Hilary Erhard Duff is an American actress and singer. She began her acting career at a young age, and quickly became labeled a teen idol as the starring titular character in the television series Lizzie McGuire (2001–2004). Duff began working on numerous projects with the Disney Channel, including the film Cadet Kelly (2002). She later released the Christmas themed Santa Claus Lane (2002) through Walt Disney Records. Upon signing with Hollywood Records, Duff began working on her second studio album, Metamorphosis (2003). The album achieved critical and commercial success, topping the Billboard 200 and selling over three million copies in the United States alone. Duff's success in both acting and music led to her becoming a household name, with merchandise such as dolls, clothing, and fragrances being released.
Duff began to expand her career into theatrical films, with leading roles in projects such as Agent Cody Banks (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), A Cinderella Story (2004), and Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005). She continued to have success in music, with her albums Hilary Duff (2004) and Most Wanted (2005) achieving Platinum status in the United States. Following the release of her fourth studio album, Dignity (2007), Duff released a greatest hits album and parted ways with Hollywood Records. During this time, she began appearing in independent films such as War, Inc.(2008), According to Greta (2009), and Bloodworth (2010). She later released the novel Elixir (2010), which became a New York Times best seller. The book was followed by the sequels Devoted (2011) and True (2013). She returned to music in 2014, and signed with RCA Records for her fifth studio album Breathe In. Breathe Out. (2015). Duff has worked with numerous charities and organizations throughout her career.
Duff has received much media attention since the beginning of her career, most notably for her romantic relationships, friendships and her public image. Her romances with Aaron Carter and Joel Madden were often reported in the media. In 2010, she married former professional hockey player Mike Comrie, with whom she has a son, Luca Cruz Comrie, born March 20, 2012. In February 2016, Duff and Comrie finalized their divorce. She has been described by later Disney actresses as an inspiration, with artists such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez claiming they looked up to Duff and emulated her career.
Duff had a leading role as the titular character in the film According to Greta (2009), which chronicled the life of a suicidal and rebellious teen. Her performance received mixed reviews; Andrew Barker of Variety magazine criticized Duff's "child star" approach to acting and wanted her to stay away from teen roles. However, Los Angeles Times critic Robert Abele wrote that her attempt to "transform her bright-eyed wholesomeness into rebellious snark" in Greta "is a valiant one." Later that year, she co-starred as a narcissistic seductress in What Goes Up. Brian Lowry of Variety magazine stated that Duff's performance "amounts to a near-adult role", yet labeled her role and the film "confused". Despite having previously turned down a role in The CW drama 90210 to avoid projects outside of the "teen" genre, it was later confirmed that Duff would appear as a recurring character in the third season of the hit series Gossip Girl. Duff portrayed famous actress Olivia Burke, who enrolled at New York University in search of a traditional college experience. Duff sparked a romantic relationship with Dan Humphrey, and was later the center of controversy when the two had a threesome with Vanessa Abrams. Enid Portugez of the LA Timespraised her performance by giving a positive review to her involvement in this adult role. The following year, she won a Teen Choice Award for Best Female Scene Stealer for her appearance on Gossip Girl.