Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and film producer. She first became known in 1992 for her role on the television series Camp Wilder and made her film debut with a minor role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). +more She then had her breakthrough for starring as Julie Pierce in The Next Karate Kid (1994), the fourth installment of The Karate Kid franchise, and as Carly Reynolds on the eighth season of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1997-1998).

Swank came to international recognition for her performances as Brandon Teena, a transgender man, in Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999), and as Maggie Fitzgerald, an aspiring boxer, in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004). Both of her performances earned her critical acclaim, and she earned numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. +more She was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005.

Swank later ventured into producing with the films Amelia (2009), Conviction (2010), You're Not You (2014), and What They Had (2018), in all of which she also starred. Her other notable films include the television film Iron Jawed Angels (2004) and the feature films Freedom Writers (2007), Logan Lucky (2017), The Hunt (2020), and Fatale (2020).

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Early life

Swank was born on July 30, 1974, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her mother, Judy Kay (née Clough), was a secretary and dancer, and her father, Stephen Michael Swank, was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard and later a traveling salesman. +more Many of Swank's family members are from Ringgold County, Iowa. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Clough (née Dominguez), was born in El Centro, California, and was of Mexican (Spanish and Native American) descent. Swank's paternal grandmother was born in England; her other ancestry includes Dutch, German, Ulster-Scots, Scottish, Swiss, and Welsh. The surname "Swank," originally "Schwenk," is of German origin.

After living in Spokane, Washington, Swank's family moved into a home near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington, when Swank was six. She attended Happy Valley Elementary School, Fairhaven Middle School, then Sehome High School in Bellingham until she was 16. +more She also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington state championships in swimming, and she ranked fifth in the state in all-around gymnastics. Swank made her first appearance on stage when she was nine years old, starring in The Jungle Book.

When she was 15, her parents separated, and her mother, supportive of her daughter's desire to act, moved with her to Los Angeles, where they lived in their car until Swank's mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. Swank has called her mother the inspiration for her acting career and her life. +more In California, Swank enrolled in South Pasadena High School, later dropping out. She described her time at South Pasadena High School, "I felt like such an outsider. I didn't feel like I fit in. I didn't belong in any way. I didn't even feel like the teachers wanted me there. I just felt like I wasn't seen or understood. " She explained that she became an actor because she felt like an outsider, "As a kid I felt that I belonged only when I read a book or saw a movie, and could get involved with a character. It was natural that I became an actor because I longed so much to be those other people, or at least to play them. ".

Career

Swank made her film debut in the 1992 comedy horror film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, playing a supporting role, after which she acted in the direct-to-video drama Quiet Days in Hollywood, where she co-starred with Chad Lowe, who became her husband for a time.

Her first leading film role was in the fourth installment of the Karate Kid series, The Next Karate Kid (1994) as Julie Pierce. The role used her gymnastics background and paired her with Pat Morita. +more In 1994, she also starred in the drama Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story, as the abused stepdaughter who was protected by Donna (Jaclyn Smith). In 1995, she appeared with British actor Bruce Payne in Kounterfeit. In 1996, she starred in a TV movie, family drama Terror in the Family, as a troubled teenager. In September 1997, Swank played single mother Carly Reynolds in Beverly Hills, 90210 and was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes in January 1998. Swank later stated 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. ".

The firing from Beverly Hills, 90210 freed her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. To prepare for the role, Swank lived as a man for a month and reduced her body fat to 7%. +more She earned only $75 per day for her work on the film, culminating in a total of $3,000. Her earnings were so low that she had not even earned enough to qualify for health insurance. Upon release, many critics lauded her performance, with Premiere listing it as one of the "100 Greatest Performances of All Time". James Berardinelli wrote at the time that Swank "gives the performance of her career". Her work earned her several accolades, including the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress. In an interview with Variety in 2020, Swank said that she felt a trans actor should have played the role, and had she been offered it today, she would have refused it, stating "Twenty-one years later, not only are trans people having their lives and living, thankfully, although we still have a long way to go in their safety and their inclusivity, but we now have a bunch of trans actors who would obviously be a lot more right for the role and have the opportunity to actually audition for the role. ".

Swank again won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for playing a female boxer in Clint Eastwood's 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, a role for which she underwent extensive training in the ring and weight room, aided by professional trainer Grant L. +more Roberts, gaining 19 pounds of muscle. With her second Oscar, she had joined the ranks of Vivien Leigh, Sally Field, and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress twice and won both times. 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. ".

In 2006, Swank signed a three-year contract with Guerlain to be the face of the women's fragrance Insolence. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the motion picture category on January 8, 2007; it was the 2,325th star presented. +more In 2007, Swank starred in Freedom Writers, about a real-life teacher, Erin Gruwell. Many reviews of her 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 next starred in the horror film The Reaping (2007), as a debunker of religious phenomena. Swank convinced the producers to move the film's setting from New England to the Deep South, and the film was filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when Hurricane Katrina struck. The same year, she also appeared in the romantic drama P. S. I Love You with Gerard Butler.

Swank portrayed the pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart in the 2009 biopic Amelia, which she also co-executive produced through 2S Films, a production company she established with producer Molly Smith.

In 2012, Swank's audiobook recording of Caroline Knapp's Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs was released at Audible. +morecom. In 2013, she starred in the television film Mary and Martha alongside Brenda Blethyn. In 2014, Swank played the lead role of Kate Parker, a woman whose life is shattered when she develops the degenerative disease ALS, in You're Not You. The film co-starred Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel. In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.

In 2017, she appeared in Steven Soderbergh's heist comedy Logan Lucky, as Special Agent Sarah Grayson, alongside Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig, and portrayed lawyer Colette Hughes in Bille August's drama film 55 Steps. In 2018, Swank starred in and executive produced the Alzheimer's disease drama film What They Had, directed by Elizabeth Chomko. +more Also in 2018, she portrayed Gail Getty in the first season of FX's anthology series Trust. Swank was reported to star as Laura Murphy in Alejandro González Iñárritu's drama series The One Percent.

In July 2019, Swank was cast in the thriller film The Hunt, opposite Betty Gilpin. Before its release, the film's plot, about deadly violence between political liberals and conservatives caused controversy, after which its release was delayed by Universal from the original date of September 2019. +more Swank commented on the situation, stating: "No one's seen the film. You can't really have a conversation about it without understanding what it's about. " The film was released in 2020, and received mixed reviews. In September 2020, Swank portrayed Emma, an astronaut, in the Netflix science drama series Away, which was cancelled after one season. For both The Hunt and Away, Swank earned a total of three nominations at the 2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards.

Other ventures

Clothing line

On October 18, 2016, Swank announced that she is launching a luxury clothing line, Mission Statement. The collection includes jackets, tops, dresses, bottoms, sports bras and sweaters that are made of eco-friendly technical fabrics, priced from $125 to $1,150. +more Swank aimed to create clothing that is eco-conscious and devoid of large logos, saying in an interview with DuJour that "we believe in promoting the women wearing the clothes and not the brand itself, which is why there is no external branding. " The brand works with suppliers that follow strict environmental policies and sustainable production practices.

Philanthropy

In July 2007, hair product brand Pantene, in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund, signed Swank to represent Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity campaign in 2008. The campaign encouraged people to donate their healthy hair to create free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. +more Swank participated in Pantene's Million Inch Chain program by cutting her hair and donating it.

Animal advocacy

Swank hosted and co-produced a two-hour television special, Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Special, which aired on Thanksgiving night in 2014. The show celebrated the human-dog connection and rescue dogs. +more In 2014, The Petco Foundation honored Swank for her animal advocacy work and, in 2015, she received the Compassion Award by ASPCA.

In 2015, Swank founded a nonprofit organization, the Hilaroo Foundation, which aims to bring at-risk teenagers and rescue dogs together in the hope that the two can heal each other. She was inspired to create the foundation after rescuing a dog called Karoo in South Africa.

Personal life

In a January 2009 episode of +more_TV_series)'>The Office, "Prince Family Paper", the subplot of the episode is the office coworkers debating whether or not Hilary Swank is "hot". Swank referred to such discussions emphasizing the looks of women in Hollywood as doing a "disservice".

In October 2011, Swank attracted controversy for attending an event in Chechnya's capital Grozny on the 35th birthday of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov on October 5. After wishing him "Happy birthday, Mr. +more President", she reportedly claimed knowledge about Kadyrov saying, "I read. I do my research. " Following criticism from human-rights groups, that reported having informed her about the human rights abuses in Chechnya prior to the event and asked her to reconsider her participation, Swank said she was unaware that Kadyrov had been accused of human-rights violations and that she "deeply regrets" taking part in the lavish concert. She donated her personal appearance fees "to various charitable organizations".

In a 2020 interview with Health, Swank revealed that she took a three-year break from acting beginning in 2014 to help her father recover from a lung transplant.

She has been good friends with actress Mariska Hargitay after meeting on the set of television series ER. Hargitay was a maid of honor at Swank's wedding to Philip Schneider in 2018.

Relationships

While filming Quiet Days in Hollywood, Swank met actor Chad Lowe. They married on September 28, 1997. +more They announced their intention to divorce on January 9, 2006, which was finalized on November 1, 2007. In 2007, Swank began dating her agent, John Campisi, but they ended their relationship in May 2012.

On March 22, 2016, Swank announced her engagement to Rubén Torres, a financial advisor with UBS and former professional tennis player. The two had been dating since May 2015. +more In June 2016, Swank's representative confirmed that Torres and she had ended their engagement.

On August 18, 2018, she married entrepreneur Philip Schneider after two years of dating.

On October 5, 2022, she announced that she and her husband are expecting twins.

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1992Buffy the Vampire SlayerKimberly Hannah
1994The Next Karate KidJulie Pierce
1996+more_Again'>Sometimes They Come Back. AgainMichelle Porter
1996KounterfeitColleen
1997Quiet Days in HollywoodLolita
1998HeartwoodSylvia Orsini
1999Boys Don't CryBrandon Teena
2000The GiftValerie Barksdale
2000The AuditionN/AShort film
2001The Affair of the NecklaceJeanne St. Rémy de Valois
2002InsomniaDet. Ellie Burr
2002The Space BetweenN/AShort film
200311:14Buzzy
2003The CoreMajor Rebecca "Beck" Childs
2004Red DustSarah Barcant
2004Million Dollar BabyMaggie Fitzgerald
2006The Black DahliaMadeleine Linscott
2007The ReapingKatherine Winter
2007Freedom WritersErin Gruwell
2007P. S. I Love YouHolly Kennedy
2008Birds of AmericaLaura
2009AmeliaAmelia EarhartAlso co-executive producer
2010ConvictionBetty Anne WatersAlso executive producer
2011The ResidentDr. Juliet Devereau
2011New Year's EveClaire Morgan
2014The HomesmanMary Bee Cuddy
2014You're Not YouKate ParkerAlso producer
2015Lauda: The Untold StoryHerselfDocumentary
2016SparkThe Queen (voice)
2017Logan LuckySpecial Agent Sarah Grayson
201755 StepsColette Hughes
2018What They HadBridget ErtzAlso executive producer
2019I Am MotherWoman
2020The HuntAthena Stone
2020FataleDetective Valerie Quinlan
TBAOrdinary AngelsSharon StevensFilming
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Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1991Evening ShadeAimee Thompson2 episodes
1991-92Growing PainsSasha Serotsky2 episodes
1992-93Camp WilderDanielleMain role, 19 episodes
1994Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich StoryPatty YaklichTelevision film
1996Terror in the FamilyDeena MartenTelevision film
1997Dying to BelongLisa ConnorsTelevision film
1997The Sleepwalker KillingLauren SchallTelevision film
1997+more'>Leaving L. A. Tiffany RoebuckMain role, 6 episodes
1997-98Beverly Hills, 90210Carly ReynoldsMain role, 16 episodes
2004Iron Jawed AngelsAlice PaulTelevision film
2013Mary and MarthaMary MorganTelevision film
2018TrustGail GettyMain role, 8 episodes
2019-20BoJack HorsemanJoey Pogo (voice)5 episodes
2020AwayEmma GreenMain role, 10 episodes
2022Alaska DailyEileenMain role
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Awards and nominations

YearWorkAwardResult
1993Camp WilderYoung Artist Award, Best Young Actress in a New Television Series
1999Boys Don't CryAward Circuit Community Award, Best Lead Actress
1999Boys Don't CryBoston Society of Film Critics Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryChicago International Film Festival Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryGijon International Film Festival Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryLos Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryNational Board of Review Award, Breakthrough Performance - FemaleWon
1999Boys Don't CryNew York Film Critics Circle Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryStockholm Film Festival Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryToronto Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
1999Boys Don't CryVillage Voice Film Poll Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryAcademy Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryChicago Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryChlotrudis Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryCritics Choice Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryDallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryFlorida Film Critics Circle Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryGolden Globe Award, Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaWon
2000Boys Don't CryIndependent Spirit Award, Best Female LeadWon
2000Boys Don't CryLas Vegas Film Critics Society Award, Most Promising ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryLas Vegas Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryMolodist International Film Festival Award, best Full-Length Fiction FilmWon
2000Boys Don't CryMTV Movie + TV Award, Best Breakthrough Performance - Female
2000Boys Don't CryMTV Movie + TV Award, Best Kiss (shared with Chloe Sevigny)
2000Boys Don't CryNational Society of Film Critics Award, Best Lead Actress
2000Boys Don't CryOnline Film & Television Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryOnline Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead Actress
2000Boys Don't CrySanta Fe Critics Circle Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CrySatellite Award, Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaWon
2000Boys Don't CryScreen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Lead Role
2000ShoWest Convention Award, Female Star of TomorrowWon
2000Boys Don't CrySoutheastern Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2000Boys Don't CryTeen Choice Award, Choice Breakout Performance - Female
2001Boys Don't CryBritish Academy Film Award, Best Lead Actress
2001Boys Don't CryEmpire Award, Best Actress
2001Boys Don't CryLondon Critics Circle Film Award, Best Lead Actress
2001The GiftSaturn Award, Best Supporting Actress
2003InsomniaEmpire Award, Best Actress
2004Million Dollar BabyAward Circuit Community Award, Best Lead Actress
2004Million Dollar BabyAward Circuit Community Award, Best Cast Ensemble
2004Million Dollar BabyBoston Society of Film Critics Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Million Dollar BabyFlorida Film Critics Circle Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Iron Jawed AngelsGold Derby Award, Best Lead Actress in a Television Movie / Miniseries
2004Million Dollar BabyKansas City Film Critics Circle Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Iron Jawed AngelsOnline Film & Television Association Award, Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries
2004Million Dollar BabyPhoenix Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Million Dollar BabySt. Louis Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Million Dollar BabyUtah Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2004Million Dollar BabyWashington DC Area Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead Actress
2005Million Dollar BabyAcademy Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyCentral Ohio Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyCritics Choice Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyDallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyGold Derby Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyGold Derby Award, Best Ensemble Cast
2005Million Dollar BabyGolden Globe Award, Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaWon
2005Iron Jawed AngelsGolden Globe Award, Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television
2005Million Dollar BabyInternational Online Cinema Award, Best Lead Actress
2005Million Dollar BabyItalian Online Movie Award, Best Lead Actress
2005Million Dollar BabyMTV Movie + TV Award, Best Female Performance
2005Million Dollar BabyNational Society of Film Critics Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyOnline Film & Television Association Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2005Million Dollar BabyOnline Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead Actress
2005Million Dollar BabySatellite Award, Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture - DramaWon
2005Million Dollar BabyScreen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Lead RoleWon
2005Million Dollar BabyScreen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture
2005Iron Jawed AngelsScreen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
2005Million Dollar BabyVancouver Film Critics Circle Award, Best Lead Actress
200611:14DVD Exclusive Award, Best Lead Actress - in a DVD Premiere Movie
2006Million Dollar BabyEmpire Award, Best Actress
2006Million Dollar BabyJupiter Award, Best International ActressWon
2006Million Dollar BabySant Jordi Award, Best Foreign ActressWon
2006Million Dollar BabySESC Film Festival Award, Best Foreign ActressWon
2006The Black DahliaThe Stinkers Bad Movie Award, Worst On-Screen Couple (shared with Josh Hartnett)
2006TV Land Award, Little Screen/Big Screen Star - WomenWon
2007The Black DahliaAlliance of Women Film Journalists Award, Actress Most In Need of a New AgentWon
2007Walk of Fame, Star on the Walk of Fame - Motion Picture 6925 Hollywood, Blvd. +moreWon
2008P. S. I Love You / Freedom WritersGolden Camera Award, Best International ActressWon
2008P. S. I Love YouIrish Film and Television Award, Best International ActressWon
2009AmeliaHollywood Film Festival Award, Best Lead ActressWon
2009Women's Image Network Award, Outstanding Actress Feature Film
2010Million Dollar BabyGold Derby Award, Best Lead Actress of the Decade
2010Gotham Award, Tribute awardWon
2011The ResidentFright Meter Award, Best Lead Actress
2011Giffoni Film Festival Award, Francois Truffat awardWon
2011ConvictionScreen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Lead Role
2012Conviction / New Year's Eve / The ResidentYoga Award, Worst Foreign ActressWon
2014The HomesmanBoston Society of Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead Actress
2014The HomesmanPhoenix Critics Circle Award, Best Lead Actress
2014The HomesmanPhoenix Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead Actress
2014The HomesmanSan Diego Film Critics Society Award, Best Lead Actress
2014Telluride Film Festival Award, Silver Medallion awardWon
2014The HomesmanWomen Film Critics Circle Award, Courage in Acting award
2014The HomesmanWomen Film Critics Circle Award, Invisible Woman award
2014The HomesmanWomen Film Critics Circle Award, Best Ensemble CastWon
2015Bambi Award, Film - InternationalWon
2016You're Not YouJupiter Award, Best International Actress
2019Locarno Film Festival, Leopard Club AwardWon
I Am MotherAACTA Award, Best Supporting Actress - CinemaNominated
2021The HuntCritics' Choice Award, Best Villain in a MovieNominated
2021The HuntCritics' Choice Award, Best Actress in an Action MovieNominated
2021AwayCritics' Choice Award, Best Actress in a Television Fantasy or Science Fiction SeriesNominated
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