Hilary Swank

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Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress. Her film career began with a small part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and then a major part in The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she played Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of sensei Mr. Miyagi. She has become known for her two Academy Award-winning performances: first as Brandon Teena, a transgender man (FTM) in the movie Boys Don't Cry (1999), and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby (2004).


Early life

Swank was born in Lincoln, Nebraska,[1] the daughter of Judy Kay (née Clough), a secretary and former dancer, and Stephen Michael Swank, who was an officer in the Air National Guard and later a traveling salesman.[2][3][4] She has a brother, Daniel.[3] Swank's surname is of German origin.[3] Her maternal grandmother was of Spanish and Shoshone Native American ancestry,[3] and many of Swank's family members hail from Ringgold County, Iowa.[5] Swank came from humble beginnings, particularly as a child growing up in a trailer park near Lake Samish in Bellingham, Washington,[6] to which she moved at age six,[1] after having lived in Spokane, Washington. Swank has described her younger self as an "outsider" who felt that she belonged "only when [reading] a book or [seeing] a movie, and could get involved with a character," and was thus inspired to become an actress.[7]

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