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.
a posh upbringing
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, as
well as Sum 41 lead singer Derek Whibley.
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
new projects, a new
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 can also be seen in
the FOX reality show, The Simple Life, which is based on Green
Acres, and features Paris Hilton living on a farm.
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 recently
grabbed headlines thanks to a makeout session with notorious
lesbian, Ingrid Casares, and the rumor of a sex tape featuring
Paris and Rick Solomon in the act.