She has German and Irish Ancestry and was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). She had a strict upbringing and is the youngest of 4 children. She lived in Virginia and then Denver before her family settled in Connecticut, where she spend most of her childhood.
In 1986, her 15-year-old older brother Jason died of injuries suffered in a car accident, after being thrown from the back of a pickup truck. When doctors determined he was brain-dead following an eight-hour operation, the family decided to donate his organs. The family was never in any doubt that Jason would have wanted his organs and tissues donated for transplant. She is now a strong proponent of organ donation
As a child, her aunt took photos of her and sent them, with permission, to a number of modeling agencies. Within a few weeks, she was signed as a child model and soon was earning $75 per hour posing for Sears & Lord & Taylor catalogs. Her first television appearance was in a national spot for Cheerios.
She made her acting debut in 1992's That Night which was quickly followed by King Of The Hill and then her first leading roll in the 1994 comedy My Father The Hero. She then appeared in the 1995 action thriller Under Siege 2: Dark Territory with Steven Seagal.
In 1996 her parents divorced and her mother was diagnosed with cancer. After high school graduation, she moved with her mother to L.A. and her mother became her manager.
After working on movies for a few more years she turned her attention to television and accepted the role of Isobel Evans on the sci-fi drama Roswell. She continued to work on movies and tended to gravitate towards the horror genre but would also do made for TV movies like Love Comes Softly about a young pregnant newlywed traveling west.
In 2005 she was cast in what would become her most high-profile role, as intern Dr. Isobel (Izzie) Stevens on Grey's Anatomy. She won an Emmy last week for this role for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama series.
Also in 2006, she filmed Knocked Up, a comedy from writer/director Judd Apatow, starring opposite Seth Rogan. The film was a box office success.
She has been on FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World" list twice.
She is currently engaged to singer Josh Kelley, whom she met on the set of his music video for "Only You". The couple will marry in October of this year.
This weeks Hump Day Hottie is ~ Katherine Heigl