Birth Date: November 24, 1978 / Age: 39
Birth Place: Washington D.C.
Biography: Katherine Marie Heigl (b. November 24, 1978) is an American actress who currently stars on the show Grey's Anatomy. Although she was born in Washington, D.C., her parents, Nancy and Paul, moved the family to New Canaan, Connecticut a short time later. Her family life was not without its tragidies, however. Her older brother Jason died in 1986 of brain injuries suffered in a car accident. He had been thrown from the back of a pickup truck, and doctors determined Jason was brain-dead. Despite their grief, the family decided to donate his organs. This has 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 modelling agencies, all with the permission of Katherine's parents. Within a few weeks, Heigl had been signed as a child model.
Almost immediately, a client slated her for use in a magazine advertisement. Television jobs soon followed, the first in a national spot for Cheerios breakfast cereal. It was not long until she landed her first 'big-screen' debut in the movie That Night (1992). After meeting such fast success and enjoying her new found career, she then realized that acting was indeed her life-long passion.
Heigl then appeared in Steven Soderbergh's depression era drama King of the Hill before landing her first leading role in My Father The Hero (1994). During this time, Heigl continued to attend New Canaan High School, balancing her film and modeling work with her academic studies.
The following year, she played opposite Steven Seagal in the role of Sarah Ryback in 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 Wish Upon a Star in 1996. It was also 1996 that Heigl's parents divorced. After her high school graduation in 1997, she and her mother moved into a 4-bedroom house in Malibu Canyon, Los Angeles. Heigl's mother then became her manager.
In 1998 she co-starred with Peter Fonda in a re-working of the classic Shakespearian play The Tempest, themed around the American Civil War. Later in 1998 Heigl was featured in: Bug Buster (1998) and Bride of Chucky (1998). In 1999, Heigl turned her attention to television when she accepted the role of Isabel Evans on Roswell. Heigl's role was expanded in the second and third season to showcase her talents.
To publicize her role on Roswell, she appeared on the covers of magazines such as TV Guide, Maxim, and Teen as well as appearing in FHM. She later appeared in the FHM and Maxim calendars and FHM's annual 100 sexiest women in the world. Whilst Roswell was in production, Heigl worked on several films. The first film, 100 Girls, was an independent film released in 2001. She played Arlene the Competitive Tomboy in that film. The second film, Valentine, was a horror film starring David Boreanaz and Denise Richards. Katherine played Shelley, a medical student, foreshadowing her appearance in Grey's Anatomy.
In the spring of 2001, Heigl accepted a role in Ground Zero, a two-hour, original television thriller scheduled to be telecast that fall. 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 bomb ends up in the hands of a terrorist following betrayal by a fellow student.
Unfortunately, "The Seventh Power", based on the bestseller by James Mills, was shelved when its plot was considered too close for comfort to the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It re-emerged in 2003 under the title "Critical Assembly". After the 9/11 attacks, Heigl recorded a passionate public service announcement for the American Red Cross in an effort to help raise money for victims.
The year 2003 was a busy one for Heigl. In early 2003, Heigl returned to the horror genre with Evil Never Dies, a modern-day variation on the Frankenstein story co-starring Thomas Gibson. She played the role of the professor's assistant, whose intentions are not as clear as the police officer is first led to believe. Love Comes Softly, a telefilm for Hallmark Entertainment in 2003, found Heigl starring in the role of Marty Claridge, a young, pregnant newlywed travelling west. In October 2003, Heigl was cast opposite Johnny Knoxville, as the leading lady in The Ringer, a Farrelly brothers comedy. Heigl continued her worldwide travels when she was cast as Isabella Linton in MTV's modern 'revamp' of Emily Brontė's classic novel Wuthering Heights.
In 2005 in the movie Romy and Michele: In The Beginning, Heigl was cast in the role of Romy. It was a prequel to the movie - Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (which starred Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow). Heigl is currently starring in Grey's Anatomy, a medical drama on ABC.
Regarding her personal life, Heigl had dated her former Roswell co-star, Jason Behr, for several years. However, through interviews such as FHM in November 2004, she indirectly insinuated that the relationship had come to an end. She also told FHM she did not lose her virginity until she was 22.