Born September 28, 1987 in Houston, Texas, Hilary Duff was the second of two daughters born to Susan Duff, a housewife turned film and music producer, and Bob Duff, the owner of a chain of Texas convenience stores. Taking after her older sister Haylie, young Hilary entered ballet classes and auditioned for local theatrical productions with her sibling. "I always wanted to be like my older sister Haylie," Hilary Duff later recalled. "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.
Duff lands a part in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom Daddio, starring Michael Chiklis. But the actress nearly gives up on showbiz after being dropped from the cast before the show airs. Despite the disappointment, Duff makes an impression. "After working with her the first day," Chiklis later tells the New York Daily News, "I remember saying to my wife, 'This young girl is going to be a movie star."
Hilary has several charities that she takes an interest in, and also puts in time as an animal rights advocate. She was a member of the 1998/99 Advisory Board of the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund and a member of the 2001 Youth Advisory Committee of Kids With A Cause, a non-profit organization of celebrity children working to assist those less fortunate than themselves.