If people were born in the early ’90s or thereabouts, they might have grown up watching Lizzie McGuire, the clumsy 13-year-old girl with dreams of being popular at school, and her close pals Gordo and Miranda. Lizzie also had her animated alter-ego alongside her that represented her feelings. The show was a major hit when it aired, and it also helped launch Hilary Duff’s stardom as an actress, singer, and songwriter.
Since starring as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel, Hilary Duff went on to become quite a successful singer and actress, starring in movies like Agent Cody Banks, Cheaper By the Dozen, and A Cinderella Story and landing a role in the comedy-drama series Younger. True fans of Hilary Duff probably even still have her albums lying around, including the all-time favorite Metamorphosis, released back in 2003, which gave us hit songs like “So Yesterday” and “Come Clean.” It was as if Hilary was born to be a Hollywood star.
Today, Hilary is busy with her TV Land series Younger and continues to land movie roles. She’s also a mother of two adorable kids and married to singer/songwriter Matthew Koma. Duff has had quite an eventful life since she was a young child, and we’ve got the photos that show this famous former Disney star growing up in the spotlight.
However, we tend to forget that Hilary has an older and also quite successful sister named Haylie. Haylie Duff is best known for her role on 7th Heaven and as Summer on Napoleon Dynamite, and she even landed her own show on the Cooking Channel. We didn’t forget Haylie, though, so we also shared some throwbacks of Hilary’s older sister that fans are going to want to see for themselves.
25. BORN TO BE A STAR
Hilary Duff was born on September 28, 1987, in Houston, Texas. Thanks to her mother, Susan Duff, Duff and her older sister, Haylie, went on to take acting, singing and ballet classes. Hilary actually followed in her older sister’s footsteps, auditioning for local theatre productions at a young age. “I always wanted to be like my older sister, Haylie,” Hilary said, adding, “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.”
24. ACTING AT A YOUNG AGE
Hilary and Haylie Duff pretty much knew at an early age that they’d be in the spotlight. After auditioning for local productions, both sisters were cast in a touring BalletMet production of the Nutcracker in San Antonio, Texas. Starring in the show gave both girls the aspirations to become actors. In 1993, Hilary and Haylie’s mother thought it was a good idea to take her girls with her to California, where they’d have a better chance at landing acting roles. Her mother then homeschooled Hilary beginning at the age of eight, and she also became both daughters’ manager.
23. AUDITIONING FOR SEVERAL YEARS
Hilary and Haylie Duff’s father, Robert Erhard Duff stayed back in Houston to take care of his convenience stores while the sisters relocated to California with their mom. During this time, the sisters auditioned for several years and were cast in many television commercials. Haylie and Hilary Duff also modeled for different clothing brands. When Hilary was older, she stated that her mom fully supported her and Haylie in their acting ventures and pushed them, just as any parent would if their kids were in sports. “My sister and I really showed an interest in [performing] and dedication, and [our mother] was like, ‘How can I tell my kids no?’ It’s the same as kids that are going into sports. Parents support them and push them.'”
22. HILARY LANDS HER FIRST BIG BREAK
Auditioning for several years ended up paying off for Hilary and she landed her first big break in Hollywood when she landed the lead role of Wendy in the 1998 made-for-TV movie Casper Meets Wendy. In the movie, Hilary teams up with the friendly ghost to help stop a wicked warlock for terrorizing her family. A year later, Hilary landed the role of Elle in the television film The Soul Collector and even received a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot. In 2000, Duff starred in Chicago Hope appearing as a sick child in the medical drama.
21. HILARY ALMOST GIVES UP ON SHOW BUSINESS
Duff continued to get roles for TV shows and was next cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC comedy-drama Daddio. Her co-star, actor Michael Chiklis even knew she was going to be a star, stating, “After working with her the first day, I remember saying to my wife, ‘This … girl is gonna be a movie star.’ She was completely at ease with herself and comfortable in her own skin.'” However, Duff ended being dropped from the cast before the show even aired and she ended up becoming depressed. Hilary was apparently so upset about being dropped from the show that she even wanted to give up on show business, but her mother pushed her to keep on going. Hilary would soon land the lead role on what would become a very popular Disney show.
20. SHE GETS LABELED A TEEN IDOL
A week after Hilary was dropped from Daddio, she landed the lead role of Lizzie McGuire on a new Disney Channel show entitled Lizzie McGuire. The show was a major hit, premiering on January 12, 2001, and gaining 2.3 million viewers per episode. Hilary became a household name and quickly became labeled a teen idol. Starring as Lizzie, the clumsy 13-year-old girl who just wants to be popular with the help of her friends Miranda and Gordo, Hilary not only became popular with the “tween” population but with people of all ages. Duff even stated, “I don’t think the Disney Channel gives us enough credit for the age range Lizzie McGuire actually has. College students came up to me, grandparents and famous people.”
19. HILARY’S ACTING LIFE KEEPS ON GROWING
Lizzie McGuire was an instant success and it helped launched Hilary’s acting and, later, singing profession. Because the show gained wide popularity, Disney began marketing the show with soundtracks, books, and toys based on Hilary’s character. After starring in 65 episodes that spanned just two seasons, Duff reprised her role for 2003’s The Lizzie McGuire Movie. The film was extremely successful and grossed more than $55 million worldwide. The Disney show later ended on February 14, 2004, and Hilary went on to work on other features for the Disney network like the film Cadet Kelly and releasing an album titled Santa Claus Lane.
18. HILARY SHOWS OFF HER SINGING CHOPS
Once Lizzie McGuire was over, Duff signed onto Hollywood Records to release her own recordings and albums. She released her second studio album titled Metamorphosis in 2003, which featured songs written by both Hilary and her sister Haylie. The album eventually went triple-platinum in the United States and it gave fans some of Hilary’s most memorable songs like “So Yesterday” and “Come Clean.” Her song “Come Clean” was also used as the theme song for the popular MTV show Laguna Beach. The 16-year-old Duff would also star in three movies that year, including, Agent Cody Banks, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Cheaper By the Dozen.
17. HILARY’S SUCCESS LEADS TO OTHER VENTURES
The success of Hilary’s debut album made her a household name. Her accomplishments in both acting and singing led to other ventures, selling merchandise like dolls, fragrances, and clothing. Hilary launched her own fashion line called Stuff By Hilary Duff, which was successful in stores like Kmart and Target and later, she launched the fashion line Femme for DKNY Jeans. In 2004, Duff starred in the romantic comedy A Cinderella Story with actor Chad Michael Murray, but the film did not do so great at the box office and it received negative reviews. Duff began getting mean comments about her acting and singing abilities with one magazine writer stating that Duff “does nothing more than look perky and stylish.” But, those negative comments did not stop Duff from continuing her work.
16. HILARY TRIES TO LEAVE HER DISNEY IMAGE
In 2004, Hilary debut her self-titled studio album; however, she wanted to stray away from her cute Disney Channel persona. The album featured more rock elements and was compared to works by pop-rock artists Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson. Later that year, Duff starred in the film Raise Your Voice, which was very unsuccessful at the box office and she began getting criticized even more for her abilities to act and sing, with commentators saying her voice was digitally enhanced. Duff received her first Razzie nomination for, well, opposite-of-best Actress in 2004. Hilary continued to try and show her fans that she was a serious actress by starring in Perfect Man in 2005, and Material Girls with her sister Haylie in 2006, but both films bombed.
15. HILARY CONTINUES TO SEE SUCCESS DESPITE CRITICISM
All the criticism Hilary received about her voice didn’t stop her from recording her fourth studio album, Dignity, released in 2007, which saw both critical and commercial acclaim. Duff wrote 13 of the 14 songs on the album along with writers such as Kara DioGuardi and it included singles like “With Love” and “Stranger.” Her music videos for both songs showed Hilary at a more mature stage in her life and gave her a new grown-up image. In 2008, Hilary was offered the lead role in of the 2008 reboot of 90210, but passed on the opportunity, wanting to let go of the high school image. She went on to star in the political satire film War, Inc. alongside actor John Cusack.
14. THE STAR FINDS HERSELF WORKING IN INDEPENDENT FILMS
After the release of her album Dignity, Hilary Duff released a greatest hits album called Best of Hilary Duff and parted ways with Hollywood Records. During this time, Hilary went on to appear in numerous independent films, which included, War, Inc., According to Greta, and Bloodworth. Even though Hilary did not want to appear in roles that showed her as a high school student, she did accept a role on The CW drama hit Gossip Girl. Hilary starred as famous actress Olivia Burke and her performance received praise for her ability to take on a more “adult role.”
13. HILARY WRITES A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
With her major success as an actress and singer, Hilary Duff decided to venture off into becoming an author and did fairly well. Her first novel titled Elixir was released in 2010 and received positive reviews. In an interview with Seventeen Magazine, Duff talked about the creation of her first book, stating, “I have been playing with the idea for a few years now. It’s a lot of fun and at the same time, very challenging. I have always been interested in the paranormal and afterlife, everything from ghosts to angels. I think that everyone has that curiosity of the great unknown.” The book was followed by sequels Devoted in 2011, and True, released in 2013.
12. HILARY’S STARDOM NEVER FADES
Over the course of her professional life, Hilary Duff has starred in over 20 films. In 2010, Duff starred in the ABC Family television film Beauty & the Briefcase, which attracted 2.4 million viewers during its premiere. She would also appear on an episode of Community on NBC and the following year, co-starred in the comedy Stay Cool alongside actress Winona Ryder. In 2013, we’d see Duff guest star in Raising Hope and later guest starred in the tenth season finale of Two and a Half Men. In 2014, Duff would get her first starring role in a television series since Disney’s Lizzie McGuire.
11. HILARY LANDS A ROLE ON A TV SERIES AND RETURNS TO MUSIC
Many child stars find themselves fading from the Hollywood spotlight, but that isn’t the case for Hilary Duff. In 2014, Hilary landed the role of Kelsey Peters in the comedy-drama Younger for TV Land. The show didn’t premiere until 2015, but it did mark Duff’s first starring role in a television series since she was on Lizzie McGuire. After five seasons, the show is set to renew for a sixth season the summer. The same year, Duff announced that she signed a record label with RCA Records and was set to release her fifth album. Titled Breath In. Breath Out, the album included singles, “Chasing the Sun” and “Sparks.”
10. HILARY GETS SERIOUS WITH HER RELATIONSHIPS
Today, Hilary Duff continues to make films and is a mother of two kids. In 2010, Duff married hockey player Mike Comrie and gave birth to a son, Luca in 2012. However, their marriage didn’t last and the former couple’s divorce was finalized in 2016. In an interview with Us Weekly, Hilary opened up about her divorce and said; “I think that I was in a very successful marriage for a long time. I never want to have any negative …I mean, that’s hard to say: ‘no negative feelings.’ But we got together based on love, and we separated in a very loving way. I can’t image going through that process with anyone but him, and he continues to be my very good friend.”
9. ACTRESS TURNED MOM OF TWO
Hilary found love again after her divorce from Mike Comrie. In 2017, she began a relationship with singer/songwriter and DJ Matthew Koma and later the year, announced that she was pregnant with her second child and Koma’s first child, a girl on June 8, 2018. In October 2018, Hilary welcomed her daughter, Banks Violet Blair via a home water birth. Talking about having kids, Hilary stated, “Having children changes everything. Life’s not really about you anymore. Having kids has taught me [incredible] patience and brought immense joy to my life.”
8. HILARY IS DESCRIBED AS AN INSPIRATION
Hilary Duff has worked hard for her stardom since she was a little girl. Thanks to her mother’s push and her belief in herself, Duff has gone on to become a successful Hollywood star. Other actresses who have seen success themselves after starring on hit shows on Disney like Hilary have praised Duff and have called her an inspiration. Famous artists like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez claimed they looked up to Hilary and even emulated her path. In an interview with PopSugar, Duff claimed that she was very proud of her accomplishments as an actress, singer and fashion designer over the years. “I know this is going to sound crazy because now if you don’t do everything you basically won’t cut it, but for me to try and convince people that I could be a singer and a dancer and I could go on tour and have an album, it was like breaking bones.”
7. HILARY IS DEFINITELY MORE THAN JUST LIZZIE MCGUIRE
Having two kids hasn’t stopped Hilary from continuing her work. “I want to keep pushing myself and trying new things,” she said in an interview, adding, “I don’t think I’ve gotten a job yet where I’m like, ‘I’m done. I did it.’ I think once you feel that way maybe the drive is gone.'” Hilary is only 31-years-old and she’s accomplished a lot, acting in numerous movies and starring in multiple TV shows. There are even dolls of Hilary Duff! Now that’s an accomplishment! Hilary has managed to make her name known and is definitely more than just Lizzie McGuire.
6. A STAR THAT WON’T STOP
Hilary’s most recent film was April 2019’s The Haunting of Sharon Tate, which received mixed reviews with Variety calling Duff “too contemporary” to play the role of Sharon Tate. Duff is also continuing her role as Kelsey Peters in the TV Land show Younger, which is on its sixth season. From auditioning for various productions since she was a youngster to becoming ultra successful in multiple movies and albums, Duff is one woman that can’t be stopped. Hilary Duff is truly an inspiration to other people who have dealt with negativity throughout their lives and have shown how to grow from it and keep on moving.
5. WHAT ABOUT HAYLIE DUFF?
We mentioned earlier that Hilary looked up to her older sister Haylie since they were kids, even learning to ride a bike and take ballet lessons because her sister did. But it’s pretty clear that Hollywood preferred to shine a light on Hilary’s life rather than Haylie’s. Haylie has seen her fair share of acting roles and even has a few songs to her name, but it appears that she may not have enjoyed the limelight as much as Hilary. Once Hilary Duff landed the lead role in Disney’s Lizzie McGuire, her acting and singing only skyrocketed. While Haylie made a few guest appearances on TV shows for Disney and even landed a role in 7th Heaven we still don’t really hear much about her.
4. THE FORGOTTEN SISTER
There isn’t much the same between the stardom’s of Hilary and Haylie Duff. Hilary has seen much success as an actress, singer, fashion designer and even a writer of three books. Haylie started out acting and singing at a young age, but we don’t see her in many TV or movie productions now. When Haylie was younger she made an appearance on Lizzie McGuire and That’s So Raven and received her first role in a feature film starring as Summer Wheatley in Napoleon Dynamite. Later, in 2005, Haylie joined the cast of 7th Heaven, playing Sandy Jameson, best friend to Simon’s girlfriend Rose. She even made her Broadway debut in Hairspray, starring as mean girl Amber Von Tussle from June 2006 to early October 2006.
3. HAYLIE FINDS HER OWN SUCCESS IN THE KITCHEN
In an interview with The Digest Online, Haylie discussed her new ventures with cooking, creating a blog called “The Real Girl’s Kitchen” and publishing her own cookbook and even getting her own Cooking Channel show. “I think the biggest inspiration started with me getting my first home and having this nice kitchen that I had no idea how to use. I grew up in a family that really cooked a lot, so for me I never really learned how to cook because I was always cooked for,” Haylie states, adding, “Then I moved out on my own and I didn’t know how to feed myself. So it started out of my not knowing how to cook and sharing the trials and tribulations of being a real girl in the kitchen just trying to figure it out.”
2. HAYLIE’S A WORKING MOM
Like her younger sister, trying to balance professional life and her family can be challenging, especially if you are in the spotlight. However, Haylie has pretty much mastered raising her two kids with fiancé Matt Rosenberg while showing every “real girl” how to cook for themselves and their families. Duff said, “Well honestly, the biggest challenge with balancing is balancing. I’m not always great at it, but I really try to separate the two. You know, when mom goes to work, mom goes to work. But then when mom is home, I’m not great about answering emails on time.”
1. NO MATTER WHAT, THEY ARE SISTERS AND BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE
No matter who has the “better” path or is in the spotlight more, Haylie and Hilary Duff always seem to find time to bond and raise their children together. The two began a path to a life in acting and singing together since they were little, starring in movies together and even debuting songs, like “Our Lips Are Sealed,” which we know you’re probably singing in your head right now. So while Hilary may have seen the spotlight way more than her older sister, it doesn’t seem like that hurt their relationship at all. Now that they are older, they both are focusing on family and it’s great to see that there isn’t a rivalry between the two.