Kathy Hilton

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Kathy Hilton
Hilton in March 2008
Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino

(1959-03-13) March 13, 1959 (age 65)
New York City, U.S.
  • Actress
  • fashion designer
(m. 1979)
Children4, including Paris and Nicky Hilton
RelativesKim Richards (sister)
Kyle Richards (sister)
Hilton family

Kathleen Elizabeth Hilton (née Avanzino; born March 13, 1959)[1][2] is an American socialite, fashion designer, actress, and television personality.[3][4][5] She is the mother of socialite Paris Hilton and fashion designer Nicky Hilton[6] and the half-sister of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Kim Richards and Kyle Richards. Since 2011, Hilton has also appeared on that series in regular guest and recurring appearances.

Early life[edit]

Hilton is the daughter of Kathleen Mary (née Dugan) and Larry Avanzino. Her father's family comes from Italian ancestry while her mother's side comes from Ireland.[7] Hilton's parents later divorced, and her mother married Kenneth E. Richards (1917–1998), who already had three grown children from a previous marriage. From this marriage Hilton gained two maternal half-sisters: actresses Kim and Kyle Richards.[6] 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.[8]

Television and film career[edit]

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,[9] 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.

From 2003 to 2005, Hilton appeared on a few select episodes of The Simple Life (starring her daughter, Paris, and best friend Nicole Richie), mainly on premiere and finale episodes. Also in 2005, she hosted the reality show I Want To Be a Hilton on NBC. She also appeared on The World According to Paris (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".[10] In October 2020, it was revealed that Hilton herself would appear as a "friend of the housewives" for the eleventh season of the same show. Her addition to the show was well-received by the cast and viewers, and she soon became a fan-favorite.[11][12] In June 2021, Diane Cho of 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."[13]

In June 2023, Hilton confirmed her departure from the series, after appearing in two seasons in a "friend of" capacity.[14]

In January 2024, it was announced that Hilton would be making a special guest appearance, for the thirteenth season reunion of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.[15]

Business ventures[edit]

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Hilton operated her own gift and antiques store The Staircase on Sunset Plaza in Los Angeles.[6] She debuted with 2002 merchandise sales on cable TV's QVC home shopping network.[6] In 2007, she began selling a signature skincare line on HSN.[6] Hilton launched a perfume called "My Secret" in 2008.[16]

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

Hilton raised money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 2007, by asking celebrities to auction some of their belongings and donating the proceeds to them.[17] 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.[18]

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.[6][19][20][21][22][23] In December 2020, Hilton and her daughters Paris and Nicky, modeled new Valentino 2021 resort collection in a photo series for Vogue.[24]

In September 2021, Hilton appeared in Oscar de la Renta's New York Fashion Week campaign, hailing a taxi wearing the latest collection on a busy Manhattan street.

Personal life[edit]

Hilton married Richard Hilton on November 24, 1979 when she was 20 years old. They have four children: Paris Hilton (born 1981),[23] Nicky Hilton (born 1983),[23] Barron Nicholas Hilton II (born 1989)[23] and Conrad Hughes Hilton III (born 1994).[23] Hilton has seven grandchildren, three by Nicky[25][26][27] two by Barron, and two by Paris.[28][29]

The couple resides in Bel Air, Los Angeles.[6][22] Hilton featured her home in Architectural Digest for Christmas 2021.


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
2011–2022 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 55 episodes; Guest (2011–2020, 2024), Friend of the housewives (seasons 11–12)
2013–14 Life with La Toya 9 episodes
2020 This Is Paris Herself Documentary film
2021 Cooking with Paris Herself Guest
2021–2023 Paris in Love Main Cast


  1. ^ Oppenheimer, Jerry (2006). House of Hilton. Crown Publishing. ISBN 9780307351951. On March 13, 1959, almost seven months after the church wedding, Kathleen Dugan Avanzino, a month away from turning twenty-one, gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl whom they named Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino
  2. ^ Sandra, Gurvis (2011). Paris Hilton: A Biography. Their daughter and Paris's mother, 'little' Kathleen Elizabeth Avanzino, was born seven months after the impromptu wedding, on March 13, 1959.
  3. ^ New York Magazine
  4. ^ New York Magazine
  5. ^ "Ophrah Winfrey Network: Life With La Toya". Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Booth Moore, Special occasion calls for a twist with Kathy Hilton, The Los Angeles Times, December 9, 2012
  7. ^ Oppenheimer, House of Hilton
  8. ^ "The Hilton Sisters". New York Magazine. March 31, 2013.
  9. ^ Marlowe, Rachel (May 27, 2021). "Kathy Hilton on Swerving Drama on 'Real Housewives,' Upping Her Style Game, and Paris's Upcoming Wedding". Vogue. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  10. ^ Kathy Hilton can't watch sisters' lives 'fall apart' on 'Real Housewives', The San Francisco Chronicle, June 2012
  11. ^ "RHOBH: Why Fans Have Fallen In Love With Kathy Hilton". ScreenRant. June 6, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  12. ^ Boren, Jade (June 4, 2021). "Kathy Hilton Goes Viral After She Asks Kyle Richards What Channel 'RHOBH' Airs On — Watch". Hollywood Life. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  13. ^ Cho, Diane (June 16, 2021). "Kathy Hilton Is Already a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Legend: Her Best Moments on the Show So Far". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Jackson, Dory; Wagner, Stephanie (June 5, 2023). "Kathy Hilton Confirms Exit from 'RHOBH' After 2 Seasons". People. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  15. ^ Crist, Allison (January 27, 2024). "See the Surprise Guest Making a Special Appearance at the RHOBH Season 13 Reunion (PHOTO)". Bravo). Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  16. ^ "KATHY HILTON MY SECRET BY KATHY HILTON FOR WOMEN - Eau De Parfum SPRAY". Perfumania. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  17. ^ 'Kathy Hilton calls on pals to help charity, Pasadena Star-News, December 22, 2007
  18. ^ The Hilton Ladies Step Out for the Starlight Children's Foundation, Radar Online, March 27, 2011
  19. ^ Official website
  20. ^ Haein Jung, Natalie Stone, Kathy Hilton Showcases Dress Collection at Intimate Cocktail Reception, The Hollywood Reporter, November 30, 2012
  21. ^ Jennifer Chan, Kathy Hilton Can Dress You for the Holidays, E!, November 30, 2012
  22. ^ a b Marshall Heyman, Celebrating the Holidays With the Hiltons, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2012
  23. ^ a b c d e Maria Martin, Kathy Hilton is 54, fabulous – and frugal, The Charlotte Observer, August 7, 2013
  24. ^ Allaire, Christian (December 15, 2020). "What Kathy Hilton Learned About Style From Paris and Nicky". Vogue. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  25. ^ "Nicky Hilton Rothschild Welcomes Daughter Lily Grace Victoria" Archived September 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. People. July 8, 2016.
  26. ^ "Nicky Hilton Rothschild Welcomes Daughter Teddy Marilyn. "People." December 23, 2017.
  27. ^ "Nicky Hilton Shares First Photos of Newborn Son: 'Baby Bliss'". "People." July 21, 2022.
  28. ^ "It's a Girl! Barron Hilton and Wife Tessa Welcome Daughter Milou Alizee". People. March 13, 2020.
  29. ^ "Barron Hilton and Wife Tessa Welcome Second Baby, Son Caspian: 'Over the Moon'. People. September 6, 2022.

External links[edit]