Hilary Swank, Actress: Million Dollar Baby. Hilary Swank, American actress who won two best actress Academy Awards, both for roles that were considered uncommonly difficult and courageous—a young transgender man in Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and a female professional boxer in Million Dollar Baby (2004). Learn more about Swank’s life and career. Hilary Ann Swank (born July 30, 1974) is an American actress and film producer. Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and Scottish.