Paris Whitney Hilton helped define the phrase "famous for being famous" both by design and by accident.
Hilton (b. Feb. 17, 1981) is an heir to the Hilton Hotel franchise and helped create a cottage industry for the rich to also become famous, reinventing the now ubiquitous term "celebutante" within the tabloid industry vernacular. Hilton is the great-granddaughter of Hilton founder Conrad Hilton and began her life in the limelight as one of a group of young New York socialites who were often photographed and written about on the Hampton party circuit.
Paris, never content with being simply rich and beautiful, embarked on a journey to add fame to her list of accomplishments. As fate would have it, Hilton unwittingly achieved the fame she sought in a homemade sex-tape aptly named One Night In Paris. That tape, a private moment between her and then boyfriend Rick Soloman, made her an overnight sensation. Unfortunately, the tape cursed her career as well — forever tainting her as a spoiled heiress whose sexcapades would continually eclipse any genuine talent she might possess.
Paris, despite her familial wealth, has created an empire of her own, branding herself through modeling, acting, writing and singing ventures. Some of her more infamous artistic outlets include the FOX reality show The Surreal Life, which featured Hilton and then best friend and fellow celebutante, Nicole Richie, as well as cameos in films like Zoolander, The Cat In The Hat, and the B-movie disaster, House of Wax. Paris' most recent acting effort was playing a spoiled rich girl addicted to surgery in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
Hilton has had run-ins with the law, including a DUI arrest in L.A. and the subsequent jail time she received which caused a media sensation when she was given early release by celeb-struck Sheriff Lee Baca, only to be returned by celeb-example-maker Judge Michael Sauer. Since Paris' release in the summer of 2007, she's managed to keep a relatively low profile (for her anyway) and despite a string of paramours, including Nick Carter and shipping heirs Paris Latsis and Stavros Niarcho, Hilton seems to be enjoying the company of Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden.