Katherine Heigl’s rise to fame: From Grey’s to Life as We Know It

Katherine Heigl’s rise to fame may have seemed like it happened overnight, but the former Grey’s Anatomy star and current movie A-lister has been in the business since she began modeling at the age of nine.

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl, 31, is probably best known by her break-out role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, and has since gone on to star in movies like Knocked Up, The Ugly Truth and her most recent movie, Life as We Know It.

Katherine Heigl: Early career

After being a child model, appearing in Sears and Lord & Taylor catalogs, Heigl’s big break came in 1994 when she was cast in the lead role of the comedy My Father the Hero.

Heigl continued acting in movies like Steven Seagal’s Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, and modeling for magazines like Seventeen until 1999 when she auditioned for the TV drama Roswell.

She auditioned for all three lead female parts, before being cast as the alien-human Isabel. Her popularity continued to grow, as she was dubbed one of FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World.”

And them came Grey’s

Heigl’s touching portrayal of Dr. Izzie Stevens in ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy propelled her into superstar status. She went on to win the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007.

The Ugly Truth

The busy actress managed to juggle Grey’s Anatomy, along with her blazing hot film career, filming the hit Knocked Up, as well as working alongside Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth and Ashton Kutcher in Killers.

Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up

The outspoken actress wasn’t afraid to voice her opinions, including calling Knocked Up “a little sexist” and pulling out of the 2008 Emmy race because she did not feel that her Grey’s Anatomy role “was given the material to warrant an Emmy nomination.”

“I spent so many years just saying what I felt without thinking about the ramifications, without understanding that I have this opinion but not everyone might share that opinion and now they don’t like me because of it. That was really awkward. I hate it when people say this, but I’m a people pleaser,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I was really raised with the idea that it’s important to be honest and to share your experiences, both disappointing and exhilarating.”

Baby Naleigh

Heigl and her husband Josh Kelley recently adopted a baby girl named Naleigh, and with her new role as mother she decided to make some changes in her life. January 21st, 2010 was her last appearance on Grey’s Anatomy, with the actress saying that her departure from the show was because she wanted to focus more on her new family.

Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl in Life as We Know It

Up next for Heigl? A possible move to Nashville and a new movie. She is starring in and producing the romantic comedy Life as We Know It, playing opposite Josh Duhamel.

read on for more Katherine Heigl

Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl tell The Ugly Truth
A Killer chat with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher
Life as We Know It preview