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Katherine Heigl's love of acting united family after brother's death

Katherine Heigl's mother became her manager after the untimely death of the actress' brother because she felt "a need to escape" following the family tragedy.

The Knocked Up star's older sibling Jason died at the age of 15 when he was thrown from the back of a pick-up truck in a car accident in 1986.

Heigl was just seven when her family was hit by the tragedy, but the youngster's love of acting helped her mother deal with the death.

She tells Cosmopolitan magazine, "Mom and I started working together two years later, when I was nine. She took me modelling and I did my first film when I was 11.

"She wouldn't have done it had my brother not died, because she had so much going on with four kids and looking after the house. But she felt a need to escape. Then it turned into a passion - my mother has a knack for business and strategising. Plus she was fierce about protecting me."