Katherine Heigl

Active - 1993 - 2021  |   Born - Nov 24, 1978 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Comedy Drama, Romance

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Biography by Lucia Bozzola

Katherine Heigl was an experienced movie actress by the time she was cast as one of the out-of-this-world teenagers on WB's Roswell in 1999. Born and raised in Connecticut, Heigl began modeling and appearing in TV ads as a child. After making her film debut in That Night (1992), Heigl balanced movie work with high school, playing a small role in Steven Soderbergh's Depression-era drama King of the Hill (1993), starring as GĂ©rard Depardieu's difficult daughter in My Father the Hero (1994), and Steven Seagal's niece in the action sequel Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995). Heigl headed to Los Angeles after high school to make acting her full-time job. Following a leading role in Wish Upon a Star (1996) and a small part as a Rita Hayworth stand-in in Stand-Ins (1997), Heigl made a foray into horror with Bug Buster (1998) and Bride of Chucky (1998).

Branching out into television, Heigl co-starred with Peter Fonda in a Shakespeare-via-Civil War reworking of The Tempest (1998). Benefiting from the late-'90s wave of youth-driven TV shows, Heigl stayed with television and attracted an avid following as alien beauty Isabel on the cult hit Roswell. The doctors-in-love dramedy Grey's Anatomy, however, catapulted its entire cast to full-fledged stardom when it premiered in 2005; Heigl's role as the tough-cookie intern Izzie endeared her to countless fans of the show. The actress savvily parlayed this success into a movie career, although not by going the traditional three-hanky drama route. After winningly playing a Special Olympics counselor in 2005's broad comedy The Ringer, Heigl seemed the perfect choice for writer-director Judd Apatow's follow-up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 2007's Knocked Up. The improv-heavy tale of an unlikely one-night-stand - and its consequences - relied upon Heigl's charm and crack comedic timing to balance out the dude-centric humor supplied by co-stars Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. The combination worked, as audiences made Knocked Up a bona-fide summer hit.

In the coming years, Heigl woudl find herself becomming the go-to actress for successful, light, romantic comedies, like 27 Dresses (2008), The Ugly Truth (2009), Life as We Know It (2010), New Year's Eve (2011), and One for the Money (2012).

Movie Highlights

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  • Has played a character named Isabel (or Isobel) three times: Roswell (1999), Wuthering Heights (2003) and Grey's Anatomy (2005).
  • Beat out Alicia Silverstone for the role of Nicole in the movie My Father, the Hero.
  • Became an advocate for organ donation after her brother Jason died of brain injuries in a car accident.
  • Had her Los Angeles home featured on Entertainment Tonight and HGTV.
  • Auditioned for ABC's Lost before she landed a lead role on Grey's Anatomy.
  • Criticized her character in Knocked Up for portraying women as "humorless and uptight."