Hilary Duff booking
Hilary Duff came to fame as the title character on the Disney channel series Lizzie McGuire. Wildly
popular with the ‘tween set, Duff turned herself into a popular franchise with films such as The Lizzie
McGuire Movie and A Cinderella Story. She also released several pop albums—her debut record,
Metamorphosis, went triple-platinum—and her own clothing lines: Stuff by Hilary Duff and Femme for
Born September 28, 1987 in Houston, Texas, Hilary Duff was the second of two daughters born to
Susan Duff, a housewife turned film and music producer, and Bob Duff, the owner of a chain of Texas
convenience stores. Taking after her older sister Haylie, young Hilary entered ballet classes and
auditioned for local theatrical productions with her sibling. “I always wanted to be like my older sister
Haylie,” Hilary Duff later recalled. “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.” At age six, the two girls were both cast in a BalletMet Columbus production of
The Nutcracker Suite in San Antonio. Following that positive experience, both girls clamored to act
professionally, so in 1993 they and their mother moved out to California to manage their careers.
Hilary Duff was home-schooled from the age of eight. The young starlet got her first big break in
Hollywood when she landed the lead role of Wendy, starring opposite an animated ghost in the 1998
made-for-TV movie Casper Meets Wendy.
In 2000, she was cast in a new NBC sitcom, Daddio, alongside Michael Chiklis, who said after working
with her for one day, “this young girl is going to be a movie star.” Unfortunately Chiklis’s was not the
only opinion that mattered; the producers dropped Duff from the series after just one episode, the pilot.
Depressed, Duff wanted to give up on show business, but her mother encouraged her not to give up
her dream. The very next week, Hilary Duff landed the lead role on a new Disney Channel show,
Lizzie McGuire. Lizzie McGuire soon became a runaway hit, making Hilary Duff a household name,
especially with the tween set, though the young actress’s fan base soon extended across all age
ranges: “I don’t think the Disney Channel gives us enough credit for the age range Lizzie McGuire
actually has,” she said. “College students come up to me, grandparents, famous people.” Duff starred
in 65 episodes over two seasons and reprised the role in a 2003 film, The Lizzie McGuire Movie,
which grossed over $55 million worldwide.
Duff’s success as Lizzie McGuire also led her to make other deals with Disney, starring in the 2002
Disney Channel movie Cadet Kelly and releasing an album, Santa Claus Lane, for the company’s
music label. In 2003, Duff and Disney entered negotiations for an extension to the Lizzie McGuire
franchise, but talks broke down over pay disputes. Nevertheless, 2003 proved to be a banner year for
Hilary Duff, as the 16-year-old starred in three movies — Agent Cody Banks, The Lizzie McGuire
Movie and Cheaper by the Dozen — and released her first non-Disney studio album, Metamorphosis
The album, which featured songs written by both Hilary and Haylie Duff, eventually went three times
platinum in the United States. Duff was frequently described as a “teen idol” and the modern
equivalent of Annette Funicello, who rose to prominence as the star of The Mickey Mouse Club half a
In 2004, Duff starred in A Cinderella Story, which was moderately successful at the box office, and
Raise Your Voice, which bombed. She also released her second album, the eponymous Hilary Duff,
which was certified platinum, and launched her own fashion line, “Stuff by Hilary Duff,” with mass
distribution through Target and K-Mart. She also started dating Good Charlotte front man Joel
Madden, a relationship that lasted until November 2006. By 2005, Duff was attempting to reshape her
public image away from tween fare, so that she could be taken seriously as an adult actress. She
starred The Perfect Man (2005) with Heather Locklear and in Material Girls (2006) with her sister Haylie, but both films bombed with movie audiences. Duff was offered the lead role in the 2008 reboot
of the 90210 television franchise, but passed on the part, preferring to move on from her high school
image. Her third studio album, Dignity, was released in 2007 and offered a more mature, adult sound.
Working with Kara DioGuardi, Duff co-wrote all but one song on the album.
On August 14, 2010, Duff married her longtime boyfriend Mike Comrie, an professional hockey player
for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL. In recent years, Duff has taken smaller roles in several
independent films to bolster her image as a serious actress. Her next lead role will be in The Story of
Bonnie and Clyde, scheduled for release in late 2011 or early 2012.
Duff is heavily involved with charities, especially those focusing on animal rights and working with
children. After Hurricane Katrina, Duff donated $250,000 to help victims and also encouraged her fans
to donate. Duff has said that she takes her job as a role model very seriously: “I went through a period
of about a year where I was very scared to mess up or do anything wrong. I want to grow as a person,
and I want to make mistakes. I’m human, too. So I think I’ve gotten to a place where I’m really being
myself.” As she looks toward the future, Hilary Duff is very aware of the unusual opportunities that
allowed her to achieve such success at a young age. “I wonder what life would have been like to have
a different life. I sometimes wish I wasn’t always watched or didn’t have to worry about been seen
somewhere. But I’ve experienced things other girls haven’t. I’ve traveled, I’m financially independent, I
own a beautiful home and I’m happy with my job. I don’t have to struggle with the questions a lot of
other women do.”
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