Why We Love ‘The Ugly Truth’s’ Katherine Heigl

This weekend, Katherine Heigl is hoping for a three-peat of hits, as she bounds into movie theaters with her third comedy in as many years, “The Ugly Truth.”

The follow-up to her two consecutive box office smashes – 2007’s “Knocked Up” and 2008’s “28 Dresses” – “The Ugly Truth” finds Katherine playing Abby, a successful morning show producer in need of some major dating advice.

Katherine has been making audiences squirm as the awkward, uptight, career-focused (but hopless-in-love) Abby, who receives help from TV host Mike, played by Gerard Butler, as he introduces her into situations both crude and uproariously funny, in her quest to land the man of her dreams.

With the delightful actress back on the big screen and her return to “Grey’s Anatomy” due this fall, it seemed like time a good time to count down all the reasons we all love this funny, talented and very real star.

1. She speaks her mind: The stunning star may earn a living from commercial projects, but Katherine Heigl has earned respect both artistically and personally for her ability to say exactly what she thinks.

In 2007, Katherine made headlines when she shared her true feelings about her first box office hit, “Knocked Up,” telling Vanity Fair it was “little bit sexist.”

The comment caught the media’s attention, prompting Katherine to later clarify the statement, saying she only meant for women to remember that the movie was a “broad comedy.” But she didn’t take it back. “I stand by my opinion,” she previously told People.

“I’ve got this moniker that I’m the foot-in-mouth gal, and I keep thinking, ‘In what way?’” she told In Style’s August 2009 issue. “Because I said something you don’t agree with? Because I said something you don’t like? I’m just telling you my opinion. I hate the idea that I can’t be honest about how I feel about things because it’s going to piss somebody off who feels differently. That seems preposterous to me.”

2. She’s an animal lover: Katherine Heigl may rush to the sides of patients as Dr. Izzie Stevens on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but her real-life passion involves furrier subjects.

Volunteering for Pup My Ride, an animal rescue program from the Best Friends Animal Society, Katherine and her mother, Nancy, have placed many needy animals in no-kill shelters and on their way to safe and happy homes.

The animal lover admits the dogs’ friendly faces sometimes seduce her. When asked how many pups she has of her own, she confessed to six!

“I think my husband’s ready to kill me,” Katherine told Access Hollywood in January of husband Josh Kelley’s feelings. “But you know what? The last one was his idea.”

3. She’s a loyal friend: In 2006, “Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington came under scrutiny after he was accused of using a discriminating slur when referring to gay co-star T.R. Knight – who at that point had not publicly revealed his sexuality. And following the Golden Globes in January 2007, Katherine spoke out on the subject.

“T.R. is my best friend. I will throw down for that kid,” she told Access Hollywood at the time. “I will beat you up. I will use every ounce of energy I have to take you down if you hurt his feelings.”

4. We’ve seen her grow up: A New York native, Katherine never thought photographs taken by her grandmother would propel her into show business. But they helped her net some print ads and eventually commercials, which led into film.

Her big screen debut was in the 1992 film, “That Night,” and she received praise for her leading role in the 1994 comedy, “My Father The Hero.”

However, it was her role as Isabel Evans on the teen-drama “Roswell” that got the audience’s attention. She remained on the show for three years as the human-alien anomaly before leaving for a string of television movies.

Katherine has earned critical praise for her dramatic character, Izzie Stevens, in the hit ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Over its history, the medical drama received some of the highest ratings on broadcast television, catapulting the small screen actress to stardom with an Emmy win in 2007.

Most recently, Katherine has been applauded for her comedic roles in the films “27 Dresses” and “Knocked Up.” And this weekend, audiences are lining up to catch her in R-rated comedy “The Ugly Truth” alongside Hollywood hunk, Scotsman Gerard Butler.

5. She’s a romantic: In “27 Dresses,” Katherine Heigl played a perpetual bridesmaid and in “The Ugly Truth,” she plays a TV producer who is lucky in life, but unlucky in love.

Her films might follow the stories of women in search of happy endings, but off-screen, Katherine has found real romance with singer/songwriter Josh Kelley.

Katherine met Josh in 2006 on the set of his “Only You” music video. After the shoot, Kelley reportedly approached Heigl and asked her to dinner.

The couple has been inseparable ever since, tying the knot in Utah, just two days before Christmas 2007.

6. She knows what matters: On sets since childhood, Katherine is no stranger to the strains of show business. But while she works hard, she actively works to remind herself to enjoy the spoils of her efforts and to cherish time spent with loved ones.

“I’ve got to enjoy some of this too… and just take a minute to actually savor it and enjoy it and spend some time with the people that I love most in the world,” she told Access earlier this month.

One way she tackles work and family at once is by being in business with her mother, Nancy, who was a co-producer of “The Ugly Truth.”

“She’s always been there” she told Access.

Besides staying close to her roots, Katherine doesn’t stray too far from her newlywed husband Josh Kelley. The two are self-proclaimed homebodies that enjoy board games and cooking over a night at the clubs. The opposite of boring, this adoring couple’s devotion proves that they are in it for the long haul.

7. She can hang with the guys: Starring alongside big-screen leading men like Gerard Butler and Seth Rogen, Katherine has shown she has no problem holding her own.

She tackles female issues of dating and pregnancy with humor and poise.

While some actresses might turn a part to fluff, Katherine always manages to give her comedic characters a depth and complexity that indicates her readiness for more serious roles.

8. She eats: Voted one of People’s “100 Most Beautiful People” in 2007, Katherine is known for her classic style and curvaceous figure. When it comes to watching her weight, the “Grey’s” actress opts for in-shape versus stick-thin with personal training and a high protein diet.

9. She has style: Frequently named to “Best Dressed” lists, Katherine avoids trends and sticks to classic Hollywood glamour with her signature Marilyn locks and sharp lines.

Katherine went glam for her “Ugly Truth” premiere, spicing up her style in a gold Lanvin mini and changed her mane to a temporary brunette ‘do.

But the Emmy-winning star isn’t just stellar on the red carpet. Paparazzi shots often capture the 30-year-old looking classy in tailored blazers and her trademark headbands.

Known for avoiding the scantily clad, Katherine clearly finds it sexy to leave some things to the imagination.

10. She makes a difference: Katherine’s brother, Jason, lost his life in an automobile accident in 1986 and her family generously helped others while mourning, by donating Jason’s organs.

Katherine became a spokesperson for Donate Life America, which aims to educate the public on organ donation in hopes of inspiring people to donate.

“For our family, it helped make sense of Jason’s death,” Katherine told Parade in 2006. “It lent it a sort of grace.”

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