- 11:05 AM, Sep 20
Hilary Ann Swank, born on July 30, 1974 in Bellingham, Washington, is an American actress. She was firstly discovered as a talented little actress by producer Suzy Sachs, from whom she learned acting. At her 9-year age, Swank began to star in her first play, "The Jungle Book," as Mowgli and kept continuing her regular appearances in local theater and school plays. Beyond her acting lessons, Swank spent her time studying at Sehome High School in her hometown, where she used to live with her family until she was 16. During senior high, she often competed in the Junior Olympics and Washington State championships in swimming and was ranked at #5 in the state in all-around gymnastics. Her achievement in gymnastic has made Swank proud and handed the beauty her breakout role in the sequel of "The Karate Kid" series named "The Next Karate Kid" (1994) where she played along with Pat Morita.
In 1990 Swank and her mother, Judy Swank, moved to Los Angeles area where they, for a short period of time, impoverished and lived out their car. There in L.A. she enrolled in South Pasadena High School and started acting professionally. Her willingness to pursue an acting career resulted in her appearance in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" released in 1992. It is a movie tells a flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation's destined battler of vampires. Ever since, Swank received more and more challenges to star in several other movies. In 1997, she got the role of Curly on TV show "Beverly Hills 90210" and ended it in 1998 when she was kicked out from the serial. After that, she played in "Boys Don't Cry", which is a 1999 movie based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, played by Swank herself, a transgender young man who was raped and murdered by his male friends after they found out he was born female. It was this flick that capitulated the actress to the stardom, made her a star while at the same time earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1999.
Not only her Oscar success brought Swank critical praise, but also it resulted in more film offers, naming some were "The Gift" (2000), "The Affair of the Necklace" (2001), and the thriller "Insomnia" (2002) being in the same scene with senior actors Al Pacino and Robin Williams.