Hillary Bailey Smith, who was born on May 25, 1957 in Boston, Massachusetts, was educated at Pine Manor College, in Chestnut Hill in Massachusetts. She later took up genetics and theatre at Sarah Lawrence College, and decided then that she had to pursue a career in acting. As a senior in the New York City scene, she took on roles in many off-Broadway and Broadway productions. One of these was The Heidi Chronicles. Her on-screen career began with roles in many daytime dramas.
In 1982, Hillary B. Smith appeared on the series The Doctors, where she became known as the character Kit. McCormick. A year later, she took over the role of Margo Montgomery Hughes on As the World Turns. She played the role until 1990, but also appeared in Too Close for Comfort, and TV movies like Sharing Richard, Acting Sheriff, Driving Miss Daisy and Love Potion No. 9. In 1992, she joined the cast of the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, portraying Llanview District Attorney Nora Hanen. She became the centerpiece of the show, winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1994 for her performance. She is also known for co-starring with Gene Wilder in the NBC sitcom Something Wilder, but it failed to gain popularity after one season. Some of Smith’s other roles have been in 1997’s Lifebreath, the romantic comedy It Had to Be You, and Maid in Manhattan starring Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci and Tyler Posey. In 2004, Smith got the role of Robin Wallace in the adventure comedy Palindromes. This was followed by an appearance in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, on the episode “Identity.” In 2006, she worked on Stanley’s Dinosaur Round-Up, an animated video for children. Smith has also appeared in a 2005 television commercial for Caltrate, and has been nominated for numerous Soap Opera Digest Award accolades.