This is the timeline of Hilary Duff.
Duff's early career was marked by playing minor roles, starting off with an uncredited appearance in Hallmark Entertainment's western miniseries True Women in 1997. She also served as an uncredited extra, in writer-director Willard Carroll's ensemble dramedy Playing by Heart in 1998. Her first major role was as a star of the 1998 film Casper Meets Wendy, a direct-to-video sequel to Casper in which she plays the young witch Wendy the Good Little Witch, who encounters the animated character Casper the Friendly Ghost. The film was released to mostly unenthusiastic reviews.
In 1999, Duff appeared in a supporting role in the television film The Soul Collector, which was based on a Kathleen Kane novel. Duff won a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot (Supporting Young Actress)" for her role in the movie.
Duff's first serious rise to fame came when she was cast as one of the children in the pilot episode of the NBC sitcom Daddio in 2000. Her co-star Michael Chiklis, stated, "After working with her the first day, I remember saying to my wife, 'this young girl is going to be a movie star'. She was completely at ease with herself and comfortable in her own skin." Duff was dropped from the cast of Daddio before it being aired, which made her reluctant to pursue her acting career further. However, her manager and mother urged her on, and a week later she successfully auditioned for the children's television series, Lizzie McGuire where she portrayed the title role of a clumsy but an average middle school girl. The show focused on her growth into teenhood.
Lizzie McGuire, which first aired on the Disney Channel on January 12, 2001, was a ratings hit, drawing in 2.3 million viewers per episode. Her participation in the show led to her becoming highly popular among children between the ages of seven and fourteen, with critic Richard Huff of the New York Daily News calling her "a 2002 version of Annette Funicello. After Duff fulfilled her 65 episode contract with Lizzie McGuire, Disney considered continuing the franchise further, through films and a prime-time television series to be broadcast on ABC. However, the plans failed because Duff's representatives said she was not being paid enough for the proposed series. Duff also starred in the Disney Channel television film Cadet Kelly (2002), which became the network's most watched program in its 19-year history. In the movie, she plays a free-spirited girl who enrolls in a military school and finds it hard to adjust to its strict and disciplined environment.
Duff's first role in a theatrical motion picture was in Human Nature (2002), an independent film shot around the time of the start of Lizzie McGuire. It was first showcased at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. The film, written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, follows a female naturalist, played by Patricia Arquette. Duff played the younger version of Arquette's character. The same year, Duff recorded a cover version of Brooke McClymont's "I Can't Wait" for the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack, and "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room" for the first DisneyMania compilation album. Her first album was Santa Claus Lane (2002), a collection of Christmas songs that included duets with her sister Haylie, Lil' Romeo and Christina Milian. Accompanied by the Disney Channel-only single "Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)", it peaked at 154 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and was certified gold. The track "Santa Claus Lane" was included on the soundtrack to The Santa Clause 2 and the single, "What Christmas Should Be", was used in Cheaper by the Dozen. Duff sang several tracks for soundtrack to The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which included "I Can't Wait" and "Why Not", the latter peaking at # 14 in Australia. The soundtrack to The Lizzie McGuire movie went platinum in 2003.
In 2003, Duff received her first major role in a feature film when she was cast alongside Frankie Muniz in Agent Cody Banks. The film received positive reviews and was successful enough to spawn a sequel, in which Duff did not participate. The same year, Duff reprised her role as Lizzie McGuire for The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which exceeded box office expectations, earning $42.6 million at the US box office and $55 million worldwide. It received mixed reviews, with certain critics calling it "an unabashed promotion of Duff’s image, just as Crossroads was for Spears", while other reviews were generally positive and encouraging. Later that year, Duff played one of the 12 children of Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in the family film Cheaper by the Dozen, which remains her highest grossing film to date. She reprised her role in the sequel to the film called Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), which failed to be as successful as the original film and was panned by critics.
Duff's first full-length studio album, Metamorphosis (2003), reached number one on the U.S. and Canadian charts and had sold over 3.7 million copies by May 2005. The lead single, "So Yesterday" (co-written and produced by The Matrix), was a top ten hit in several countries, its follow-up, the Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County theme song "Come Clean", became Duff's first top forty U.S. hit and reached the top twenty in UK, Australia and New Zealand. The video was nominated in the category of Best Pop Video at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The third single, "Little Voice", was not released in the U.S. and was a minor hit in Canada and Australia. In late 2003, Duff embarked on her first concert tour, the Metamorphosis Tour, and later the Most Wanted Tour. Most shows scheduled in the major cities were completely sold out.
Duff also made several guest appearances in television shows; her first as a sick child in the medical drama Chicago Hope in March 2000. In a 2003 episode of George Lopez, she had a role as a makeup salesperson; she later reappeared in the show in 2005 as Kenzie, a feminist poet friend of the character, Carmen (Masiela Lusha). In 2003, she acted opposite her sister Haylie in American Dreams, while in 2005, she played a classmate and idolizer of the title character of Joan of Arcadia.
In January 2004, the second DisneyMania disc, DisneyMania 2, was released and featured a duet, "The Siamese Cat Song" with her sister. Another song, "Circle of Life", featured Duff and other Disney Channel stars. Duff and her sister recorded a cover of The Go-Gos' "Our Lips Are Sealed" for the A Cinderella Story: Original Soundtrack, which also included two other songs by Duff. The video for "Our Lips Are Sealed" was popular on MTV's Total Request Live, but the song failed to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Duff's second full-length album was the self-titled Hilary Duff in which she co-wrote some songs. She described the album as more "personal" and having a "rock feel" than Metamorphosis. It was released on her seventeenth birthday (in September 2004) and debuted at #2 in the U.S. and at #1 in Canada. The album sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S. in eight months, but its only U.S. single, "Fly", failed to chart on the Hot 100. "Fly" reached the top forty in Australia, where the album produced a second top forty single, "[[Someone's Watching over Me which was the theme song of the film Raise Your Voice. Duff contributed the song "(I'll Give) Anything but Up!" for the 2004 album Marlo Thomas & Friends: Thanks & Giving All Year Long (2004).
In 2004 Duff starred in the romantic comedy A Cinderella Story. Though the reviews were mostly negative, the film went on to become a moderate box office hit, and critics were impressed by Duff's performance. A Cinderella Story earned $70,067,909 worldwide and was a commercial success. Later that year, she starred in the film Raise Your Voice, her first role in a drama film. While some critics praised Duff for appearing in a more mature and serious role than her previous films, the film itself was heavily panned. Several reviews were indifferent towards her acting performance and were particularly harsh towards Duff's vocals, with critics pointing out what appeared to be her digitally enhanced voice The film received a lukewarm response at the box office, and is Duff's least successful film commercially, with total theater receipts of $14 million. The same year, Duff received her first Razzie nomination for worst actress for her roles in Raise Your Voice and A Cinderella Story.
In 2005, Duff starred in The Perfect Man in which she played the eldest daughter of a divorced woman (Heather Locklear). The film received mostly harsh reviews and did not live up to box office expectations, grossing $19,770,475 globally. In the same year, Duff was again nominated for a Razzie Award, for The Perfect Man and Cheaper by the Dozen 2. The 2006 satirical comedy Material Girls, in which she co-starred with her sister Haylie, was also not well received by critics, grossing only $16,907,561 worldwide. The film, directed by Martha Coolidge and co-produced by Madonna's independent film production company Maverick Films, starred the Duff sisters as wealthy siblings who must fight to reclaim their fortune following a scandal. Duff along with her sister Haylie, received two more nominations for Razzie awards for their role in the film.
Duff's third album, Most Wanted (2005), comprised her favorite tracks from her previous two albums, remixes, and new songs inspired by pop-rock musicians such as The Killers and Muse. In an appearance on Total Request Live, Duff stated that it was not a greatest hits album, but that her label told her it was time to release a new album. She had more creative control over Most Wanted compared to her previous releases, co-writing the new material with producers Joel Madden and his brother, Benji Madden, both members of Good Charlotte. The lead single, "Wake Up", became Duff's highest peaking single on the U.S. Hot 100 at the time and its video received heavy rotation on MTV. The video for the second single, "Beat of My Heart", was also popular, but the single itself did not chart in the U.S. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and became her third number one debut in Canada. An Italy-only compilation, 4Ever, was released in 2006. Duff recorded new songs for her movie, Material Girls, which included a Timbaland-produced cover version of Madonna's "Material Girl" with her sister.
By 2005 Duff appeared to have lost weight, leading the media to speculate that she had developed an eating disorder, though Duff denied this claim. Duff was interviewed on the Australian current affair show Today Tonight and stated that she lost weight by leading a more active lifestyle. Later in 2006, an article on Digital Spy stated that Duff had slimmed down to a U.S. size zero because of media reports suggesting she had gained fifteen pounds. She later stated that she had been feeling the pressure to be thin, because she is perceived in the media to be either too fat or too thin. Duff called this "judgmental" and "mean".
In June 2006, when asked about her then-boyfriend Joel Madden, a native of Waldorf, Maryland, in an interview with Elle, Duff replied, "He's very real, like, he's from a pretty ghetto place in Maryland... I like that". Duff's "ghetto" comments sparked a mixture of mild offense and bemusement from residents of the Waldorf area, as the suburban, mostly middle-class town did not fall into the traditional impoverished inner city concept of a ghetto. Duff later claimed she was referring not to Waldorf, but actually a section of Baltimore where Madden lived briefly as a young adult.
In late 2006 Duff took legal action against an alleged stalker and his roommate. On November 3, 2006, Duff's stalker, Maksim Miakovsky, was arrested for threatening to kill her. He was booked on charges of making criminal threats and stalking. According to legal papers filed by Duff, Miakovsky came to the U.S. "for the sole purpose of meeting and becoming romantically involved with Ms. Duff. Miakovsky was being held on $200,000 bail at the Manhattan Beach jail. He was arraigned on November 7, 2006. On January 19, 2007, Miakovsky was sentenced to 117 days in jail and five years probation after pleading no contest to the charges.
During her Still Most Wanted tour, she performed in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she filmed a brief appearance on the soap opera Rebelde. She was also the guest star on The Andy Milonakis Show for its third season premiere in 2007. In April 2008, Duff was offered the lead role of Annie Mills in The CW Television Network's Beverly Hills, 90210 spinoff, but she turned it down because she was more interested in looking for projects outside the teen genre. She is also a model signed to IMG Models New York.
Duff co-wrote the material for her third studio album Dignity, along with Kara DioGuardi, who co-produced the album with Rhett Lawrence, Tim & Bob and Richard "Humpty" Vission. Duff stated that compared to her previous music, it is "more dancey" and makes use of more real instruments. She said, "I don't know exactly how to explain what we're doing, but it's fun and funky and different, something new for me. It's really cool". She also described the album's sound as "a little less pop-rock and more electronic-sounding".
The first single, "Play with Fire", became a minor nightclub hit but failed to chart in the U.S.; the second single, "With Love", was more successful, becoming Duff's biggest U.S. Hot 100 hit and topping the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. The music video for "With Love" was used as a commercial for Duff's first fragrance, With Love... Hilary Duff, which was launched in September 2006; the video reached number one on Total Request Live. Initially slated for release in late 2006, the album was released in April 2007 in North America and earlier elsewhere. It reached the top five in the U.S. and Canada, the top twenty in Australia and the top forty in the UK. The Dignity tour began in mid-2007. A third single, "Stranger", was a number one U.S. club hit.
In early 2007, the Duff sisters lent their voices to the computer animated comedy Foodfight!, which is to be distributed by Lions Gate Films and scheduled to release in 2008. The director the film, Larry Kasanoff, said that he is "absolutely thrilled to have the Duff sisters as part of the cast". Duff also starred opposite John Cusack in War, Inc. which was released in theatres in Los Angeles and Manhattan, New York on May 23, 2008. Within a month of its release, it was expanded to several more theaters around the US.
On September 7, 2007, Duff confirmed on Much On Demand, that she would be filming two independent films Greta, and Safety Glass. Both movies were filmed in late 2007 and are due to be released in late 2008 or early 2009. Duff has joined the cast of a new Polish brothers comedy Stay Cool. She will co-star alongside Winona Ryder, Mark Polish, Sean Astin, Chevy Chase and Jon Cryer. She will portray the character of Shasta O'Neil, described as a sexy high school senior. The movie was filmed during July and August 2008 in Santa Clarita, California, and the film is scheduled for release in 2009.
In January 2008, videos of Duff surfaced on YouTube, which showed her singing into her microphone at her concert in Mexico, but her voice was inaudible, leading viewers to believe that she was lip-syncing. Duff's representative defended her saying, "She was not lip-synching. It was faulty equipment. There was no sound coming out, but she was singing". He also added that Duff was not using her regular sound equipment, but instead was using locally provided equipment and that her microphone was inadvertently set on mute for the first few minutes of the performance.
In November 2008, Duff's greatest hits album, Best of Hilary Duff was released, but the album's first single "Reach Out" which samples Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" was released in the previous month. Duff thereafter announced that she would be leaving her record label Hollywood Records after six years of service. She later announced to MTV that she would begin work on her new album in December 2008. The same month, Duff signed a pact with NBC to star in a new series, thus signalling her return to the television medium.