What You Might Not Know About Hilary Duff - The List (2024)

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ByAngela Barbuti

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At just 14 years old, Hilary Duff became a household name when she was cast as the lovable lead in "Lizzie McGuire." As her character was coming of age on screen, so was the actress herself, along with the loyal legion of tween viewers who watched her on television. The generation of girls who grew up with the actress can still follow her celebrated career, which has included making music, penning novels, launching nonprofits, and designing clothing.

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Now, two decades later, Duff is all grown up and still playing "funny, ambitious, outspoken, openhearted women" on screen (viaThe New York Times). And when she's not filming "How IMet Your Father," the Peaco*ck series where she stars as the leading lady, she's raising her three children at the Los Angeles home she shares with her husband, Matthew Koma.

Even though her biggest fans may think they know all there is to learn about the Texas native, who has15 tattoosand inspired a TikTok challenge, here are some things we discovered about the talented star.

She started working at the age of 6

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Although her big break came at the age of 14, when she was cast in "Lizzie McGuire,"Hilary Duff started working in the entertainment industry at just 6 years old. According to NBC News,it was at that young age that she begantouring with a ballet company, performing "The Nutcracker." (In fact, the dancer-turned-actress posted a throwback photo of those days on Instagram, when she was dressed as a rat for the holiday-themed production.) When she was 8, the starlet moved to Los Angeles from her native Texas with her mom Susan Duff and sister Haylie Duff, leaving her dad behind to run his business. The move came about because of Haylie's desire to be in show business. "Hilary kind of was dragged along," Susan told NBC News. "You know, whatever the big sister was doing the little sister wanted to do."

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At 10 years old, she was castas Casper the Friendly Ghost's pal Wendy in the 1998 direct-to-video movie, "Casper Meets Wendy," and because of that exposure, she earned the lead role in "Lizzie." WhenPeopleasked what advice she would give to herself back then, she said, "Calm down. It's all gonna be good ... You got here for a reason."

She was homeschooled as a child, but as an adult, took classes at Harvard

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When she was 8 years old, Hilary Duff left a traditional school setting, and from the third grade on, was homeschooled by her mother. Now, as a mom herself, she admits to being overwhelmed when it comes helping her son, Luca Cruz Comrie, with homework. When he was in second grade, she took to Instagram to express her feelings of inadequacy, saying, "I stopped going to 'real' school in 3rd grade so I'm actually doomed ... I am left scratching my head alll the time looking at his homework and I'm terrified for next year!"

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When asked to reflect on her career and if she would "do it all over," Duff told Cosmopolitan that one of her regrets is not pursuing higher education."I wish I had a little bit of a college experience," she said. However, she did acknowledge that because of the fact that she was already famous, she would not have gotten a typical university experience. "The thing that I crave out of it wouldn't look the way I pictured it because of who I am and how I came up," she said.

Later in life, the actress decided to continue her studies by enrolling in classes atHarvard Extension Schoolalong with her sister, Haylie Duff. The girls took courses in the prestigious university's Distance Learning Program (via The Harvard Crimson).

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She divorced her first husband when their son was 2

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When Hilary Duff was 19, she met Canadian professional hockey player Mike Comrie ona flight they were on to attend a vacation with mutual friends (via E! Online). At the time, she gushed about her then-new beau to Cosmopolitan, saying, "I love men who have a lot going on in their lives, like I do." In February 2010, Comrie popped the question with a $300,000 sparkler during a romantic getaway in Maui andby August, when Duff was 22, she and Comrie tied the knot.The actressspoke about her decision to marry at such a young age in an interview with Cosmopolitan. "I'd been working since the age of 11 or 12, so making that choice at a young age seemed right for me," she said.

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In 2012, Duff tweeted the happy news that the lovebirds had welcomed a son, Luca Cruz Comrie. But, just two years later, in 2014,they announced their "amicable" separation, with a source close to the actress explaining that they'd grown apart and tried therapy, but decided they'd be "better as friends"(via People). In 2015, TMZ reported that Duff, whose son was just a toddler, had actually been the one to file for divorce. "I got divorced from Luca's dad when he was like 2," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "And then I would never introduce him to someone I was dating unless I was exclusively only dating them for like six months or more."

Ever the fashionista, Hilary Duff has inspired others with her clothing lines

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When she isn't on a Hollywood set or at home on diaper duty, Hilary Duff works in fashion. As a teen on "Lizzie McGuire," she was already an inspiration with the outfits she wore on the early 2000s series. "Her closet was moving as fast as fashion was moving back then," the show'scostume designer told Nylon. Her bold clothing choices on the Disney show are even chronicled on the Instagram page@everyoutfitonlizziemcguire!

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With all that early sartorial influencing, it seems appropriate that Duff wanted to continue to help others with their fashion choices. In 2004, she launched the now-defunct label Stuff by Hilary Duff,with products aimed at the tween and teen demographic sold exclusively at Target (via WWD). When she became a mom, it was only natural that she assisted her fellow mothers with clothing. In 2021,she partnered with theCanadian loungewear brandSmash + Tessto design an equally stylish and comfy collection for working moms like herself. "I don't have a lot of time to spend putting a detailed outfit together. I want to be comfortable and to be able to move throughout my day, but still be on-trend," she told Vogue. The fashion-forward line includes items like rompers, with matching ones for kids. She even named pieces after her children, so there's a Banksromper and a Mini Luca romper as well!

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As a teen, she dated Aaron Carter, who caused some drama

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Although Hilary Duff's dating roster is star-studded with celebrities likeFrankie Muniz andJoel Madden (via Distractify), her most buzzed-about relationship is the one she had with Aaron Carter. The pair met when the pop singer guest-starred on"Lizzie McGuire"and the two shared an on-screen kiss.They began dating when they were both 13, and had an on-and-off again courtship that made headlines for years. (In 2014, Carter even tweeted about spending the rest of his life trying to get her back.)

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The "I Want Candy" crooner admitted to being unfaithful in an interview withCNBC, and named Lindsay Lohan as one of the girls he was pursuing."I was dating her for like a year-and-a-half and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay, dating Lindsay," Carter confessed. "Then I didn't want to do that anymore, so I got back with Hilary. And then I ended up cheating on Hilary with her best friend."

Per "Today,"sources said that Duff penned her song "Haters" with Lohan in mind, with the lyrics "You say your boyfriend's sweet and kind/But you've still got your eyes on mine." It seems that their alleged feud is a thing of the past, with Duff telling People,"We are both adults and whatever happened, happened when we were young."

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She's a bestselling author

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When she's not memorizing lines or designing clothes, Hilary Duff has yet another job to keep her busy: The talented actress can also add the title of author to her very lengthy resume, because to date, she'spenned a total of five books! The actress-turned-author said that writing songs, poems, and scripts at a young age eventually led to her idea for the book (viaSeventeen).In 2010, when she was just 23, she debuted "Elixir," a young adult romance novel with a paranormal twist. "I have always been interested in the paranormal and afterlife, everything from ghosts to angels," she said. The book, which went on to be a New York Times bestseller, was such a success that it inspired a trilogy— the second novel in the series, "Devoted," was released in 2012 and the third, "True," in 2014.

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In 2021, she added another genre to her repertoire, penning her first children's book, "My Little Brave Girl," inspired by her returning to work after the birth of her daughter. "All of a sudden, I started working 16 hour days again and just like that left her, you know, with someone else," she told GMA. "And I was just thinking like, how brave she has to be." Another interesting fact to note is that she actually wrote the picture book on the Notes section of her phone (via "The Ellen Show")!

Her LA home includes an outdoor chicken coop

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When Hilary Duff was pregnant with her first child, she was living in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles and felt the need for more privacy. "My mom had lived down the street from me then, and every time I would walk down to her house there was this paparazzi waiting outside. It was a nightmare," she told Architectural Digest. She ended up selling that property — which includeda gym, billiards room, art and dance studios, and a bar — for close to $5.5 million (via Los Angeles Times). This led her to purchase a5,260-square-foot home in Beverly Hills for a staggering $3.85 million (via Variety).

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Amenities in the not-so humble abode include a sprawling walk-in closestfor her extensive wardrobe and a swimming poolin the yard.One of the most unique parts of the backyard is that it's home to an outdoor chicken coop! "So we have six chickens right now ... I come in and give 'em treats every day," she toldArchitectural Digest in a video tour she conducted of her home. She's also shared a photo of one of her chickens, Beth, on Instagram(via Daily Mail).

She's released five albums and met her second husband while recording one of them

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There are a bunch of songs — 10 to be exact — "that prove Hilary Duff will forever be a pop force" (viaBillboard). Those anthems include "So Yesterday," her breakup-themed single that spent 20 weeks onthe BillboardHot 100list (via Teen Vogue), "Sweet Sixteen," which was featured on MTV's reality show "My Super Sweet 16," and "Tattoo," which she wrote and produced with Ed Sheeran.

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As fate would have it, it was that celebrated music career that helped the songstress find love after her divorce. In 2015, one year after her split with Mike Comrie, she met songwriter and musicianMatthew Komawhilerecording her fifth album, "Breathe In. Breathe Out." At the time, a source told Us Weekly that "they had great chemistry in the studio." In 2017, they became Instagram official, and in 2018, welcomed their first child, Banks Violet Bair. InMay 2019, Koma popped the question and the pair tied the knot at their LA home in December of that same year. The couple welcomed their second child together,Mae James Bair, in 2021, and have hinted aboutadding to their brood.

Duff gushed about Koma, who also helpscoparent Luca Cruz, her child from her first marriage to Mike Comrie, to theNew York Times."I love him so much more than I ever thought I could love a person, and it's just grown through us having all these damn children," she said.

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When the actress was nine months pregnant, she got offered the lead in HIMYF

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After "Lizzie McGuire" wrapped in 2004, Hilary Duff made the transition from TV to movies, dazzling on screen in films like the teen rom-com "A Cinderella Story" and the Steve Martin-led "Cheaper By Dozen" family flicks. She still mostly acted in TV shows, with a recurring role in "Gossip Girl"and a supporting role in "Younger," for which she earned two People's Choice Awards nods.

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Interestingly, after playing Lizzie, she never landed another leading role in a TV series, but that all changed when she was offered the part of the protagonist in "How IMet Your Father." In the sequel to the beloved sitcom "How IMet Your Mother," Duff playsSophie, a 29-year-old photographer looking for love in New York City.When she was propositioned, Duff was expecting her third child, and was surprised that she was even being considered, andexpressed this sentiment to its showrunners. "I'm like, 'First of all, you guys know I'm nine months pregnant right now. Why are you offering me a job?'" she told Harper's Bazaar.

Although she admitted to being skeptical at first, she signed on after falling in love with the leading lady. She told the New York Times, "Sophie is a romantic. She has this idea that her person's out there, but she's going to learn that she's got to make herself whole first."

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She chose her Younger costar to be her daughter's godmother

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One of Hilary Diff's most notable and beloved TV gigs was playing ambitious twenty-something book editor Kelseyin "Younger." In the series, which lasted seven seasons, Duff's character was best friends with Molly Bernard's character, Lauren, who Self called the "source of the show's most outlandish humor." Life definitely imitated art because the two became besties IRL. In an interview with E! News, Bernard explained that although the two are very different, they shared an instant chemistry. "She's like a global actress, pop star, superstar and I'm like a neurotic complete nerd ... I think opposites attract in that way," she said.

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So how close are they? Well, they're so tight that Duff asked Bernard to be the godmother to her daughter, Banks Violet Bair. And when Duff got married for the second time, she asked her to serve as the ceremony's officiantalongside her husband Matthew Koma's close friend, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. (At the nuptials, the gal pals even changed into matching sequined dresses to party together!) Another milestone moment in Duff's life that Bernard was by her side when Mae James Bair was born. Bernard, who flew to LA to support her BFF for the home birth, gushed to E! News, "It was one of the honors of my life to be supportive of her during a seminal moment like that of her life."

The mom of three socializes with other celebrity moms

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Between working and parenting, Hilary Duff's schedule is super packed. And when she added to her brood with a third child, she felt a difference in her life. "It's a learning curve to throw a newborn into the mix. A lot of people have been like, 'That third kid really gets you.' And they're right!" she dished to People. So when the busy mom wants to socialize, she just brings her youngest along, coordinating playdates with her celebrity pals and their little ones.

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In 2021, the actress-turned-matriarch made headlines after she revealed an Instagram photo of her then-3-month-old daughter, Mae, in a circle with other babies. The star-studded group of children included the offspring of a trio of her equally famous Los Angeles neighbors. The highly buzzed-about mommy-and-me music class consisted of Mandy Moore'sson, August, Meghan Trainor'sson, Riley, and Ashley Tisdale's 3-month-old daughter, Jupiter (per "Today").

While playing Lizzie McGuire, she wanted her own identity

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To say that playing Lizzie McGuire was a defining milestone for Hilary Duff's career is an understatement. According to Bustle, her on-screen persona"would provide a blueprint for the relatable tween girl."Although the series, which ran on the Disney Channel for two seasons, and its spinoff moviemade her famous, after it ended, she was typecast as Lizzie. Because of her unshakeable connection to her former character, she wasn't getting new job opportunities and even outside of auditions, wasn't being recognized as an individual."I'd be out on the street and everyone would be like, 'Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie!'" she told the New York Times. "I wanted to be known as Hilary ... from probably 17 to 25, it killed me."

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Now that so much time has passed, the actress reflects on her ex-character fondly, and even signed on to play her again in a reboot. And although the revival series started filming, it was ultimately canceled. At the time, Duff took to Instagram to announce that it was no longer moving forward, saying, "I want any reboot of 'Lizzie' to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today. It's what the character deserves." Duff was open about the fact that her vision for the iconic character was not matching that of Disney, which wanted to create a more family-friendly series. On"The Jess Cagle Show," she said, "That doesn't totally align with, like, where I see Lizzie right now."

She's a philanthropist

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In an effort to give back to those who are less fortunate, Hilary Duff is involved with multiple nonprofit organizations. In fact, she even helped launch one! Along with the founder of USA Harvest, the nation's largest all-volunteer food distribution organization, shestartedBlessings in a Backpack. The national organization gives children bags of food to take home and share with their families. In 2009, the actress even spent three days in Bogota, Colombia, with the program,distributing 3,000 sacks of food to children there. Her ties with USA Harvest go all the way back to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit and she donated$200,000 to the American Red Cross and $50,000 to USA Harvest. This generous act was pretty remarkable, considering she was only 17 at the time.

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In 2021, Duff partnered with the kitchenware company Williams Sonoma, which collaborates with the nonprofitNo Kid Hungry to sell celebrity-designed spatulas. Thirty percent of the proceeds from these unique utensils help to fight childhood food insecurity. Duff joined the project in 2021, lending her creativity to create an abstract design for her contribution. "Kids deserve to be kids and live out their wildest imagination and dreams, without struggle or the worry of a hungry belly. When I look at my three kids, it breaks my heart to know there are millions of kids out there who live with hunger," she told People.

What You Might Not Know About Hilary Duff - The List (2024)
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