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Katherine Heigl

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Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl (née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where Katherine was to spend the majority of her childhood; the youngest member of her family, Katherine--or "Katie" as she is nicknamed--has two elder siblings, John and Meg. Tragically, her older brother Jason died in 1986 of brain injuries suffered in a car accident, after being thrown from the back of a pickup truck. When doctors determined he was brain-dead, the family made the difficult decision to donate his organs. Not only did this painful chapter give Katherine a greater perspective and appreciation for life, but it motivated her to use her celebrity to promote the importance of organ donation. Katherine was first thrust into the limelight as a child model. An aunt, visiting the family in New Canaan, took a number of photographs of Katherine, then aged nine, in a series of poses to advertise a hair care product she had invented. Upon returning to New York, with permission from Katherine's parents, she sent the photos to a number of modeling agencies. Within a few weeks, Katherine had been signed to Wilhelmina, a renowned international modeling agency. Almost immediately, she made her debut in a magazine advertisement and soon followed this with an inaugural television appearance in a national commercial for Cheerios breakfast cereal. Following a number of commercials and modeling assignments for Sears and Lord & Taylor, she made her big-screen debut in That Night (1992), which starred Juliette Lewis and C. Thomas Howell. It was then that she realized that acting rather than modeling was her passion. In 1993, Katherine appeared in Steven Soderbergh's critically-acclaimed Depression-era drama, King of the Hill (1993), before landing her first leading role as a rebellious teenager, alongside Gérard Depardieu, in My Father the Hero (1994). During this time, Katherine continued to attend New Canaan High School, balancing her academic studies with work on films and modeling, which she undertook during holidays, vacations and weekends. In 1995, she played "Sarah Ryback", the niece of Steven Seagal's character, in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), which was her "debut" in the action film genre. Acting was now becoming a stronger focus for Katherine, although she still modeled extensively, appearing regularly in magazines such as "Seventeen". Television appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) and Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993) soon followed, before she took the lead role in Disney's Wish Upon a Star (1996) in 1996. It was also during that year that Katherine's parents divorced and, following her graduation from high school in 1997, she moved with her mother into a four-bedroom house in Los Angeles' Malibu Canyon area. This enabled her to focus upon acting with the guidance and support of her mother, who now managed her career. In 1997, Katherine portrayed "Taffy Entwhistle", Rita Hayworth's stand-in, in Stand-ins (1997) and was also cast as the beauteous "Princess Ilene" in the European production, Prince Valiant (1997). She then made her made-for-TV movie debut, co-starring with Peter Fonda in a re-working of the classic Shakespearean play, The Tempest (1998), updated with an American Civil War theme. In this film, she played "Miranda Prosper", a young woman torn between her love for both her father and a Union soldier. Bug Buster (1998) and Bride of Chucky (1998) represented a venture into the horror genre for Katherine. While both films could be described as rather tongue-in-cheek despite their gory emphases, Bride of Chucky (1998) was the better received, both critically and commercially. In 1999, Katherine decided to branch out into series television when she accepted the role of the haughty, yet vulnerable, "Isabel Evans", on Roswell (1999), a show that blended teen angst with sci-fi drama. Though she had never planned to embark on a career in television, the role of Isabel, a teenager with a secret life, was an offer she found impossible to refuse. In the series, Isabel, her brother Max (Jason Behr) and their friend Michael (Brendan Fehr) are aliens passing as humans in Roswell, New Mexico, as they desperately try to hide the truth from government agencies, the people of Roswell and even their own adopted families. To publicize her role on the show, Katherine graced the covers of magazines such as "TV Guide", "Maxim" and "Teen" and was interviewed on Later (1994) and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999). Along with her mother Nancy, she also appeared in an episode of the Sci-Fi TV talk show, Crossing Over with John Edward (1999), during which she spoke with John Edward, a psychic medium, about her late brother, Jason. During the three years Roswell (1999) was in production, Katherine found time to work on several movies. 100 Girls (2000), an independent film released in 2001, is the story of a college freshman who meets the girl of his dreams in an elevator during a blackout, and spends the rest of the movie trying to find her again. Her cameo role is that of Arlene, the competitive tomboy. The second film, Valentine (2001), a horror film starring David Boreanaz and Denise Richards, appeared in U.S. theaters on February 2, 2001. In this movie, which is based upon the 1996 novel by Tom Savage, Katherine plays "Shelley", a medical student who meets a sudden demise. In the spring of 2001, Katherine accepted a role in NBC's Critical Assembly (2002), a two-hour original television thriller. Katherine and Kerr Smith (Dawson's Creek (1998)) co-starred as brilliant and politically concerned college students who build a nuclear device to illustrate the need for a change in national priorities, but are betrayed by a fellow student when the bomb ends up in the hands of a terrorist. Unfortunately, the telefilm, directed by Eric Laneuville, written by Tom Vaughan, and based on the best-seller "The Seventh Power" by James Mills, was shelved when its storyline was deemed too close for comfort to the events of September 11, 2001. It was eventually broadcast in 2003. Since the cancellation of Roswell (1999) in the spring of 2002, Katherine has been busy with various projects, including an appearance on UPN's update of the classic television series, The Twilight Zone (2002). That episode, entitled Cradle of Darkness (2002), aired on October 2, 2002, and featured Katherine in the role of a woman who goes back in time to stop one of the most notorious murders in history. In addition, she completed a movie, Descendant (2003), a psychological thriller inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". She has also starred as "Romy" in ABC/Touchstone's two-hour telepic, Romy and Michele: In the Beginning (2005), a prequel to the 1997 feature, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997). During the summer of 2002, Katherine made a major decision in the direction of her career when she signed on for representation in all areas with the William Morris Agency, one of the biggest and most prestigious agencies in the entertainment industry. She is now being represented by Norman Aladjem at Paradigm Agency and being managed by Nancy Heigl and Stephanie Simon and Jason Newman at Untitled Entertainment.  See full bio on IMDb »

'State of Affairs' Star -- Katherine Heigl's a Great Kisser ... Just Ask Her Husband

'State of Affairs' Star
Katherine Heigl's a Great Kisser ... Just Ask Her Husband

Katherine Heigl is a great kisser ... is probably something Chris McKenna shouldn't say, because she's married! Katherine's "State of Affairs" co-star jumped at our question with… READ MORE >

CIA Schools Katherine Heigl's TV Show on How Prez Does Business

Schools Katherine Heigl's TV Show Here's How Prez Really Does Business

The CIA is watching Katherine Heigl ... but she's not in danger.Turns out the super-secret agency is fixated on Katherine's new show, "State of Affairs" ... to the point of challenging the… READ MORE >

- 1145 days ago
Katherine Heigl SUES Duane Reade -- Drug Lord Did Me Wrong!

Katherine Heigl
A Drug Lord Did Me Wrong!

Katherine Heigl claims a major drug store chain is shamelessly using her image to hawk hemorrhoid cream, Rid and all things drug store.Katherine filed a lawsuit -- obtained by TMZ -- in which she… READ MORE >

- 1382 days ago
Katherine Heigl -- I Need My Money  -- Cuz I Pissed Off Hollywood

Katherine Heigl
I Need My Money Cuz I Pissed Off Hollywood

Katherine Heigl's hit hard times ... telling us she needs to hang onto every penny and is in NO position to donate cash to finish her new movie. Here's the thing ... Hollywood hasn't exactly been… READ MORE >

- 1429 days ago
Katherine Heigl -- I'm Way Hotter Than My Movies!

Katherine Heigl
I'm Way Hotter Than Any of My Movies!

Katherine Heigl took time out from making horrible romantic comedies and showed off two gorgeous reasons why she should still be cast in more films.The 34-year-old former television actress poured… READ MORE >

- 1747 days ago
Katherine Heigl -- Firefighters Rush to L.A. Home Over Steamy Affair

Katherine Heigl
Firefighters Rush to L.A. Home Over Steamy Affair

A fire truck rushed to the home of Katherine Heigl moments ago -- but TMZ has learned ... it was a steamy false alarm.A rep for L.A. City Fire tells TMZ, a call was placed at 1:36pm reporting a… READ MORE >

- 2123 days ago
Katherine Heigl's Mom -- Would You Like Fries with That Shake?

Katherine Heigl
Mom's All Shook Up

Katherine Heigl's mom had some serious shaking going on during a day of beauty -- and the cause of her faux seizure may or may not be Katherine's new movie. READ MORE >

- 2182 days ago
'New Year's Eve' Ladies -- Who'd You Rather?

'New Year's Eve' Ladies
Who'd You Rather?

Somehow Lea Michele, Katherine Heigl and Sofia Vergara all agreed to star in that "New Year's Eve" movie.Question is ... More Who'd you rather? Ramona Singer vs. Sonja Morgan Christina Aguilera… READ MORE >

- 2234 days ago
Katherine Heigl and Mom -- The $1.7 Million Gamble

Katherine Heigl and Mom -- The $1.7 Million Gamble

Katherine Heigl has officially gone into business with her mother, each investing close to a MILLION bucks so they can be co-owners of a bunch of luxury condo units in L.A.. ... TMZ has learned.… READ MORE >

- 2373 days ago
Katherine Heigl -- Smokin' Hot

Katherine Heigl -- Smokin' Hot

The only thing hotter than Katherine Heigl in a black bikini ... her electronic cigarette.The 32-year-old former TV actress soaked her bones in the Miami sun this weekend.Addicting. READ MORE >

- 2497 days ago
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