24 November 1978, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Katherine Marie Heigl
5' 9" (1.75 m)
Katherine Marie Heigl was born in Washington, DC, on November 24, 1978, to Nancy Heigl and Paul Heigl. A short time afterward, 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) (TV) 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) (TV), 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 with Greg Kinnear" (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 (2003) (TV), 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 "The Twilight Zone: Cradle of Darkness (#1.5)" (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) (TV), 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.
Josh Kelley (23 December 2007 - present) 1 child
Deep husky voice
Was with the Elite Modelling Agency.
Has two older brothers, Holt and John; and older sister, Meg. Brother Jason died from head injuries suffered in a car accident when she was very young.
Auditioned for all 3 female leads on "Roswell" (1999) before being cast as Isabel.
She is half Irish and half German.
1996: Graduated from New Canaan High School.
Beat out Alicia Silverstone for the lead role in My Father the Hero (1994).
Played the cello in High School.
Ranked #72 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" (2002)
Her last name is pronounced "HI guhl."
Has played a character with the name of "Isabel" or "Isobel" three times. "Grey's Anatomy" (2005), "Roswell" (1999) and Wuthering Heights (2003) (TV).
Ranked as #55 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
Cut & dyed her hair for season 3 of "Roswell" (1999).
June 2006: Engaged to musician Josh Kelley.
In Judd Apatow's film, The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005), the FHM "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement with Katherine on the cover is shown in close-up during a scene on the extended version DVD. Katherine plays the lead in Apatow's follow-up, Knocked Up (2007).
2006: Named #19 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement.
Ranked #14 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list.
2005: She was October on FHM magazine's 2005 pin-up calendar.
Followed through on plans to marry fiancé Josh Kelley, on December 23, 2007, in Utah where she has a ranch property, including a tribute to her late brother, Jason, at the ceremony [July 18, 2007].
Best friend of her "Grey's Anatomy" (2005) co-star T.R. Knight, who was a groomsman at her wedding.
Was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top 25 Entertainers Of The Year (2007).
Is related to actress Amber Perkins.
Auditioned for the role of Felicity Porter in the TV series "Felicity" (1998), but lost out to Keri Russell. She also auditioned for the roles of Sydney Bristow and Lauren Reed on "Alias" (2001), but lost out to Jennifer Garner and Melissa George, respectively.
Voted as #1 in 2008's Askmen.com "Top 99 sexiest women in the world" poll. (2008).
Admits that one of her worst vices is being a smoker.
Was engaged to co-actor Jason Behr during their time together on the set of "Roswell" (1999).
Katherine and her husband, Josh Kelley, adopted a baby girl from Korea, Nancy Leigh Kelley (born November 23, 2008). She will go by the nickname Naleigh (September 18, 2009).
Sister-in-law of Charles Kelley.
Lives in Los Angeles, California.
Fan of "Glee" (2009).
[on her role in My Father the Hero (1994)] There are still men who come up to me today and say, "You were really hot in that film!" I was 14, for God's sake!
One of the most interesting things about that show ["Roswell" (1999)] for me was that because Isabel was an alien, I got to do many things, so that was creatively satisfying. I think anyone's fear of getting involved in a show that could run for several years is that you'll be playing only one character for that long; that can get stale for an actor, so on "Roswell" I really lucked out.
["Razor" Magazine interview] I'm grateful people think I'm beautiful or think I'm sexy, and I suppose it's better than the alternative, but I do try to fight it a bit so it's not all people see me as. And I'd love to one day be in a position where I could choose a role to showcase my creativity versus just my bra size.
I love changing my look. I would love, love, love to cut all my hair off into a really short, punky haircut.
My own mother told me I didn't have a shot in hell of winning tonight. [While accepting the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Isobel 'Izzie' Stevens on "Grey's Anatomy" (2005), at The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards (2007) (TV).] [16 September 2007]
[on Knocked Up (2007)] A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I'm playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you're portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.
I'd like to start talking children seriously in the next year , but [my husband] Josh feels more like two years, so we'll probably do a year and a half. I'm excited about having a big family. I'm talking five or six.
(On Hollywood stereotyping) You're the blonde. Or the cheerleader. Or the girlfriend. It would have been really easy to fall back on the blonde and the bra size and just do that for the rest of my career.
My mother says she thinks I wouldn't have appreciated success the same way if it had come faster or more easily. Now it's a much bigger reward.
People who know me well know that I have an opinion about pretty much everything.
If I wasn't in this industry, I wouldn't work out. But I have hips and a butt and everything that goes along with that, including cellulite! So I do the best I can.
I pride myself on being kind. But that's not to say there aren't moments when I'm a diva. Everybody has bad moments.
[on Gerard Butler] He's a man's man, and that's what makes him so appealing. We all talk about how we're missing the Cary Grants and those movie stars of old that were just these sexy, charismatic men, and I really feel like Gerry is filling that missing thing right now.
If I spread myself too thin, I'm not a good actor, I'm not a good mother, and I'm just really high-strung - and everybody hates me.
One for the Money (2012) $15,000,000 (includes producing fee)
Life as We Know It (2010) $12,000,000
Killers (2010) $12,000,000
The Ugly Truth (2009) $6,000,000
27 Dresses (2008) $6,000,000
Where Are They Now
(April 2007) Los Angeles, California