I think I have mentioned here that I lived in Los Angeles for 5 years. 5 nutty, weird years in La-la land- 4 of them getting a bachelor’s degree, and one more trying to figure out what to do with it. That was the year, if you might recall, that I worked for the Beverly Hills erectile dysfunction specialist on the Viagra clinical trials, fielding phone calls from beleaguered geriatric Golden Age actors who simply HAD to be on the little blue pill trial.
I learned many things in LA.
1. Yes, that many people really do get plastic surgery.
2. Looks are everything.
3. Substance is nothing.
Needless to say, I didn’t live there any longer than I needed to. Sure, there were some normal, real people somewhere in the town, I just didn’t meet very many of them. I left very jaded about the Hollywood scene and the quiet desperation and over inflated egos of the lost souls who populate it.
Like many people, I’ve spent many a Thursday night watching Grey’s Anatomy, shipping Mer-Der, icking out at Lexie/Sloan, shaking my fist at LVAD-gate. I’ve always considered Katherine Heigl to be an OK actress whose ego outstripped her talent, who never really recovered from insulting the show’s writers come Emmy time a few years ago.
Then she quit the show. I didn’t miss her. See ya later. Have fun in the deep black abyss of David Caruso-land. It’s not that I dislike her, it’s just that she didn’t do anything to impress me as either an actress or a human being.
Today, though, she won my heart. I’ve heard mention here and there about the Heigl Foundation and the work it is doing to help animals. That alone wins her a pass for The Ugly Truth. Then I read about England.
Some piece of human garbage hog-tied a pit bull and left him for dead in a muddy field in Bakersfield, where he was fortunately rescued and rehabilitated. When announcing England the Dog’s new home today, Heigl also announced that her foundation will be working in conjunction with Last Chance for Animals to provide additional rewards for people who come forward with information in animal abuse cases.
This isn’t as cute and Hollywood as the other well-publicized efforts of the Heigl Foundation. Rescuing a terribly abused pit bull isn’t nearly as sexy and photo-oppy as flying a plane of chihuahuas cross country. But it is necessary, and so, so helpful. What incentive is there these days for people to report animal abuse, aside from conscience? Not much, and oh, how the world needs more people to step up and get involved.
Heigl also recently adopted a daughter with her husband, which she cited as a major reason for leaving her hit show. Having a new child is a ton of work- I can vouch for this- and it would be very easy for her to disappear into the world of nannies and playgroups and let the foundation run itself for a year or two.
But she’s staying involved and using her celebrity to help some really underserved causes, and for that, well, she has a permanent fan. Staying the course and staying true to what matters in that weird morass of celebrity is pretty hard to do. Thank you Katherine, for continuing to do things that matter (and I’m not talking about Knocked Up.)