Katherine Marie Heigl (born November 24, 1978) is an American
actress. She is perhaps best known for her roles on the TV series
Roswell and Grey's Anatomy.
Heigl was born in Washington, D.C. to Paul Heigl (a German American
accountant) and Nancy (an Irish American); she was raised a Mormon.
A few years after Heigl's birth, the family moved to New Canaan,
Connecticut, where her older brother, Jason, died in 1986 of injuries
suffered in a car accident. Despite their grief, the family decided
to donate Jason's organs, which motivated Katherine to become a
strong proponent of organ donation.
When she was nine years old, an aunt visiting the family decided
to take a number of photographs of the young Heigl. After returning
to her home in New York, the aunt sent the photos to a number of
modeling agencies, with the permission of Katherine's parents. Within
a few weeks, Heigl was signed as a child model.
Almost immediately, a client slated Heigl for use in a magazine
advertisement. Television jobs soon followed, the first in a national
spot for Cheerios cereal. It was not long until she landed her big-screen
debut in the 1992 movie That Night. After meeting quick success
and enjoying her new-found career, she realized that acting was
Heigl appeared as Christina Sebastian in Steven Soderbergh's Depression-era
drama King of the Hill before being cast in her first leading role
as Nicole in the 1994 comedy My Father The Hero. During this time,
Heigl continued to attend New Canaan High School, balancing her
film and modeling work with her academic studies.
She then appeared opposite Steven Seagal as Sarah in the 1995 action
thriller Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Despite an increased focus
on acting, she still modeled extensively, appearing regularly in
magazines such as Seventeen. She took the lead role in Disney's
made-for-television film Wish Upon a Star in 1996. Heigl's parents
divorced in 1994. After her high school graduation in 1997, she
and her mother moved into a 4-bedroom house in Malibu Canyon, Los
Angeles, and her mother became her manager.
In 1998, she co-starred with Peter Fonda in a re-working of the
classic Shakespearian play The Tempest, set during the American
Civil War. Later that year, she starred in the horror film Bride
of Chucky. In 1999, Heigl turned her attention to television when
she accepted the role of Isabel Evans on the science fiction TV
drama Roswell, a role that was expanded in the show's second and
To publicize her role on Roswell, she appeared on the covers of
magazines such as Life, TV Guide, and Teen as well as FHM. She appeared
in the FHM and Maxim calendars, FHM's annual 100 sexiest women in
the world, and was featured in theGirls of Maxim Gallery. In May
2006, Maxim awarded her #12 on their annual Hot 100 List. While
Roswell was in production, Heigl worked on several films, including
100 Girls, an independent 2001 film in which she played competitive
tomboy Arlene, and Valentine, a horror film starring David Boreanaz
and Denise Richards in which she played medical student Shelley
Fisher, who was killed during the film's opening scene.
In the spring of 2001, Heigl accepted a role in Ground Zero, a
television thriller scheduled to be telecast that fall which was
based on the bestselling James Mills novel The Seventh Power. She
co-starred as a brilliant and politically-concerned college student
who helps to build a nuclear device to illustrate the need for a
change in national priorities; the device ends up in the hands of
a terrorist following betrayal by a fellow student. After the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks, however, the film was shelved when its
plot was considered too inappropriate; it re-emerged in 2003 under
the title Critical Assembly. After the terrorist attacks, Heigl
recorded a passionate public service announcement for the American
Red Cross in an effort to help raise money for victims.
In 2003, Heigl appeared in three television movies. She returned
to the horror genre with Evil Never Dies, a modern-day variation
on the Frankenstein story co-starring Thomas Gibson. Love Comes
Softly, for Hallmark Entertainment, found Heigl starring as Marty
Claridge, a young, pregnant newlywed travelling west. And finally,
Heigl played Isabella Linton in MTV's modern revamp of Emily Brontë's
classic novel Wuthering Heights.
In October 2003, Heigl was cast opposite Johnny Knoxville in The
Ringer, a Farrelly brothers comedy that was released in December
2005. Heigl most recently starred as Romy in the 2005 television
movie Romy and Michele: In The Beginning, a prequel to the 1997
theatrical film Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. Heigl currently
plays the role of Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy, an ABC medical
Heigl was previously in a relationship with actor Jason Behr. In
June 2006 she became engaged to singer Josh Kelley.
2007: Knocked Up
2005: The Ringer
1998: Bride Of Chucky
1996: Wish Upon a Star
1995: Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
1994: My Father The Hero
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