Hilary Erhard Duff (born September 28, 1987) is an American actress, pop singer-songwriter and entrepreneur. After gaining fame for playing the title role in the television show Lizzie McGuire, Duff went on to have a film career; her most commercially successful movies include Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), and A Cinderella Story (2004).
Duff was born in Houston, Texas on September 28, 1987. She is the second child of Susan Colleen (née Cobb), a homemaker and film producer, and husband Robert Erhard Duff, a partner in a chain of convenience stores, who resides at the family home in Houston to maintain the family's convenience store business. She has an elder sister, Haylie Duff, who is also an actress/singer. Duff's mother encouraged Hilary to take up acting classes alongside her elder sister, Haylie, which resulted in both girls winning roles in various local theater productions. At the ages of eight and six, respectively, the Duff sisters participated in the ballet, The Nutcracker Suite with Columbus BalletMet in San Antonio.The siblings became more enthusiastic about the idea of choosing acting as a profession, and eventually relocated to California with their mother. Duff's father stayed at the family home in Houston to take care of their business.After several years of auditions and meetings, the Duff sisters were cast in various television commercials