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If you like Hilary Swank's story, you might also like:
Julie Andrews,
Carol Burnett,
Olivia de Havilland,
Whoopi Goldberg,
Ron Howard,
Jeremy Irons,
James Earl Jones,
Naomi Judd,
Sidney Poitier
and Barry Scheck

Hilary Swank can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

Hilary Swank's recommended reading: To Kill a Mockingbird

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Hetrick-Martin Institute
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Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank
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Hilary Swank Profile

Two Oscars for Best Actress

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  Hilary Swank

Today, television audiences are used to seeing Hilary Swank resplendently gowned, gliding over a red carpet at glittering Hollywood soirees, but her early years were anything but glamorous. She spent much of her childhood living in a trailer park near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington. Hilary Swank began acting professionally in her teens, appearing in television shows such as Growing Pains.

Movie audiences got their first look at Hilary Swank in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Next Karate Kid. She was dropped from her regular role on Beverly Hills, 90210, a potential career disaster that proved to be a blessing in disguise. She was soon cast as the tragic Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. Her devastating performance brought her the Oscar for Best Actress. The role had required a challenging physical transformation, but that was nothing compared to the grueling training regimen she undertook to convincingly portray a professional boxer onscreen. She received a second Best Actress Oscar for her physically demanding and emotionally wrenching portrayal of the doomed Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby.

Audiences, critics and Oscar voters alike are awed by Hilary Swank's conviction, dedication and emotional power as an actress, but she professes to be mystified by her extraordinary success. "I don't know what I did in this life to deserve this," she has said. "I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream."

This page last revised on Oct 17, 2007 16:37 EDT
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