The famous Paris Hilton (Paris Whitney Hilton born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, actress and entertainer. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City and raised in both Beverly Hills, California and New York, Hilton began a modeling career as a teenager when she signed with Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. Her hard-partying lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships with Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar De La Hoya led her to earn a position as a fixture in entertainment news. For her notoriety as a socialite, Hilton was hailed by the media as “New York’s leading It Girl” in 2001. In 2003, Hilton came to prominence after a sex tape with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was leaked. Later that year, she starred in the reality television series The Simple Life alongside Nicole Richie, which provided both women with international recognition. In the following years, she released her autobiography Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose (2004), landed a supporting role in the horror film House of Wax (2005), and released her debut studio album Paris (2006). Hilton returned to reality television with Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (2008) and its two spin-offs Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend (2009) and Paris Hilton’s Dubai BFF (2009). She served as a voice actress in the TV movie The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010) and appeared in the reality show The World According to Paris (2011). She had a part in Sofia Coppola’s independent film The Bling Ring (2013).
Critics and admirers alike have stated that Hilton epitomizes the title of famous for being famous; she is an example of the modern phenomenon of the “celebutante”, the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth and controversial lifestyle. In recent years, she has parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement—her fragrances have reportedly earned $1.5 billion. Currently, there are 44 Paris Hilton Stores worldwide and her brand includes perfumes, handbags, watches, footwear, among other products. Hilton earns over $10 million a year from her products sales and as of 2005, she was paid around $300,000 for appearances in clubs and events.
No matter how you may feel about Paris Hilton, her ability to leverage fame to establish herself as a successful entrepreneur is impressive. Is Paris Hilton famous for being famous or savvier than we thought? Stay tuned: this pretty face may still surprise us.