An American socialite, singer, actress, fashion model, and author, Paris was born in New York City.
Her initial rise to fame was simply as an heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, as well as of her father, Richard Hilton's, real estate fortune.
A videotape of her having sex with her boyfriend helped skyrocket her into the public eye, and that drew the attention to her then-new participation in a reality series, The Simple Life. She followed The Simple Life up with a series of personal scandals and publicity stunts.
In addition to being a highly active socialite in both Manhattan and Los Angeles, Hilton has gained international popularity for her forays into the entertainment and fashion industries.
Hilton is the oldest of four children of Richard Hilton and Kathy Richards. Her younger sister is Nicky Hilton, and her younger brothers are Barron Hilton II and Conrad Hilton II.
On the maternal side of her family, Hilton is a niece of two popular child stars of the 1970s - Kim Richards and Kyle Richards, who appeared in the motion picture Escape to Witch Mountain and TV shows like Nanny and the Professor, Little House on the Prairie, and later, ER.
By marriage, she is related to Zsa Zsa Gabor (the Hungarian-born actress married Paris Hilton's great-grandfather Conrad Hilton), as well as Elizabeth Taylor (the actress's first husband was Paris Hilton's great-uncle, Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr.).
Her paternal grandparents are hotel chairman Barron Hilton and his wife, the former Marilyn Hawley, and her paternal great-grandparents were Hilton Hotel founder Conrad Hilton and his first wife, Mary Barron. When Conrad Hilton died in 1979, he left nothing in his will to his children or other descendants. Barron Hilton contested this decision and won in 1988.
Hilton moved between several exclusive homes in her youth, including a suite in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, and the Hamptons. Currently, her parents own a $30.5 million mansion in Bel Air, a $12.3 million estate in the Hamptons, and a $10 million house in the Hollywood Hills in which she and her sister stay to give them privacy and easy access to clubs in Los Angeles.
She attended high school at the Dwight School in New York, but dropped out and eventually earned a GED. Hilton did not attend university.
She first came into the public eye as one of the more famous New York socialites and heirs. Along with her sister, she would make countless appearances in the party section of New York society magazines.
Hilton has been widely discussed by tabloids. In 2000, the National Enquirer reported a casual friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio as something far more intimate. She has also been linkedhad flings with other celebrities, including professional skateboarder Chad Muska, filmmaker Vincent Gallo, actor Edward Furlong, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Chicago Bears football player Brian Urlacher, singers Deryck Whibley and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, former University of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart, UK rap artist Joe Buckton, Australian tennis player Mark Philippoussis (whose girlfriend at the time, Australian singeractress Delta Goodrem, had cancer), Australian Idol contestant Robert 'Millsy' Mills, oil heir Brandon Davis, fashion model Lucas Bain, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, NHL goaltender Jose Theodore, English cricketer Kevin Pietersen and ex-MTV VJ Simon Rex.
Hilton was engaged to model Jason Shaw from mid-2002 to early 2003. On May 29, 2005, she announced her engagement to Paris Latsis, a Greek shipping heir. However, on October 1, 2005, Hilton announced that the five-month engagement had been called off. Soon thereafter, she began dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, but as of May 2, 2006, Hilton publicist Elliot Mintz told the press of the reported breakup.
In an attempt to "rediscover herself," Hilton imposed a ban on sexual activity for one year. She told Regis and Kelly, "I'm doing it just because I want to. I feel I'm becoming stronger as a person. Every time I have a boyfriend, I'm just so romantic, and I'll put all my energy into the guy, and I don't really pay attention to myself. One-night stands are not for me. I think it's gross when you just give it up. Guys want you more if you don't just hand it to them on a platter. If they want you, then they will wait. You have to make them work for it. I think that's the only way you know if they really want you or just want to be able to brag that they've been with you."
In 2006, Hilton told HX Magazine the reasons for her split with ex-best friend Nicole Richie. She claims that she and Nicole, "grew apart because of fame." On 20 April 2005, amid media reports that their friendship was in trouble, Paris Hilton released a statement saying "It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," and "Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I'm ever going to say about it."
On September 7, 2006 Hilton was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence. Hilton was arrested shortly before 12:30 a.m. in Hollywood. Hilton was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI and released.
In recent years Hilton has gained recognition by appearing in television, movies, television commercials, and modeling photographs. According to Forbes, in 2003-2004 she earned approximately US $2 million for her television and movie roles, but in 2004-2005 her earnings from television, movies, modeling, and personal appearances have earned her an additional $6.5 million.
Hilton has signed with top modeling agencies: Ford Models Management in New York, Models 1 Agency in London, Nous Model Management in Los Angeles, & Premier Model Management in London. She has walked for top fashion designers such as Philippe Treacy, Jasper Conran, Heatherette, and Julien McDonald. She has appeared in numerous advertisements, including Iceberg, GUESS, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, Samantha Thavasa, and Marciano. She has featured in several television commercials, including a T-Mobile commercial for which she was paid $250,000 and her Carl's Jr. commercial for which she was paid $400,000 according to Forbes Magazine.
Hilton has had acting roles in the short subjects QIK2JDG and L.A. Knights, as well as minor and supporting roles in the feature movies House of Wax, The Hillz, Wonderland, Raising Helen, and Nine Lives.
She won the 2005 Worst Supporting Actress Razzie for House of Wax. She landed her first lead roles in 2006 with the straight- to-DVD releases National Lampoon's Pledge This! and Bottom's Up with Jason Mewes.
She also appeared in cameo roles in Zoolander (2001), The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! (2004).
Paris also starred in the unauthorized sex video 1 Night in Paris (2004) produced by Red Light District where she received directorial credit. The film earned three AVN Awards in 2005.
Hilton also has several upcoming theatrical releases in which she is the lead role, including The Hottie and the Nottie (2008) and an untitled superhero movie involving Stan Lee.
Hilton and Nicole Richie (adopted daughter of Lionel) starred in the 2003 FOX hit reality series The Simple Life, in which they lived with a family on their farm in rural Altus, Arkansas. Highlights of the show included the girls performing poorly at various jobs, making out with the local boys, and numerous instances of them shown as "fish out of water." It was followed by two more seasons on FOX: The Simple Life 2: Road Trip and The Simple Life 3: Interns, and another on E!: The Simple Life 4: ' Til Death Do Us Part. A fifth season to be aired on E! is currently in development stages.
Plans for Hilton to lend her name and also star in a cartoon series which follows the animated life of herself, her sister Nicky, and her dog Tinkerbell are in production.
Hilton has also guest starred in episodes of The OC, The George Lopez Show, Las Vegas, American Dreams and Veronica Mars.
Hilton is the founder of Heiress Records, a sub-label of Warner Brothers Records, which she created in 2004. Though Heiress Records' only release as of yet has been Paris, Hilton has said that she plans to sign new artists in the future.
In August 2006 she launched a serious bid at a music career, with her debut pop album Paris.
Hilton began work on her album in 2004, whose title was earlier rumored to be Paris Hilton, Paris Is Burning, 1 Crazy Party, and Screwed. It was confirmed in 2006 that the album would simply be called Paris. Before release, Hilton hinted that her album would feature a number of genres, such as pop, reggae and hip-hop.
Producers for Paris include Greg Wells, Kara DioGuardi, Jane Wiedlin and Scott Storch. Hilton collaberated with Fat Joe and Jadakiss on the song "Fighting Over Me". Paris was released on August 22, 2006.
The first single from Paris "Stars Are Blind", produced by Fernando Garibay, was released for download on June 20, 2006 and was a success on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #18.
Some influential sources have bestowed the album with rather positive reviews — standing in sharp contrast to the pre-release hype, which was overwhelmingly negative. All Music Guide's chief critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine declared it "shockingly good — and not just according to a grading curve for actors-turned-singers." The Phoenix reviewed the album in a cover story, lauding it's production and songwriting as finally validating Hilton's long-mocked celebrity. E! online called the album "an immaculately crafted selection of club tracks", and gave it a B-. Uncut Magazine called the record "lavishly appointed, expensively designed and almost entirely characterless." The Los Angeles Times compared it to "cotton candy" ("leaving a sweet aftertaste and empty calories behind.") Q Magazine's review joked that her producers had "[furnished] her with above-average R&B to pant suggestively over." As far as comparisons to today's current pop stars, All Music Guide stated, "...it's more fun than anything released by Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson, and a lot fresher, too."
Hilton released a track on her 2006 self-titled album, called "Jealousy." The track was seen by many to be a jab at Richie, containing such lyrics as "I thought you were my best friend....You used to be that shoulder....you sold your soul for your fame."
Hilton is already planning and recording tracks for her second album, including a new song called "Daddy's Little Girl".
In the fall of 2004, Hilton released a book, Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose co-written by Merle Ginsberg, which has full color photographs of her and gives her tips on the do's and don'ts of living as an heiress. Hilton was reportedly given $100,000 in advanced payment for this book. Some in the media panned the writing as amateurish, and the book was parodied by Robert Mundell on The Late Show with David Letterman. Nonetheless, the book became a New York Times bestseller.
Hilton followed it up with a designer-diary, also with Ginsberg - Your Heiress Diary: Confess It All To Me. Aimed at her young fans, it contained pages encouraging fans to write about their goals, their friends and family, boys, celebrities they admire, etc. Hilton plans to release another book in 2007.
Hilton has helped design a collection of purses for Tokyo label Samantha Thavasa and has also been involved in the design of a jewelry line, The Paris Hilton Collection, for Amazon.com.
She launched the Paris Hilton Limited Edition Watch Collection brand during a news conference at the Tourneau store in New York November 30, 2005. Hilton's 18kt white gold and diamond encrusted watches that she helped design start at $100,000.
She also has plans to launch fashion and cosmetics lines.
In November 2004, Hilton participated in Sean "Diddy" Combs' Citizen Change campaign to encourage youths to vote in the Presidential election. She drew criticism after it was revealed she had neither voted, nor even registered to do so.
Paris began her own chain of nightclubs known as Club Paris in 2005. The first of which in Orlando, Florida has been a major success. The second located in Jacksonville, Florida opened July 1, 2006. Hilton is in talks to develop further clubs in Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Cancun, Mexico. She also hopes to take the clubs to overseas markets and to expand the clubs to become five-star hotels featuring accommodation and casinos.
In early May of 2004, Hilton was involved in the creation of a fragrance line by Parlux Fragrances. The perfume would be aptly named "Paris Hilton". Hilton said, "It's really hot. I mixed all these scents together...it smells so good.
The perfume launch was a success. Originally set to be a small release, demand was high and necessitated a wider release before Christmas of 2004. The launch was followed by a 47% increase in sales for Parlux, which was predominantly due to sales of the Hilton-branded perfume.
After the success of Hilton's perfume, Parlux Fragrances released "Paris Hilton for Men", a cologne for Hilton's male admirers, as well as another fragrance called "Just Me by Paris Hilton", which is available for both women and men.
Another perfume titled "Paris Hilton: Heiress" is due for release in October 2006. A counterpart for men, "Paris Hilton: Heir", is also due by the end of the year, along with a new line of color cosmetics.
While Hilton has been quoted as saying that she is the iconic blonde of the decade and comparing herself to Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe, she will reportedly appear in the 2007 Guiness World Records as the world's "Most Overrated Celebrity".
On August 29, 2006, the mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed the day, "Paris Hilton Day" and gave Hilton a key to the city. Hilton says Vegas is, ""favorite place in the world to come to party."