Paris Hilton, 22, is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton hotel chain. Known to the tabloids as "Paris the Heiress," she made a name for herself as a party-hopping socialite early in the 21st century. With homes in Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria, Beverly Hills and the Hamptons, she is a renowned jetsetter.
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.
Paris Hilton Pictures- click on a picture to see a larger version
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 Kate Hudson.