Kate's Notes

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hilary Duff

Hilary Erhard Duff

Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) originally became famous as playing the title character, a clumsy, average middle school girl who was growing into a young woman, in the Disney Channel family comedy show, "Lizzi McGuire". However, she blossomed into a talented young actress and singer with a healthy movie and music career. She is very well-liked among children between the ages of seven and fourteen, and television critic, Richard Huff of the New York Daily News even called her "a 2002 version of Annette Funicello". Subsequently, she has also made headlines as a teen-queen, Rolling Stone proclaimed her "Teenager of the Year" in 2003, and is followed by the gossip rags for her past relationship with Joel Madden, the lead singer of Good Charlotte.

She made the Forbes list of richest young stars under 25, she made $15 million for the year of 2005. She beat out rival stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes. She has graced the screen in many commercially successful pictures include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), and A Cinderella Story (2004); and has had three RIAA certified-platinum albums, as well as launched a clothing line and an exclusive perfume with Elizabeth Arden.

She is continuing to accelerate her carreer with several upcoming feature films, including an action thriller Brand Hauser: Stuff Happens and animated comedy Foodfight!, and her new album, entitled Dignity, is supposed to drop on April 3, 2007.

Early Life And Career

The second child of Bob Erhard Duff, owner of a chain of convenience stores, and Susan Colleen Duff, a homemaker, Hilary Duff was born in Houston, Texas. Duff's mother has always been extremely involved in her daughters’ acting careers, and at an early age encouraged her to take an acting class alongside her older sister, Haylie Katherine Duff. Both girls being beautiful and typifying the all-American adolescents garnered them parts in various local theatre productions. At the ages of eight and six, respectively, the Duff sisters participated in the ballet The Nutcracker Suite with Columbus Ballet Met in San Antonio. Together, the siblings became more enthusiastic about the idea of acting professionally, and eventually relocated to California with their mother. Their father stayed at the family home in Houston to maintain their business. After several years of auditions and meetings, the Duff sisters were cast in several television commercials. Duff been homeschooled since the age of 10. Along with her sister, currently taking two online correspondence courses via the Harvard Extension School.

Early Acting Career

Though Most of Duff's first few acting roles were small, starting off with an uncredited appearance in Hallmark Entertainment's western miniseries True Women (1997), and also serving as an extra, again uncredited, in writer-director Willard Carroll's ensemble dramedy Playing by Heart (1998), her first major part came quickly, as she was as the star of the 1998 film Casper Meets Wendy, playing the young witch, Wendy, who encounters the animated character Casper. Like Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997), the second sequel to the successful Casper (1995), the film was released direct-to-video with generally unenthusiastic reviews.

Duff later appeared in a supporting role in the television film The Soul Collector (1999), which was based on a Kathleen Kane novel and starred Bruce Greenwood as an angel who helps out a female farmer (Melissa Gilbert) whose husband has recently died. Duff ended up winning a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot (Supporting Young Actress)".

Lizzi McGuire Fame

Duff's was cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom "Daddio" (2000), when Actor Michael Chiklis, co-star of Daddio 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". Though she was dropped from the lineup, her mother pressed her to strive ahead, and continue auditioning. Just a week later she received her big break: she was cast as the title character in the Disney Channel show "Lizzi McGuire" where she played an average all-American middle school girl, who was grappling with the perils of growing into a teenager. The show also starred several other young actors including Adam Lamberg, Jake Thomas, Clayton Snyder, Ashlie Brillault, Robert Carradine, and Hallie Todd.

"Lizzi McGuire", first aired on January 12, 2001, and drew in 2.3 million viewers per episode, and became the career breakthrough Duff had been waiting for. After Duff fulfilled her entire sixty-five-episode contract with Lizzie McGuire, Though Disney tried continuing the franchise in further films and a prime-time television series to be broadcast on ABC, plans fell through. However, a successful feature film, The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), was produced.

Film Career

Duff’s mother, Susan Colleen Duff, has always been her manager, and has also gained a reputation for being very pushy when it comes to her daughter’s roles and the demands she makes on set and before and movie goes into production. Duff has been quoted as saying, “I love my mom. I totally look up to her, and she just doesn't let anybody take advantage of me. People might call that a stage mom.”

Duff's first role was quite a deviation from what characters she currently projects as an actress. Duff played the younger version of Patricia Arquette's character, who was a female naturalist in a theatrical motion picture was in Human Nature (2002). Written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, it was an independent film shot before Lizzie McGuire and first shown at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

Duff subsequently starred in the Disney Channel television film Cadet Kelly (2002), but her first major role in a feature film was in Agent Cody Banks with Frankie Muniz in 2003. Later that year Duff played one of the twelve children of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the family film Cheaper by the Dozen, which remains her highest grossing film. She reprised her role in the sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), which failed to be as financially successful.

On the whole, Duff’s performance and movie choices have been moderate box office successes, however, received pretty poorly by critics. Subsequently, she’s received quite a few Razzie nominations, and awards for her acting skills.

In 2004 Duff starred in the romantic comedy A Cinderella Story, an update of the fairy tale Cinderella. The film became a moderate box office hit, grossing a total of $74,628,141, and was was heavily panned by critics, and reviews were, by and large, negative to Duff's vocals and indifferent towards her acting performance. Duff received her first Razzie nomination for her role in Raise Your Voice and A Cinderella Story.

In The Perfect Man (2005) she played the oldest daughter of a divorced woman (Heather Locklear), who moves to New York City as she desperately searches for love. Reviews were mostly negative and the film disappointed at the box office, grossing a mere $19,770,475 globally. That year, Duff was again nominated for a Razzie Award, for both The Perfect Man and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

The 2006 satirical comedy Material Girls again disappointed, grossing only $14,189,525 worldwide. The Martha Coolidge-directed film, co-produced by Madonna's independent film production company Maverick Entertainment, starred Duff and her real-life sister Haylie Duff as wealthy siblings who must fight to reclaim their fortune following a scandal. For the film, Duff was nominated for another two Razzie awards on January 24, 2007.

The Duff sisters are due to lend their voices to the computer animated comedy Foodfight!, which Lions Gate Films is to distribute in 2007. The film's director, Larry Kasanoff, said that he is "absolutely thrilled to have the Duff sisters as part of the cast." Duff is currently slated to star opposite John Cusack in Brand Hauser, due for release in late 2007. The film is set in a futuristic country and Duff and Cusack have completed filming it in Bulgaria. Duff plays a European pop star named Yonica.

Music Career

Duff has fostered quite a music career. From 2002 to 2004 she began her role as a pop music darling when she recorded cover of Brooke McClymont's "I Can't Wait" for the original television soundtrack for Lizzie McGuire in 2002, and "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" for the first Disneymania compilation album.

Her first album was Santa Claus Lane (2002), a collection of Christmas songs which included duets with Lil' Romeo, Christina Milian, and her sister Haylie. Accompanied by the Disney Channel-only single "Tell Me a Story", it peaked well outside the top 100 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, but eventually received a gold certification.

Duff sang several tracks for the soundtrack to The Lizzie McGuire Movie, including "Why Not", which became a modest top twenty hit in Australia.

Duff's second studio album, Metamorphosis (2003), was her first breakthrough hit as a pop artist, and included contributions by songwriter-producers such as The Matrix and reached number one on the U.S. and Canadian charts. It became one of the biggest selling albums of the year in the U.S. and has since gone to sell over 3.7 million copies. The lead single, "So Yesterday", was a top ten hit in several countries and its music video received heavy airplay on MTV, while "Come Clean" became Duff's first top forty U.S. hit and reached the top twenty elsewhere. The third single, "Little Voice", was not released in the U.S. and was a minor hit in Canada and Australia. In late 2003 Duff embarked on her first concert tour, the Metamorphosis Club Tour and later the Most Wanted Tour. All shows on her tour were sold out, a feat neither Britney Spears nor Christina Aguilera achieved that year. She won the award for Best New Artist at the 2004 World Music Awards and Best Female Artist at the Kids Choice Awards of 2004.

The second Disneymania disc was released in January 2004 and contained a duet with her sister, "The Siamese Cat Song". Another song, "Circle of Life", featured Duff and other Disney Channel Stars. Duff and her sister recorded a cover of The Go-Gos' "Our Lips Are Sealed" for the soundtrack to A Cinderella Story, which included two other songs by Duff. The video for "Our Lips Are Sealed" was popular on MTV's TRL but the song itself failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Her third album, the self-titled Hilary Duff, had an edgier, more rock n’ roll feel than Metamorphosis, and she co-wrote many of its songs. Released on her seventeenth birthday, it debuted at number two in the U.S. and number one in Canada. The album has sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. to date, but the single "Fly" failed to chart in the U.S. despite a popular video.

Duff's fourth album, Most Wanted (2005), comprised her favorite tracks from her previous two albums, remixes, and new songs inspired by pop-rock musicians such as The Killers and Muse. Duff stated that it was not a greatest hits album, but that her label told her it was time to release a new album. She had more creative control over Most Wanted compared to her previous releases, co-writing and co-producing all of the new material with Joel Madden and his brother Benji, both of the band Good Charlotte. The lead single, "Wake Up", became Duff's highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and her highest peaking single in the U.S., and its video received heavy rotation on MTV. The video for the second single, "Beat of My Heart", was also popular, but the single itself did not chart in the U.S.

Duff recorded new songs for her Madonna produced film Material Girls, including a Timbaland-produced cover version of Madonna's "Material Girl" with her sister.

Duff's fourth studio album will be titled Dignity. She has co-written material for the album with Kara DioGuardi, and she also worked with producer-songwriter Rhett Lawrence. She said that compared to her previous music it would be "more dancey" and make use of more real instruments. "I don't know exactly how to explain what we're doing, but it's fun and funky and different, something new for me. It's really cool", she said. She has also described the album's sound as "a little less pop-rock and more electronic-sounding". Hollywood Records is currently planning to release at least five singles from Dignity. She also co-wrote all the songs on the album and it explores the themes of "living in Los Angeles" and "the suspect advances of an older man."

Other Media

Duff and her pet dog Lola made an appearance in the Electronic Arts game "The Sims 2: Pets", which was released on October 2006. In console versions of the game Duff's character will visit public areas and players will be able to let their sims socialize with her and Lola, the dog. However, in the PC expansion pack, players must download the Duff sim from the Maxis website before December 31 she and her dog will be fully playable characters, rather than a non-player character.

Duff plans on starting a design for dogs called "Little Dog Duff" named after her late dog of the same name.

In September 2006 Duff released her perfume, "With Love... Hilary Duff", which she premiered on "The View."


Hilary Duff also owns a million dollar company called "Stuff by Hilary Duff". The company started out as a clothing line but has expanded to furniture, fragrances, and jewelry. It is aimed at the teen and tween crowd.

Personal Life

Duff has been in and out of the gossip columns due to her romantic life outside of her carreers in music and movies. She began dating singer Aaron Carter in 2002, after meeting on the set of "Lizzie McGuire," when Carter had a cameo role on a Christmas episode. The relationship lasted a year and a half, and it was reported that Carter left actress Lindsay Lohan for Duff. Duff and Lindsay Lohan were later reported to have been involved in a "feud" with each other, over their relationship with Carter. As of 2007, the two have reportedly still not reconciled.

From 2004 to 2006, Duff dated Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, which was the source of a bit of negative attention because of their vast age difference. Duff was 16 at the time, and Madden was 25. Duff's mother Susan announced their relationship in the June 2005 interview for Seventeen magazine, after a long period of tabloid speculation. In a June 2006 interview with ELLE magazine, Duff was quoted as saying "(virginity) is definitely something I like about myself. It doesn't mean I haven't thought about sex, because everyone I know has had it and you want to fit in. " Duff later told MuchMusic that she didn't say the quotes attributed to her in the article and that the subject was "definitely not something that I would talk about..." Duff and Madden broke up in November 2006, many sighting their age difference as the main cause of the breakup.

In late 2006 Duff took legal action against an alleged stalker and the stalker's roommate. On November 3, 2006 Duff's stalker, Maksim Miakovsky, was arrested for threatening to kill her that weekend. He was booked on charges of making criminal threats and stalking. He came to the U.S. "for the sole purpose of meeting and becoming romantically involved with Ms. Duff." On January 19, 2007 Miakovsky was sentenced to 117 days in jail and five years probation after pleading no contest to the charges, according to the Associated Press.

In 2005 Duff’s appearance was getting much of the attention from the gossip outlets. In August 2005 Duff said she received veneers because she chipped off one of her front teeth on a microphone during a concert. Fans of Duff complained that her veneers were too large for her face and made her appear "horse-like,” and she has subsequently had her veneers redone to match the size of her original teeth. By 2005 Duff appeared to have lost weight, leading the media to speculate that she had developed an eating disorder, although Duff has denied this claim and has said she likes her new frame, and she was interviewed on the Australian current affair show Today Tonight, stating that she lost weight by living a more active lifestyle.


She donated many signed head-shots to Rocky Stone to be auctioned off to raise money to buy more toys for the Toy Mountain Campaign 2004. She was also very kind enough to give a personalized & signed head-shot to everyone listed in the "Special thank-you to:" section on http://www.rockyskidz.com site that helped out in this past years Toy Mountain Campaign 2003.

Duff is involved with several charities, is an animal rights enthusiast, a member of "Kids with a Cause," and has donated US$250,000 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. She launched a clothing line, "Stuff by Hilary Duff", on March 12, 2004, with clothes distributed through Target in the United States, Kmart in Australia, Zellers in Canada and Edgars in South Africa. Playmates Toys released a celebrity doll of her that year.

In 2005 Donated sales from her sold out Most Wanted Tour to the Tsunami victims in South Asia.

In late August 2006 Duff traveled to a New Orleans elementary school and worked with USA Harvest to distribute meals. In 2005, she donated more than 2.5 million meals to Hurricane Katrina victims in the south. She also announced that she will donate $200,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to USA Harvest to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Helped raise $23,000 at the 2004 celebrity auction for Breast Cancer Research.


Post a Comment

<< Home