This week's Rule 5 special features . . .
Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and film producer. She first became known in 1992 for her role on the television series Camp Wilder and made her film debut with a minor role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). She then had her breakthrough for starring as Julie Pierce in The Next Karate Kid (1994), the fourth installment of The Karate Kid franchise, and as Carly Reynolds on the eighth season of Beverly Hills, 90210 (1997–1998).
Swank came to international recognition for her performances as Brandon Teena, a transgender man, in Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999), and as Maggie Fitzgerald, an aspiring boxer, in Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004). Both of her performances earned her critical acclaim, and she earned numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. She was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005.
Swank was born on July 30, 1974, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her mother, Judy Kay (née Clough), was a secretary and dancer, and her father, Stephen Michael Swank, was a Chief Master Sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard and later a traveling salesman. Many of Swank's family members are from Ringgold County, Iowa. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Clough (née Dominguez), was born in El Centro, California, and was of Mexican (Spanish and Native American) descent. Swank's paternal grandmother was born in England; her other ancestry includes Dutch, German, Ulster-Scots, Scottish, Swiss and Welsh. The surname "Swank," originally "Schwenk," is of German origin.
Swank hosted and co-produced a two-hour television special, Fox’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Special, which aired on Thanksgiving night in 2014. The show celebrated the human-dog connection and rescue dogs. In 2014, The Petco Foundation honored Swank for her animal advocacy work and, in 2015, she received the Compassion Award by ASPCA.
In 2015, Swank founded a nonprofit organization, The Hilaroo Foundation, which aims to bring at-risk teenagers and rescue dogs together in the hope that the two can heal each other. She was inspired to create the foundation after rescuing a dog called Karoo in South Africa.
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