Throwback Thursday: Katherine Heigl Got Her Big Break in 1994

 Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA

This story first appeared in the May 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

At the TV Upfronts on May 12, NBC touted its new drama State of Affairs, starring Katherine Heigl. Two decades ago, the former child model got her big break at age 15 in My Father the Hero.

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The romantic comedy, a remake of a 1991 French farce, had a curious plot: A divorced Frenchman (Gerard Depardieu) takes his teen daughter on vacation, where she tries to impress a local boy by saying the older man she's traveling with is her lover. Depardieu, who'd had a major hit with 1990's Green Card, starred in both versions. The Hollywood Reporter said Heigl, then in high school in New Canaan, Conn., "makes the most of a star-forming opportunity."

Eleven years later, Heigl found her career-defining role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on ABC's Grey's Anatomy. And in November, she'll play a CIA analyst for NBC. "She has this ability to bring so much credibility to a weighty role," says NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. "But she also delivers a relat­able female character that audiences can really lean into."

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