Katherine 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 Katherine 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 her passion.
Katherine 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.
Katherine Heigl 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, Katherine Heigl 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 third seasons.
To publicize Heigl's 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 s--iest 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, Katherine 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 traveling west. And finally, Heigl played Isabella Linton in MTV's modern revamp of Emily Brontė's classic novel Wuthering Heights.
In October 2003, Katherine 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. In 2005, Heigl had her breakthrough role as Doctor Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy, an ABC medical drama that was originally brought in as a mid-season replacement show and has become a huge hit. Heigl stars alongside Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey and Isaiah Washington as a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital.
Katherine Heigl was previously in a relationship with actor Jason Behr. In June 2006 she became engaged to singer Josh Kelley.
This Katherine Heigl Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010