Hilary Swank Biography

Hilary Swank photo

Born: July 30, 1974


Date of Birth: July 30, 1974

Born 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 she landed the role of a female boxer in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004), co-starring Eastwood and Morgan Freeman, for which she won a second Golden Globe and received her second Academy Award.

Following her second Academy Award win, she appeared in Brian De Palma's Oscar-nominated crime drama The Black Dahlia (2006), the thriller The Reaping (2007), the Amelia Earhart biopic Amelia (2009) and the drama Conviction (2010).

Into the next decade, she won a role in Garry Marshall's all-star romcom New Year's Eve (2011), earned rave reviews for her work in the Western drama The Homesman (2014) alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, and worked with Emmy Rossum and Josh Duhamel in the drama You're Not You (2014).

Her latest credit is the animated adventure comedy Spark: A Space Tail (2017).

Swank, who lives in Los Angeles, is divorced. Her marriage to Chad Lowe lasted 10 years.


Logan Lucky (2017)
Spark: A Space Tail (2017)
You're Not You (2014)
The Homesman (2014)
New Year’s Eve (2011)
The Resident (2011)
Conviction (2010)
Amelia (2009)
Birds of America (2008)
P.S. I Love You (2007)
The Reaping (2007)
Freedom Writers (2007)
The Black Dahlia (2006)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Red Dust (2004)
11:14 (2003)
The Core (2003)
Insomnia (2002)
The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
The Gift (2000)
Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Heartwood (1998)
Quiet Days in Hollywood (1997)
The Next Karate Kid (1994)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Change Location