Hilary Duff. The name rings a certain type of bell, doesn't it? A pink, shiny one with blonde hair and a sparkly coin purse filled with lip gloss. Duff reigned supreme as the tween queen from 2001-2004 as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel. She was innocent, giggly and talented -- the perfect Disney trifecta.
But the show ended and Duff grew up, darkening her golden locks, trading in her rainbow-colored clothes and shedding a few pounds to emerge a sleek, sophisticated young woman. She starred in a few movies as her quasi-twentysomething self, but typecasting prevented her from growing up on-screen when she had done so already off-camera.
Duff took matters into her own hands, pitching her show Barely Legal to NBC. The show was rejected soon after, but luckily the folks at the CW saw a window of opportunity -- as reported by EW.com, Duff will be joining the cast of Gossip Girl for a few episodes next season. Her character, Olivia Burke, is a movie star who attends NYU and rooms with Vanessa (Jessica Szohr). She'll first appear in the season's fourth episode, which airs on Oct. 5.
Duff isn't known for her revolutionary acting, but neither is Gossip Girl. The NYC-centered show picked up where The O.C. left off, pop-culturally-speaking, as an addictive, visually-appealing drama-laden show about wealthy teens -- in other words, as a ratings behemoth. It has launched the careers of Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Taylor Momsen, among their other castmates, and it'll definitely put Hilary Duff back in the spotlight. Only this time, she'll walk with some age-appropriate sass in her step.