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Kathy Hilton
KathyHIltonHeadshot3.jpg
Hilton posing for a photoshoot
Born
Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino

March 13, 1959 (1959-03-13) (age 62)
New York City, U.S.
Other names Kathy Richards
Occupation
Spouse(s)
Richard Hilton (m. 1979)
Children 4, including Paris and Nicky Hilton
Relatives Kim Richards (half-sister)
Kyle Richards (half-sister)

Kathleen Elizabeth Hilton (née Avanzino, formerly Richards; March 13, 1959) is an American actress, socialite, fashion designer, and philanthropist. She is the mother of socialite Paris Hilton and fashion designer Nicky Hilton.

Early life

Hilton is the daughter of Kathleen Mary (née Dugan) and Larry Avanzino, an Italian-American. On her mother's side, Hilton has Irish ancestry. Hilton's parents later divorced, and her mother married Kenneth E. Richards (1917–1998), who already had three grown children from a previous marriage, and had Kathy's two maternal half-sisters: actresses Kim and Kyle Richards. Hilton also has five paternal half-siblings from her father's remarriage. She graduated from Montclair College Preparatory School in Los Angeles, where she became best friends with Michael Jackson. They remained close friends until his death in 2009.

Acting career

In 1968, Hilton began working as a child actress, retiring in 1979. Notable appearances include Nanny and the Professor, Bewitched, Family Affair, Happy Days, The Rockford Files, and film appearances include The Dark and On the Air Live with Captain Midnight. On the May 13, 2008, episode of The Young and the Restless, she made a cameo appearance as herself.

In 2005, she hosted the reality show, I Want To Be a Hilton on NBC. She also appeared on The World According to Paris in 2011.

In June 2012, Hilton commented that she refuses to watch her half-sisters Kim and Kyle Richards on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, stating they caused her to "break down in tears" over watching their lives "fall apart". In October 2020, it was revealed that Hilton would appear as a friend of the housewives for the eleventh season of the show. Her addition to the show was well-received by the public and she soon became a fan favorite. In June 2021, People called her "already a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills legend", writing: "Bravo's only mistake in casting Kathy Hilton on the show is that they didn't do it sooner."

Business ventures

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Hilton operated her own gift and antiques store The Staircase on Sunset Plaza in Los Angeles. She debuted with 2002 merchandise sales on cable TV's QVC home shopping network. In 2007, she began selling a signature skincare line on HSN. Hilton launched a perfume called "My Secret" in 2008.

Since 2012, she has designed the Kathy Hilton Collection of party dresses, sold in four hundred stores worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. In December 2020, Hilton and her daughters Paris and Nicky, modeled new Valentino 2021 resort collection in a photo series for Vogue.

Philanthropy

Kathy Hilton, Paris Hilton and Kyle Richards at NBC party at TCA
Left to right: Kathy Hilton, daughter Paris Hilton, half-sister Kyle Richards at NBC party, 2011

She is known for her philanthropic endeavors. In 2007, she raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, by asking celebrities to auction some of their belongings and donating the proceeds to them. In 2011, alongside her two daughters, she received an award from the Starlight Children's Foundation at its 'A Stellar Night' Gala in Century City, Los Angeles.

Personal life

She met real estate salesman Richard Hilton at the age of fifteen while attending a private high school. In 1979, she married him. They have four children: Paris Hilton (born 1981), Nicky Hilton (born 1983),, Barron Nicholas Hilton II (born 1989) and Conrad Hughes Hilton III (born 1994). Hilton has two granddaughters through her daughter Nicky and her husband James Rothschild: Lily Grace Victoria Rothschild (born 2016) and Teddy Marilyn Rothschild (born 2017). Hilton also has a third granddaughter from her son Barron and his wife Tessa: Milou Alizée Hilton (born 2020).

The couple resides in Bel Air, Los Angeles.

Filmography

As an actress
Year Title Role Notes
1970 Nanny and the Professor Melodie Episode: "The Philosopher's Stone"
1971 Family Affair Carol Episode: "The Joiners"
1971 Marcus Welby, M.D. Nicole Episode: "A Portrait of Debbie"
1971 Bewitched Robin Silverton Episode: "TV or Not TV"
1972 Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol Virginia Television film; uncredited
1974 Sigmund and the Sea Monsters Diane Episode: "One Way Whammy to Tahiti"
1976 No Deposit, No Return Girl at the Airport Film; uncredited
1977 Happy Days Gertie Episode: "Fonzie, Rock Entrepreneur: Part 1"
1977 The Car Girl Marching with Flag Film; uncredited
1978 The Rockford Files Judy Episode: "The Prisoner of Rosemont Hall"
1979 The Dark Shelly Warner Film
1979 On the Air Live with Captain Midnight Corvette Girl Film
1992 Wishman Woman at Football Game Film; uncredited
2020 BSA Live A star Film
As a television personality
Year Title Role Notes
2003–07 The Simple Life Herself 6 episodes
2005 I Want to Be a Hilton Host
2005 The Miss Teen USA Pageant Judge Television special
2008 The Young and the Restless Herself Episodes: "Episode #1.8932" and "Episode #1.8892"
2009 Paris Hilton's British Best Friend Episode: "Episode #1.1"
2011 The World According to Paris 4 episodes
2011–21 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 13 episodes; guest (2011–2020), friend of the housewives (2021)
2013–14 Life with La Toya 9 episodes
2020 This Is Paris Paris' Mother Documentary film
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