Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, dancer, film and music producer, fashion designer, and spokesperson. She has an older sister, Haylie Duff, who is also an actress/singer.
After gaining fame for her starring role on the television show Lizzie McGuire, Duff went on to have a film career, and her most commercially successful pictures include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), and A Cinderella Story (2004). She reportedly earned $15 million in 2005. Duff has expanded her repertoire into pop music, with three RIAA certified-platinum albums and over thirteen million albums sold worldwide, and she has launched a clothing line, Stuff by Hilary Duff, and an exclusive perfume with Elizabeth Arden.
Her upcoming films include the 2007 action thriller War, Inc. and animated comedy Foodfight!. Duff's latest studio album, Dignity, was released in April 2007.
Duff was born in Houston, Texas, the second child of Robert Erhard Duff, owner of a chain of convenience stores, and Susan Colleen (nee Cobb), a homemaker. Her middle name is the maiden name of her part German-American paternal grandmother, Mary Erhard; Duff also has German ancestry on the part of her maternal grandmother, Amy Beulah Schlemmer. After Duff's mother encouraged her to take an acting class alongside her older sister, Haylie Katherine Duff, both girls won parts in various local theater 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. The siblings became more enthusiastic about the idea of acting professionally, and eventually relocated to California with their mother. Bob Erhard Duff 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 began dating singer Aaron Carter in 2002. They met on the set of Lizzie McGuire, when Carter had a cameo role on a Christmas episode. The relationship lasted a year and a half. It was reported that Carter left actress Hilary Duff for Lindsay Lohan, then broke up with Lohan and resumed dating Duff. Carter said he also cheated on Duff with her best friend, that Duff "got her heart broken" and that he is "sorry" for his actions. Claymation facsimiles of Duff and Lohan appeared on the celebrity wrestling series Celebrity Death Match on March 23, 2007. 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, Duff and Lohan had reconciled. Lohan attended the release party for Duff's album Dignity and Duff told People magazine that she thought Lohan was "fun" and "a nice girl".
In 2004, reports claimed that Avril Lavigne and Duff were fighting. "I read that I was supposedly mad at my fans for dressing like me," Newsweek quotes Lavigne as saying. "They quoted Hilary Duff saying, 'Avril needs to appreciate her fans more and blah, blah, blah.' I'm like, excuse me? First off, it's not even true. I never said that. And second, who the hell cares what she has to say about my fans? Whatever. Hilary Duff's such a goody-goody, such a mommy's girl." Recently, there were reports of drama between the two at a Maxim party in New York - with a complication in arrival times causing an unwanted run-in. Lavigne was said to be furious, pacing around and pressuring her company to leave.
Duff began dating Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden in 2004. 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 stated "...(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.. Soon after their break up, Madden started to date Nicole Richie. The story reports that though Hilary kept quiet at first but now, she’s lashing out. First, she labeled Joel and Nicole’s relationship a "rebound" and said in the August issue of Seventeen magazine that she "felt disrespected that he moved on so quickly." Then in the new issue of Hollywood Life, she took a jab at his new high-profile lifestyle with Nicole, saying that when she was with Joel, "It would’ve been cheesy to be a couple that just loves to go out and get photographed. So you do wonder why they do it now when they were so against it before?"
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." Miakovsky is being held on $200,000 bail at the Manhattan Beach jail. He was arraigned on November 7, 2006. 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.
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. In late August 2006, Duff traveled to a New Orleans elementary school and worked with USA Harvest to distribute meals. In 2005, she donated over 2.5 million meals to Hurricane Katrina victims in the south.
Later, an article on Digital Spy stated that in 2006, Duff slimmed down to a U.S. size zero because of the media reporting she had gained fifteen pounds. She said she has been feeling pressure to be thin, stating that she is perceived in the media to be either too fat or too thin. Duff called this "judgmental" and "mean".