Hilary Swank was happy to take three years off work to care for her ''lovely dad''.

The 43-year-old actress stepped out of the spotlight to care for Stephen Swank after he underwent a lung transplant because she wanted to help him through his ''life journey''.

She said: ''Yeah, I took three years off to be with him and help him through that life journey.''

When 'The Late Show' host Stephen Colbert praised her as a great daughter, she replied: ''Well, what a lovely dad he is.''

Though Hilary's dad was initially given a ''short time to live'' without having the transplant, the 'Million Dollar Baby' star is thankful he is now ''thriving and well''.

She said: ''He's great, thank you for asking. For those of you who don't know, my dad got a lung transplant. It's the hardest surgery a person can undergo and I thank all the people that make themselves a donor, it saves lives.

''They had given him a short time to live if he didn't get a lung transplant and thankfully he got one and he's alive and thriving and well.''

The 'Trust' actress previously admitted she'd had to turn down work to care for her dad but there was ''nothing'' she wanted to do more than be there for him.

Speaking in 2015, she said: ''I'm his sole caretaker right now. It's a certain amount of time, but in a lifespan it's a blink of an eye. There's been job opportunities I've passed on, and things that I said 'I can't', but really what we're here for is our family.

''There is nothing I want to do more other than being with my dad in this time of need. And if it wasn't me taking care of him, I think I would always look back and regret that opportunity to be able to care of him and help him through this extraordinary time.''

And the 'Logan Lucky' actress was grateful to have the opportunity to spend quality time with her father, as his work as a chief master sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard meant they didn't get to do that very much when she was younger.

She added: ''We're super close. The bond that we've made in this time, might make up for some of that time we didn't have. We didn't have that one-on-one time together. It's actually kind of healing.''