Profile Bio Text
Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress. Her Hollywood film career began with a small part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and then a major part in The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she played Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of the sensei Mr. Miyagi.
She has become known for her two Academy Award-winning performances: first as Brandon Teena, a transgender man (FTM) in the movie Boys Don`t Cry (1999), and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Swank was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Judy (née Clough), a secretary and dancer, and Stephen Swank, who was an officer in the Air National Guard and later a traveling salesman. She has a brother, Dan. Many of her family members hail from Ringgold County, Iowa.
Swank came from humble beginnings, particularly as a child growing up in a trailer park near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington, to which she moved at age six, after having lived in Spokane, Washington. Swank has described her younger self as an "outsider" who felt that she belonged "only when [reading] a book or [seeing] a movie, and could get involved with a character," and was thus inspired to become an actress.
When Swank was nine years old, she made her first appearance on stage starring in The Jungle Book. She became involved in school and community theater programs, including those of the Bellingham Theatre Guild. She went to Sehome High School in Bellingham until she was sixteen. Swank also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington state championships in swimming; she ranked fifth in the state in all-around gymnastics (which would come in handy when starring in The Next Karate Kid (1994) years later). Swank`s parents separated when she was thirteen,and her mother, supportive of her daughter`s desire to act, moved to Los Angeles, where they lived out of their car until Swank`s mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. Swank has described her mother as the inspiration for her acting career and her life. In California, Swank enrolled in South Pasadena High School (although she later dropped out of school) and started acting professionally. She helped pay the rent with the money she earned appearing in television programs such as Evening Shade and Growing Pains.
The Next Karate Kid is a 1994 film starring Hilary Swank and Pat Morita. It is the fourth and final movie in the Karate Kid series. In September 1997, Swank was cast as single mother Carly Reynolds on Beverly Hills, 90210. She was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes in January 1998. Swank later said 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."
As it turned out, the firing was a lucky break for Swank, freeing her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don`t Cry. Swank reduced her body fat to seven percent in preparation for the role. Many critics hailed hers as the best female performance of 1999; her co-star, Chloë Sevigny, had her performance singled out as well. Swank`s work ultimately won her the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actress. She subsequently won the Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe again for playing a boxer in Clint Eastwood`s 2004 Oscar-winning film Million Dollar Baby, a role for which she underwent training in the ring and gained 19 pounds of muscle.
Swank`s success meant that she had joined the ranks of Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Sally Field, and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards twice and win both times. She is the third-youngest double Best Actress winner (after Rainer and Jodie Foster). 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." Swank had earned only $75 per day for her work on Boys Don`t Cry, culminating in a total of $3,000.
Her earnings were so low, that (according to an anecdote on 60 Minutes) she had not even earned enough to qualify for health insurance.
Swank at the 2008 Academy AwardsIn early 2006, Swank signed a three-year contract as spokesperson for Guerlain (a women`s fragrance).
In 2007, Swank starred in and executive produced Freedom Writers, a drama about a real-life teacher who inspired a California high school class. Many reviews of Swank`s 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 starred in The Reaping, a horror film released on April 5, 2007, in which she plays a debunker of religious phenomena. Swank convinced the producers to move the film`s setting from New England to the Deep South, and the movie was being filme
Couple Profile Source
South Pasadena High School, South Pasadena, CA (1992)
Santa Monica College
Full Name at Birth
Hilary Ann Swank
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Judy Kay Clough
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Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and producer. She has won two Academy Awards for Best Actress and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.
Stephen Michael Swank
Daniel Swank (olde)