How did Hilary Duff become an actress? As any Hilary Duff fan site will tell you, she did it with hard work, talent and a bit of good luck. The actress, singer, songwriter, dancer, designer and philanthropist began performing at an early age. In 1993, at only 6 years old, she was already touring with her sister in The Nutcracker Suite.
The discipline, patience and determination required to perform ballet as a child created a perfect learning foundation for the hard-working Duff. As the young performer gained experience, she decided she wanted to focus on acting instead of dancing. Her mother encouraged Duff and her sister to take acting classes and moved the girls to California.
Duff worked at local theatres and did a few commercials to start her acting career. In 1996, at 10 years old, Duff landed her first minor TV role in the mini-series True Women. The gritty story of Southern women during the Civil War also starred Angelina Jolie and was a big hit.
In 1998 Duff starred in her first movie, Casper Meets Wendy, where she played the first live-action version of Wendy. In 1999, she took a supporting role in the TV movie, The Soul Collector, for which she won a Young Artist Award.
Duff's previous work caught the attention of Disney and in 2001 the company cast her in the starring role for their new TV show, Lizzie McGuire. She and the show were an instant hit that quickly turned into the Disney channel's most popular series. With Duff's natural charm and Disney's clever marketing, Lizzie McGuire and Hilary Duff soon became household names.
Duff followed her Disney success with The Lizzie McGuire Movie in 2003, which ended the series. She also appeared in Agent Cody Banks and Cheaper by the Dozen in 2003. Raise Your Voice and A Cinderella Story were released in 2004. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and The Perfect Man were released in 2005.
A Growing Career
By 2005, Duff was no longer just a popular TV star, but a seasoned movie star. She even branched into music and released her first non-holiday album, Metamorphosis, in 2003. She also has her own clothing and home line, Stuff by Hilary Duff. Official Hilary Duff-approved items include perfume, hats and even clothes for a fashion doll.
Duff champions many charity causes and donated generously to both the Asian Tsunami and New Orleans Katrina relief funds. She has been a big supporter of the kid-focused charity, Kids With a Cause, since its creation in 1999. The kids-for-kids charity helps children facing serious issues, such as poverty and abuse.