Kathy Hilton is no stranger to the spotlight. As a child actor, she played roles on notable programs such as Happy Days, Family Affair, The Rockford Files, and Bewitched. Her husband, Richard Hilton, is one of the most high-profile businessmen in the country, and her daughters, Paris and Nicky, have had their share of fame as well. But although you may not see Kathy on the big screen anymore, her life is busier than ever. She works with causes such as Erase MS, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Plus, she designs the Kathy Hilton Collection — “a line of exquisite evening wear for women of all ages that includes an element of high society at affordable prices” — and she does this all while managing a family and keeping her marriage strong.
Life in the public eye can be difficult at times, and maintaining a marriage is just as hard. Hilton met her husband when she was only fifteen years old, and they were married four years later. “We were always together,” she shares. “We grew up together. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, young marriages don’t work out.’ I thank the Lord every day — I’m very blessed.”
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After 34 years together, she credits alone time at the start of their marriage for keeping their relationship strong. ”We got engaged, and we moved to New York. Having that time alone without anyone poking their nose in our business gave us the opportunity to grow. If we had a disagreement, I couldn’t just run home to my parents.”
And cherishing that alone time keeps their marriage going even now. When they’re not balancing their busy careers or hanging out with their four children, they just like being together.”We have date nights all the time,” the businesswoman reveals. “We enjoy the social life with our friends, but sometimes, we’ll both look at each other and go, ‘Honey, I’m peopled out!’ I’ll dress up, and he’ll take me out to dinner, or we’ll spend some time in private.”
The couple will kick off Richard’s birthday – Saturday, August 17th — with some “alone time”: sitting in traffic on their drive to the Hamptons. ”We do the same thing every year. We live in Southampton, so we’ll leave from the city. We stop at William Poll Gourmet Foods for sandwiches — they have the best chicken salad with bacon — and pack a picnic to eat while we sit in traffic for nearly three hours.” The family plans to dine at The Palm to celebrate.
Of course, the Hiltons expect to be interrupted at times. ”We have our own private life, but as I’ve always told my girls, ‘Anything you sign up for in life, there’s a price.’ There’s always people coming up to say hi or ask to get a picture. It’s fine — sometimes, we’d rather people just come up and say hi than whisper and point.”
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But the family manages the fame well — just as long as they get to be together. Although Paris and Nicky have their own careers and live on their own, they still spend time with their parents and brothers. ”We spend all our holidays together, I cherish it, especially having four children,” the family matriarch shares. “I love nothing more than knowing each of my children are in the same building. When we’re on holiday, we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together every single day. They’re my kids, no matter what. They’re always gonna be my little babies.”
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