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In 'How I Met Your Father', an older Sophie in the year 2050 (Duff) is telling her young son about how she met his father. As she reflects on the best years of her life when she was trying to figure out life, love, work and basically trying to find her place in the world.
Hillary Duff returns to our screens in the sitcom 'How I met your Father', but what has the former Lizzie McGuire star been up since her time at Disney until now?
Hilary Duff was born in the year 1987 on September 28 and spent her time between San Antonio and Houston Texas. Her mother was a film and music producer and enrolled both her young girls into theatre and ballet classes.
Haylie was older than her younger sister, Hilary, who followed her lead. They both entered ballet classes and auditioned for local theatrical productions at a young age.
"I always wanted to be like my older sister, Haylie. When she learned to ride a bike, I had to as well. If she took ballet lessons, I did too. I took singing lessons because she did. It all just got more intense until it turned into careers for both of us," Hilary recalled, according to biography.com.
The sisters, after landing roles in 'The Nutcracker', aspired to act professionally. When Hilary was 6, she moved to California with her sister and mother, who began managing their careers. From eight years old, Duff was also home-schooled by her mother.
Her first big break in Hollywood was landing the lead role of Wendy, starring opposite an animated ghost in the 1998 made-for-TV movie 'Casper Meets Wendy'.
In 2001 Hilary Duff starred as Lizzie McGuire in the No. 1 Hit Disney Channel Series titled ‘Lizzie McGuire.’ which was later developed into a movie due to the success rate and financial returns it brought to the company in 2001. Hilary was not only loved by the producers, but by fans all over the world.
The movie titled ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie’ (2003) fetched the incredible sum of $42 million within the U.S only. She also starred in two other movies in the same year.
But, as her fame was rising and her popularity was growing, there was trouble at home. According to The U.S. Sun, while Duff was in her early 20s and, quite simply, a superstar - her home life was crashing as her parents had filed for divorce.
As Duff was dealing with her turbulent home life, she starred in one of the movies we best remember her for - 'A Cinderella Story'. She was likeable, lovable and perfect. Then she gave us 'Raise your Voice', another motivational production. She was a role model for young girls. On the surface.
Hilary Duff was another victim of the so-called Disney 'curse'. The young star faced problems with anorexia and alcohol from a very young age. At the time, she kept the news quiet, but later on spoke out about her challenges.
"I was totally obsessed with everything I put in my mouth. I was way too skinny," she revealed to Health in 2012. "Not cute. And my body wasn't that healthy —my hands would cramp up a lot because I wasn't getting the nutrition I needed. That constant pressure of wanting something different than I had? I regret that."
In a 2010 interview with Perez Hilton she said, "I was touring at the time, travelling everywhere, and I felt so run down. Not giving your body enough of what it needs is really dangerous. I regret it because I don't think I was happy then." Despite this, she continued to push through and work successfully in film and TV.
In 2008, she starred in a movie called ‘War, Inc.’ In 2009, she starred in three films titled ‘Stay cool,’ ‘What goes up,’ and ‘According to Greta.’ Then, in 2010, she starred in ‘Beauty and the Briefcase’ and ‘Bloodworth.’ The actress pretty much didn't ever stop.
Hilary also guest-starred in the following popular series; 'Community', 'Two and a Half Men' and 'Raising Hope'.
Photo: Warner Bros. Television/'Two and a Half Men'
In 2012, she lent her voice to a few different movies, such as ‘Sky Force Heroes,’ and ‘Foodfight!’ Then, she left the screen for two years.
In the year 2015, Hilary Duff starred in a movie titled 'Flock of Dudes', an independent film comedy that didn't do too well at the box office. In 2018, it was her voice that, once again, starred in the movie titled 'Meet Your Tooth Fairy', a fantasy/adventure animation.
But it is her latest film which took an unexpected twist. From comedies and romcoms, Duff moved to the thriller/horror genre. 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate', produced in 2019, was a chilling tale 'based on a true story of one of the most horrific murders in history' (IMDB tagline).
Hilary Duff ventured into music while acting. Her musical career took off in the year 2002 when she released an album for Disney Channel’s music label, Santa Claus Lane. Then in 2003, Hilary Duff released her debut album titled 'Metamorphosis'.
'Metamorphosis' topped the Billboard 200 Charts and sold more than two million copies. The album also won her multi-platinum awards in the U.S. Both film and music industries wanted a piece of Miss Hilary Duff.
In 2007, Hilary Duff released another album titled 'Dignity', which was said to be a more mature sound than the previous albums. A more mature sound for a more mature person and we had watched her grow up before our very eyes.
Hilary Duff married, Mike Comrie, a professional hockey player and her long time boyfriend on August 14, 2010. In 2012, they had a baby boy named Luca Cruz Comrie. The couple divorced when Luca was four.
She then married Matthew Koma in 2019. They both have a lot in common; such as music (he is a songwriter), and they had also suffered at the hands of eating disorders in their youths. They have two daughters together, Banks and Mae.
Hilary Duff also loves children and animals, being an activist for children and animals' rights. That's not the limit of her philanthropy, however and, during the outbreak of hurricane Katrina, she donated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to support the victims.
Duff also feels strongly about providing affordable and quality menstrual products for women and girls around the world. She talked about period poverty in an interview with the Morning Show, stating “it is horrifying that something like your period is holding girls back from being able to go to school for a week every single month because they don’t have access to proper supplies.”
A return of Lizzy McGuire was on the cards and even started production in 2020. But a PG rating for the story of a life of a 30-something didn't fit well and, after initially trying to get it moved to Hulu from Disney, it was finally scrapped completely.
"I know the efforts and conversations have been everywhere trying to make a reboot work but, sadly & despite everyone's best efforts, it isn't going to happen," Hilary wrote on Instagram in December 2020. "I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today. It's what the character deserves."
So, where has she been? Nowhere. Hilary has been right where she has always been - in front of the camera, next to a microphone, doing good things for people and animals in need and, like most people, juggling a home/work life balance with three young children at home.