Paris Whitney Hilton (born February 17, 1981) is an American media personality, businesswoman, socialite, designer, DJ, singer, model, actress, and author. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City and raised there and in Beverly Hills, California, Hilton began her modeling career as a teenager when she signed with New York-based modeling development agency Trump Model Management. Her late-night persona made her a fixture of tabloid journalism, and Hilton was proclaimed "New York's leading It girl" in 2001. In 2003, a leaked sex tape with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon, later released as 1 Night in Paris, catapulted her into global fame, and the reality television series The Simple Life, in which she starred with her socialite counterpart Nicole Richie, premiered on FOX, with 13 million viewers. The show would air for five seasons until 2007.
In 2004, Hilton released her book Confessions of an Heiress, which became a New York Times Best Seller, in 2005, she appeared in the horror film House of Wax, and in 2006, her self-titled album, Paris, was released worldwide; it reached number six on the Billboard 200, with her debut single, "Stars Are Blind", quickly becoming a hit around the world. Hilton returned to reality television in 2008 with Paris Hilton's My New BFF and its two spin-offs: Paris Hilton's British Best Friend(2009) and Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF (2009), and again in 2011, with Oxygen series The World According to Paris. Her big-screen credits include the films Raising Helen (2004), Bottoms Up (2006), National Lampoon's Pledge This! (2006), Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), and Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring (2013) as well as the documentaries Paris, Not France (2008), Teenage Paparazzo (2010) and The American Meme (2018).
In 2012, Hilton made her debut as a DJ at the São Paulo Pop Music Festival, to much public backlash. She eventually became one of the highest-paid celebrity DJs, and between 2013 and 2017, held the "Paris Hilton: Foam & Diamonds" residence at the Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza. She signed a record deal with Cash Money Records in 2013, and has since released the singles "Good Time" (2013), "Come Alive" (2014), "High Off My Love" (2015), and "I Need You" (2018).
Credited with influencing the revival of the famous for being famous phenomenon during the early and mid 2000s, Hilton exemplifies the "celebutante", a celebrity not through talent or work, but through inherited wealth and lifestyle. She has parlayed her media fame into perfumes and various lines with her endorsement; her perfume brand alone have brought in over US$2.5 billion in revenue, the second largest celebrity fragrance of all time behind Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor. In addition to a Paris Hilton Beach Club Resort in Manila, the Philippines, there are currently 50 Paris Hilton stores worldwide and 19 product lines, such as handbags, watches, footwear, hair and skin care. Hilton earns over US$10 million a year from business ventures and, as of 2017, she was paid about US$300,000 for appearances in clubs and events.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Hilton was born in New York City. Her mother, Kathy Hilton (née Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino), is a socialite and former actress; her father, Richard Howard "Rick" Hilton, is a businessman. Hilton is the oldest of four children; she has one sister, Nicholai Olivia "Nicky" Hilton (born 1983), and two brothers: Barron Nicholas Hilton II (born 1989) and Conrad Hughes Hilton III (born 1994). Her paternal great-grandfather was Conrad Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels. Her maternal aunts are television personalities Kim and Kyle Richards. Hilton has Norwegian, German, Italian, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. She was raised in the Catholic faith.
She moved frequently in her youth, living in a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills and the Hamptons. Her sister Nicky once described her as "very much a tomboy" who dreamed about becoming a veterinarian. As a child, she was friends with actress Bijou Phillips and socialites Ivanka Trump, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian. Her mother was a close friend of Michael Jackson, with Hilton remarking in an interview : "I grew up around Michael, and anytime he’d have a music video or a concert, he would always invite my family"
Growing up in Los Angeles, Hilton attended the Buckley School and St. Paul the Apostle School, finishing elementary school in 1995. Her freshman year of high school (1995–96) was spent at the Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California. In 1996, Hilton and her family left California for the East Coast. At age 15, she attended Professional Children's School, and at 16, spent one year at the Provo Canyon School for emotionally troubled teens. She then attended the Dwight School before dropping out a few months later. "She knew no one at [Dwight]", said her mother in an interview, while a classmate described her as "sort of more sophisticated. She was different from everybody else". She later earned a GED certification.
Career[edit | edit source]
1999–2002[edit | edit source]
After originally modeling as a child at charity events, Hilton signed with Donald Trump's modeling agency, T Management, at age 19. She became a notable fixture in parties and social events, and her late-night persona was well-documented in local tabloids. A New York Post article, describing Hilton, wrote : "The most outrageous [New York City-based heiress] is hotel-darling Paris Hilton, 19, a part-time model with a tendency to flash her thong". Similarly, producer Cisco Adler called Hilton "a young party girl who gets sucked into the L.A. party scene and grew up a little too fast" in a Vanity Fair profile. She played an ill-fated character in the independent teen thriller Sweetie Pie (2000).
By 2001, Hilton had developed a reputation as a socialite, and was hailed as "New York's leading It Girl", whose fame was beginning to "extend beyond the New York tabloids". She made a cameo appearance as herself in the comedy Zoolander, with Ben Stiller, and posed alongside her sister Nicky for Vanity Fair in September 2001. She graced several magazine covers, including the UK's Tatler, Italy's Giola and the US' FHM.
Amid her growing public profile, businessman George J. Maloof Jr. paid Hilton to wear a dress made from US$1 million in poker chips and attend the Palms Casino Resort opening in Las Vegas in November 2001, which was the first of numerous offers for Hilton to show up in nightclubs for promotion, and marked the beginning of what soon became, for celebrities, making a business out of partying. In 2002, Hilton appeared in Vincent Gallo's "Honey Bunny" video, and played the lead role in the straight-to-DVD horror film Nine Lives. Beyondhollywood.com, describing her role, asserted : "Hilton plays—what else?—a spoiled American socialite who shops on three continents in one day". During the early 2000s, Hilton was a frequent model for Lloyd Klein's fashion shows.
2003–2007[edit | edit source]
Hilton's breakout came in 2003, when she starred with her socialite counterpart Nicole Richie in the Fox reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived for a month with a family in the rural community of Altus, Arkansas. The series premiered on December 2, 2003, shortly after the release of Hilton's sex tape, and was a ratings success; its first episode attracted 13 million viewers, increasing Fox's adult 18–49 rating by 79 percent. The high viewership was attributed to the exposure Hilton received for the tape. She became known for her onscreen dumb blonde persona—a character she eventually distanced herself from, stating she was playing a role.
The socialite introduced a lifestyle brand in 2004, helping to design a purse collection for the Japanese label Samantha Thavasa. A jewelry line designed by Hilton was sold on Amazon.com shortly after. In the fall of 2004, she released an autobiography co-written by Merle Ginsberg, Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose, with color photos and advice on life as an heiress. The book was seventh on The New York Times Best Seller list. Her quote, "Dress cute wherever you go ; life is too short to blend in", was added to The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations in September 2009. Hilton was involved in creating a perfume line by Parlux Fragrances. Originally planned for a small release, high demand led to increased availability by December 2004. Its introduction was followed by a 47-percent increase in Parlux sales, primarily of the Hilton-branded perfume. After this success Parlux released several more perfumes with her name, including fragrances for men.
In February 2005, Hilton hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live, with Keane as the musical guest, and in May, the slasher film House of Wax—her first major film role— was released in theaters, to mixed reviews. Writing for View London, Matthew Turner remarked that Hilton "does better than you might expect", while TV Guide called Hilton "talentless". Her role earned her the Teen Choice Award for Best Scream and the 2005 Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress. She also received a nomination for Best Frightened Performance at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. House of Wax grossed over US$70 million worldwide. Hilton appeared in a television commercial entitled "Paris Car Wash," promoting Carl's Jr.'s Spicy Burger product, which started airing in May 2005. By the fall of 2005, she had published her second book, Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All to Me, and introduced another fragrance, Just Me.
The Simple Life was canceled by Fox after three seasons in 2005 following a dispute between Hilton and Richie. Neither Richie nor Hilton spoke publicly about their split, although it was speculated that they fell out after Richie showed one of Hilton's homemade sex tapes to a group of their friends. They reconciled in October 2006. After The Simple Life was cancelled, other networks (NBC, The WB, VH1 and MTV) were reportedly interested in obtaining the rights for new seasons of the show. On November 28, 2005, E!announced that it had picked up The Simple Life, ordering the production of a fourth season and obtaining the rights to repeat the first three seasons. Shooting for the new season began on February 27, 2006. The fourth-season premiere of the show was a ratings success for its new network.
Hilton released her self-titled debut album, Paris, on August 22, 2006. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200, and sold over 600,000 copies worldwide. Its first single, "Stars Are Blind", was played on more than 125 pop stations in the U.S. The song was a worldwide hit, reaching the top ten in 17 countries. Critical reception was generally mixed, but AllMusic called the album "more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson".
Her film Bottoms Up was released straight-to-DVD in late 2006. Australia's Urban Cinefile, describing Hilton, wrote that she "spends most of her screen time flicking her hair as she delivers lines like 'books are those things you read.'" National Lampoon's Pledge This!, another film in which Hilton starred, was also released in DVD in 2006; she missed its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, protesting the addition of several nude scenes: "I was so angry I snubbed my own premiere." In August 2008 Worldwide Entertainment Group sued Hilton in Miami District Court, alleging that she did not fulfill her contractual agreement to provide "reasonable promotion and publicity" for the film. She reportedly received US$1 million for her role. Also in 2006, Hilton licensed her name to Gameloft for their mobile video game Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest.
On January 10, 2007, Hilton introduced her DreamCatchers line of hair extensions in partnership with Hair Tech International. Due to her incarceration, The Simple Life finished its run at the end of its fifth season in July 2007. In early August, Hilton signed a licensing agreement with Antebi for a signature footwear line (Paris Hilton Footwear, featuring stilettos, platforms, flats, wedges and a sports collection) which reached stores in 2008. In mid-August, she introduced a line of tops, dresses, coats and jeans at the Kitson Boutique in Los Angeles. In December 2007, she posed nude (covered with gold paint) to promote "Rich Prosecco", a canned version of the Italian sparkling wine, traveling to Germany to appear in print ads for the wine. In 2007, Hilton also modeled for 2 B Free and introduced her fourth perfume, Can Can.
2008–2011[edit | edit source]
In February 2008, The Hottie and the Nottie, a romantic comedy in which Hilton starred, was released theatrically ; the film was a critical and commercial failure, with Hilton eventually receiving the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress. Hilton's love for dogs led her to create a canine apparel line, Little Lily by Paris Hilton, with some of the proceeds benefiting animal rescue, in early 2008. In April 2008, she appeared in the My Name Is Earl episode "I Won't Die with a Little Help from My Friends".
On August 6, 2008 Hilton appeared in an online video, Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad, directed by Adam McKay and posted on the Funny or Die website. The video, featuring Hilton in a parody advertisement, was made in response to a television campaign ad ("Celeb") by the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign. In "Celeb" McCain compared Barack Obama to celebrities such as Hilton and Britney Spears, questioning his readiness to lead and criticizing his energy policy. In what The Washington Post said "might just be her best acting role yet", Hilton wore a leopard-print swimsuit in the video. It had seven million views in two days, receiving worldwide press coverage and written and verbal responses from both campaigns.
At the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival a documentary about Hilton, Paris, Not France, was screened. She starred in a MTV reality series, Paris Hilton's My New BFF, about her search for a new best friend, which premiered shortly after, on September 30, 2008. The series was a hit and topped all other cable shows in its time slot. In October, she appeared in a second parody video on Funny or Die, "Paris Hilton Gets Presidential with Martin Sheen", with Martin Sheen ; Sheen's son, actor Charlie Sheen, made a cameo appearance. Hilton, in a green evening dress and wearing heavy makeup, discusses political issues with Martin Sheen in his West Wing role.
In her next film, the Gothic rock musical Repo! The Genetic Opera, she played Amber Sweet, the surgery and painkiller-addicted daughter of a biotech magnate. After screening at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con International, the film received a limited release. Horror.com said: "Not only is this by far Hilton's best role, she's actually got a grain of gravitas in the end". However, Jam! Movies called her a "hopeless twit as an actress". She was nominated for the 2009 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress for the role. Around that time, Hilton released her fifth fragrance for women, Fairy Dust.
As a result of the American version's success, on January 29, 2009 Paris Hilton's British Best Friend debuted on ITV2 in England. The second season of Paris Hilton's My New BFF premiered on June 2, 2009. Hilton shot at the time Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF, which was finally broadcast in 2011. In May 2009, Hilton won the Female Celebrity Fragrance of the Year Award at the 2009 Fifi Awards, in July, her sixth fragrance for women, Siren, was introduced, and in August, she appeared in the fifth episode of Supernatural's fifth season. She was involved in the creation of a sunglass line by Gripping Eyewear, which she introduced in October, and also in a hair-and-beauty-products line which included shampoos, conditioners and hair vitamins, released in November.
In February 2010, Hilton participated in an advertising campaign for the Brazilian beer Devassa Bem Loura, whose slogan roughly translates into English as "very blonde bitch". As part of the campaign, she rode the brewery's float in the Rio Carnival. On August 10, Hilton released her 10th fragrance, Tease, which was inspired by Marilyn Monroe. On August 19, she launched a footwear line in Las Vegas. The critically acclaimed documentary Teenage Paparazzo, in which Hilton appeared, aired on HBO on September 27.
She had her first voice-over role in the ABC made-for-television film The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation. The film aired on November 28, 2010 and received good ratings, with 2.611 million viewers. In December 2010, Hilton launched her motorcycle team ; her Spanish driver, Maverick Viñales, won the final race and finished third overall in the 125cc world championship the following November. She modeled for a second time at the 2011 Brazil Fashion Week (her first time was in early 2010). In February, Hilton introduced a fragrance line, the Passport Collection, with perfumes inspired by cities such as Paris, South Beach, Florida and Tokyo, and also a mobile application which became available for iPhone and iPod touch. The following month, she introduced a footwear collection in Mexico.
On May 12, 2011, Hilton opened her third store in the Philippines, at the Abreeza Mall in Davao City. On June 1, she returned to reality television in Oxygen's The World According to Paris. The show, which followed her daily life, was not a success, which led to a belief that Hilton's popularity was fading. The New York Times described her as an "attractive woman with proven talent for marketing and self-promotion, though as a reality heroine she seems a little passé [...] it's hard to see how she can recapture the kind of audience she enjoyed in her heyday—even by streaming her premiere live on Facebook". Nevertheless, she was labeled a "Billion Dollar Entrepreneur" by Variety magazine, and was featured on its cover. Hilton opened her fourth store in the Philippines on August 18, 2011. In September, she introduced a footwear line in Istanbul, and a Paris Hilton store opened in India. Hilton modeled for designer Andre Tan during Ukraine Fashion Week in October 2011.
2012–2017[edit | edit source]
In February 2012, Hilton introduced a new line of sunglasses in Shanghai, which she called a "huge success", and in May, she released her fifteenth perfume, Dazzle. In June, Hilton made her debut as a DJ at a Brazilian pop-music festival, attracting a great deal of controversy and negative responses from DJs Deadmau5, Samantha Ronson and Afrojack. Shortly after her performance, she became a trending topic on Twitter.
In August 2012, her footwear line was nominated for the Best Celebrity Licensee of the Year award at the International Licensing Excellence Awards, and the socialite appeared in a music video for Korean singer Kim Jang-hoon, which was filmed on Malibu Beach. She was reportedly paid US$1 million for her appearance in the video, which premiered in 3D in October 2012. In November, Hilton opened a store in Mecca; since it is considered the "holiest city in the Muslim world" and Saudi Arabia is a conservative country, controversy about her personal life swirled on Twitter. In early December, she modeled for designers Shane and Falguni Peacock at India Fashion Week, also appearing as a DJ.
In January 2013, Hilton appeared in four episodes of the Danish version of Paradise Hotel, for which she was reportedly paid US$300,000, and also appeared in two episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, in which her aunts Kyle and Kim Richards star. In April, Hilton opened the 44th Paris Hilton store in Bogotá, Colombia. In May, Hilton signed with Cash Money Records, appeared in the music video for Rich Gang's song "Tapout", alongside Lil Wayne, Christina Milian and Nicki Minaj, and Sofia Coppola's film The Bling Ring—which featured her in a cameo and revolved around the infamous group of teenagers who had robbed her house, along with others—was released in theaters, to a positive critical response. In addition to appearing in the film, she loaned Coppola her house for two weeks of shooting. Recalling the house, Coppola said: "It was like we have to get this into the movie. It was so unique. It would be hard to recreate that. She is larger than life and her house is like Paris World."
During August 2013, Hilton was a DJ at Amnesia's weekly "Foam and Diamonds" parties on Ibiza. The positive reaction from critics and audiences led to her contract's renewal for the subsequent four years. In October, Hilton released the first single through Cash Money, "Good Time", featuring rapper Lil Wayne. It debuted at number eighteen on the US BillboardDance/Electronic Songs chart. In November, Hilton won the Best Breakthrough DJ award at the NRJ DJ Awards.
In March 2014, Hilton unveiled her first real estate project, the Paris Beach Club, in collaboration with Century Properties Group, Inc., at the Azure Urban Resort Residences in Parañaque, the Philippines. In July 2014, her next single, "Come Alive", was released, and she made a cameo appearance in another Carl's Jr. commercial, paying homage to the one in which she starred in 2005. By the end of 2014, she established herself as one of the highest-paid DJs, earning up to US$1 million for set ; she also won as Best Female DJ at the NJR DJ Awards.
In March 2015, Hilton released her 19th fragrance, a limited edition of her second fragrance, Heiress, and Animoca Brands, a mobile game developer from Hong Kong, announced that they had secured a license from Hilton to use her name and likeness to produce mobile games and themes. In May, her third single under Cash Money, "High Off My Love", was released. It eventually peaked at number three on the Billboard US Dance Club Songs chart. In June, she performed at Summerfest, in Milwaukee, in front of 50,000 concert-goers. While an online campaign to get her thrown off the bill achieved over 7,000 votes, reception from the audience was more positive than the buzz generated prior the festival. In 2016, Hilton teamed up with Lidl for a hair care collection, and released her 20th fragrance, Gold Rush, followed by its male counterpart, Gold Rush for Men ; she subsequently released Rosé Rush, in 2017, and Platinum Rush, in 2018.
In February 2017, Hilton walked the runway at Christian Cowan’s fall show in New York City. For April Fools' Day, she starred in a SodaStream's viral campaign, promoting NanoDrop, a fictitious sparkling-water product that claims to be 5,000 times more hydrating than regular water; Weizmann Institute of Science professor Ron Naaman even appeared endorsing the product. Adweek found her to be "very entertaining and self-deprecating" in the video, for which a website and Facebook page were launched in the days leading up to its "presentation". She appeared in the video for the Demi Lovato song "Sorry Not Sorry", which premiered in July 2017. In September 2017, she modeled at the Philipp Plein show during Milan Fashion Week. A video for "I Don't Want It at All", the debut single of Kim Petras, was released in October featuring Hilton in a cameo.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- This is Paris (2020)
- The Simple Life: Till Death Do Us Part (2006)
- Pledge This! (2006)
- Bottom's Up (2006)
- Meat Pie (2005)
- House of Wax (2005)
- The Simple Life: Interns (2005)
- The Hillz (2004)
- Raising Helen (2004)
- The Simple Life 2: Road Trip (2004)
- 1 Night in Paris (2004)
- Wonderland (2003)
- L.A. Knights (2003)
- Pauly Shore Is Dead (2003)
- The Simple Life (2003)
- QIK2JDG (2002)
- Nine Lives (2002)
- Zoolander (2001)
- Sweetie Pie (2000)
Parodies[edit | edit source]
- South Park, December 1, 2004: episode "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset." In the episode, Hilton opened a store called "Stupid Spoiled Whore" that sold items to emulate her, such as a perfume dubbed Skanque (phonetically identical to skank) and parodied her Guess advertisements.
- Portrayed by Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live
- Sydney Drew (portrayed by Alycia Purrott) ; A character in Power Rangers SPD is a blonde, rich girl whose parents have given her everything she ever wants. She also acts, sings, models and manages to be the Pink Power Ranger.
- An ad campaign featuring the fictional "Marriott Sisters".
- In the Ctrl+Alt+Del comic for the 14th April 2006, Ethan severs her head with a baseball bat.
- Portrayed by Jessica Simpson on Saturday Night Live
- On the animated series Bratz, London Milton, a rich hotel heiress.
- Parody of Carl's Jr. Commercial with a fat man washing the car.
- In the movie Just Friends (2005), character Samantha James, played by Anna Faris
- PC security and Paris Hilton Knows the rules for better securing her PC with Windows Update.
- Privacy and recovering lost pictures, SMS messages from Paris Hilton's T-Mobile cell phone.
- Portrayed by Pink in her video for the single "Stupid Girls"
- In the UPN TV show Half and Half, the new Delicious Records breakout star
- Spoofed in Date Movie
- A parody of Paris Hilton appeared in issue 1 of The Thing's 2006 ongoing series. A rich model, creatively named Milan Ramada is seen on a cell phone with her long blonde hair and chihaua. There is a rivalry between her and Ben Grimm's hollywood girlfriend Carlotta.
References[edit | edit source]
- Biography: Paris Hilton November 4, 2005, A&E Television Networks.
- Gary, Crary Activists campaign against seal hunt February 2, 2004 ESPN.
- Carl's Jr. SpicyBurger controversy
- Address book hacked