Heather received nominations for a Saturn Award, and a Young Artist Award, for her work on the television series Now & Again.
Heather didn't enjoy growing up in Long Island, because she wasn't the typical suburbanite kid. She had a different set of values, and didn't get pleasure from the Friday night kegger, she worked instead.
Heather appeared in Morgan Freeman's feature directorial debut Hurricane, in 1997.
Heather was appearing on the television show Townies on the Carsey-Warner lot, and snuck onto the Roseanne set. Roseanne saw her and said that she knew her from Welcome to the Dollhouse, loved the movie and her performance, and invited her to be on her show. Heather accepted, and played the role of DJ's girlfriend for part of the final season.
Heather's first appearance on television was on Nickelodeon's hit show The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
Heather's idols are: Judy Garland, Vivian Leigh, and Bette Davis.
Heather played the role of Grace O'Shea, alongside Ryan Phillipe and Mike Myers in the film about the 1970s hot spot 54.
Heather co-starred with Mandy Moore, Jena Malone, and Mary Louise Parker in the 2004 comedy about life in a Christian high school, Saved.
Heather got her break into films when she accepted the role as the lead in the critically acclaimed film Welcome To The Dollhouse in 1995, at age eleven. She drew on her own experiences of being teased in school, to play the character who was constantly harassed and teased by her classmates.
Heather 'came out' as a lesbian, when she revealed the gender, but not the name of the object of her affection to the New York Daily News.
Heather won the Independent Spirit Award for 'Best Debut Performance' for her starring role as Dawn Wiener in Welcome To The Dollhouse.
Heather co-stars with good friend Anne Hathaway, as her best friend Lily, in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. The two met on the set of the original movie, and have remained close friends.
Heather failed the written part of her drivers test, missing 11 out of 20 the first time that she took it.
Heather attended BOCES Cultural Arts Center for musical theater training.
Heather appeared in Sheryl Crow's music video for 'A Change Would Do You Good' and in Nada Surf's video for 'Treehouse '96'.
Heather was the keynote speaker at the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Boston's 15th annual conference at Brookline High School. She described her struggle to gain acceptance of her sexuality, and how society as a whole treated her celebrity status after the announcement was made.
Heather would like her film career to emulate that of Kathy Bates and Jodie Foster.
Heather was discovered at age six, at her dance recital dress rehearsal for an AIDS benefit. No one was paying attention, so she grabbed the microphone, as well as the spotlight, and told everyone off. A talent agent was in the audience and offered his representation.
Heather wanted to achieve a good education, but really hated going to her high school due to the kids that were indifferent towards her. She turned to abusing drugs and alcohol, ending up running away from home.
Heather has known since second grade that she is attracted to other girls, but shame forced her into years of silence that led to self destructive behavior.
Heather: I'm never going to be one of those actors that has paparazzi outside my apartment. The only thing I truly have that is my own is my personal life. My life is not going to become a piece of tabloid banter. I am an actor, not a celebrity.
Heather: A lot of producers don't see me as desirable, and they don't want me in their movies. How can you not take that rejection to heart? It is a hard business if you have a problem with being rejected...and I don't know too many that don't.
Heather: I Met the person that I'm so madly in love with. She's not famous yet, but she will be. She wants to do musical theatre and stage, which is not as demoralizing as the movie business is.