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Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. After living in Spokane, Washington, the family moved to Bellingham, Washington, when she was 6.Hilary was discovered as a child by producer Suzy Sachs, who coached her in acting. When she was nine years old, she starred in her first play as "Mowgli" in "The Jungle Book". She began to appear regularly in local theater and school plays. She went to school in Bellingham, where she lived with her family, until she was 16. She competed in the Junior Olympics and Washington State championships in swimming; she ranked 5th in the state in all-around gymnastics (which would come in handy for starring in The Next Karate Kid (1994) years later). In 1990, Hilary and her mother moved to Los Angeles, where she enrolled in South Pasadena High School, and started acting professionally. She appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) but The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she got the part competing against hundreds of other actresses, was her breakout role. Ever since then, she has been much in demand and has worked non-stop in movies. She won the Best Actress Oscar for Boys Don't Cry (1999). She starred in a few minor films before starring in Clint Eastwood's boxing drama Million Dollar Baby (2004) that won her a Golden Globe and a SAG Award, as well as her second Academy Award. She is two for two at the Oscars, a feat she shares only with a few other women. Off-screen, she married Chad Lowe on September 28, 1997. An aficionado for anything that involves the outdoors, she enjoys: sky diving, river rafting and skiing.