Paris Hilton was born on February 17th, 1981, to Rick and
Kathy Hilton, making her the great-granddaughter of Conrad
Hilton, founder of the Hilton hotels and source of the family
fortune -- estimated at $300 million. Her grandfather, Conrad
"Nicky" Hilton, Jr., also brought some notoriety
to the family, as he was the first of Elizabeth Taylor's many
ex-husbands. Paris' younger sister, Nicky (born in 1983),
shares the throne as co-heiress of the Hilton empire.
Growing up in Manhattan's ritzy Waldorf-Astoria, the family's
New York home, as well as other Hilton digs in Beverly Hills
and the Hamptons, Paris didn't seem to yearn for much. Even
after graduating from high school, college didn't appeal to
her. So, around the year 2000, Paris decided to branch out
and become famous.
She began to make a name for herself as a model, soon appearing
in shows for designers such as Marc Bouwer and Catherine Malandrino,
and she later completed an ad campaign for Iceberg, an Italian
label. In addition, Paris has posed for spreads in national
magazines such as GQ, Vanity Fair and FHM, and has also been
profiled, along with her sister, in People magazine.
At the same time, Paris became the center of attention because
of her relationships -- real or imagined by the paparazzi
-- with some of Hollywood's hottest young stars. In early
2000, Paris was spotted around town with Leonardo DiCaprio.
However, the press, especially the National Enquirer, blew
their casual friendship far out of proportion. Nevertheless,
she apparently dated Terminator 2's Edward Furlong for a few
months, and was later seen out and about with boxer Oscar
de la Hoya. Paris has also been linked with actor and Tommy
Hilfiger model, Jason Shaw, Sum 41 lead singer Derek Whibley,
and Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys.
Paris, along with her younger sister Nicky, also became notorious
as socialites, gracing party after party and getting bad press
for their antics. For example, Paris has grabbed headlines
by shoving ahead of others in a washroom line, then, when
upbraided for her rudeness, quipped that she only wanted to
look at herself in the mirror. She has also danced on top
of bar banquettes, gone topless for attention, and paraded
around in designer T-shirts with slogans like, "Got Blow?"
Yet Paris maintains that the bad press "sucks" and
that "people are mean."
Perhaps in an effort to clean up her image, Paris has tried
to make her mark by working on more substantial projects.
In 2001, she had a cameo appearance in Ben Stiller's fashion
spoof, Zoolander. Other appearances include a role as a strung-out
supermodel in the film short QIK2JDG, The Hillz (co-starring
boyfriend Jason Shaw), Wonderland, and the big-screen adaptation
of the Dr. Seuss classic, The Cat in the Hat. She also starred
in the FOX reality show, The Simple Life, based on Green Acres,
and featured Paris Hilton living on a farm. The show was such
a success that there will likely be a sequel.
On top of her burgeoning acting career, Paris has designed
a high-end collection of purses for Tokyo label Samantha Thavasa,
along with her sister Nicky. Paris has also given back; she
has done charity work for Toys for Tots. Unfortunately, her
attempts to start a modeling company and a makeup line seem
to have fizzled.
Paris has also grabbed headlines thanks to a makeout session
with notorious lesbian, Ingrid Casares, and a sex tape starring
Paris and ex Rick Solomon that was released on the Net, and
of course, spread like wildfire.
Paris Hilton also appears in 2004's Raising Helen, starring