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Katherine Heigl is an American actress best known for her Emmy Award-winning role on Grey's Anatomy and starring role in the comedic film Knocked Up.
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The part widened Heigl's exposure in Hollywood, and she filmed a variety of smaller projects during the show's hiatuses. After Roswell was canceled in 2002, Heigl appeared in several made-for-TV movies, including a prequel to Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and two Lifetime movies based on the Janet Oke novels Love's Enduring Promise and Love Comes Softly. Between roles in independent and low-budget films (including Zyzzyx Road,
which was released in 2006 to poor reviews, becoming infamously known as the lowest-grossing film in history), Heigl filmed a pilot for a TV show about medical interns at a Seattle Hospital, which was eventually titled Grey's Anatomy.
Grey's Anatomy premiered in March 2005 and immediately became a smash hit, elevating Heigl and her co-stars' profiles in Hollywood. Heigl used the increased media attention to discuss organ donation. A longtime advocate of organ donation, the issue became even more important to Heigl when her brother Jason's organs were donated following his fatal accident. With her mother, she has been an activist for the past several years, speaking on behalf of donor organizations and receiving the Dr. James S. Wolf Courage Award in 2005.
In the summer of 2005, Heigl starred in a music video for singer-songwriter Josh Kelley. She and Kelley began dating soon after. "I had never dated a musician, and he was really sexy to me," Heigl once said of Kelley, adding, "His manager was playing Cupid; he said, 'You've got to come up to his room and hear this really sexy song!' Then his manager made some excuse and left ... I [had] spent a lot of time not being clear about who I was and what was important to me. I decided I was sick of trying to figure out what everybody else wanted, and I should just decide what I want, and be honest, and not spend all my time guessing. Josh is the first serious relationship I've ever had where I was like, 'This is me.' From the moment I met him, I said, 'This is what I want and what I need.'" The two announced their engagement in June 2006.
Heigl met with more success in 2006 and 2007: she was nominated for a Golden Globe, and then won an Emmy Award (best supporting actress) for her role as Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens on Grey's Anatomy. Additionally, she starred in the 2007 smash comedy hit Knocked Up alongside Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, and finished the year by marrying fiancé Josh Kelley in Park City, Utah.
Around this same time, Heigl worked with her mother to start her own production company, Abishag Productions. She named the company after the female figure (Abishag) in the Robert Frost poem "Provide, Provide," which includes the excerpt: "The picture pride of Hollywood/Too many fall from great and good/For you to doubt the likelihood." On naming the company, the actress once explained, "I just thought it would help to keep perspective."
Heigl kept that perspective in mind soon after, when she garnered negative publicity for a series of controversial statements.
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