"Katie" Holmes (born December 18,
1978) is an American actress who first achieved fame for her role
as Joey Potter on The WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek from 1998 to 2003.
Her movie roles have
ranged from art house
films such as
The Ice Storm
thrillers such as Abandon
blockbusters such as Batman
In early 2005, Holmes began a highly publicized
with actor Tom Cruise
which drew attention due to the 16-year age difference
between the two
. In June, two months after they first met,
Holmes and Cruise were engaged. Their relationship made Holmes the
subject of international media attention, much of it negative,
including speculation the relationship was a publicity stunt to
promote the couple's films. Holmes, who was brought up as a
, joined the
Church of Scientology
after the couple began dating. On April 18, 2006, Holmes gave birth
to their daughter, Suri. On November 18, 2006, she and Cruise were
married in Italy.
born in Toledo,
Ohio, the youngest in a family of five children (four
daughters, one son) of Kathleen A.
(née Stothers), a
homemaker and a philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr. (born
1945), an attorney specializing in divorces. She lived in the Corey
Woods section of Sylvania Township, Lucas County, in a brick 1862 Italianate-style home.
Her siblings are
Tamera (born c. 1968), Holly Ann (born 1969), Martin Joseph,
Jr. (born 1970), who works as a lawyer in Ohio, and Nancy
Kay (Blaylock), a teacher (born c.
a Roman Catholic
, attended Christ the King
Church and parochial schools in Toledo. Her high school was
the all-female Notre Dame Academy, her mother's alma mater, where Katie was a
Jesuit, a nearby all-male high school, she appeared in
school musicals, playing a waiter in Hello, Dolly! and Lola in
scored 1310 out of 1600 on her SAT
accepted to Columbia University
(and attended for a summer session); her father wanted her to be a
doctor. Holmes loved reading: "I never feel lonely in a bookstore",
she said. A British writer profiling her in 2003 said "The way
Holmes approached her unusual education was as American as apple pie
went to cheerleading practice, got straight A grades, and made a
that she would remain a
virgin until marriage." Holmes told her hometown paper The Blade
that the three words
best describing herself were "honest, determined, and
At age fourteen she began classes at a modeling school in Toledo
run by Margaret O'Brien, who took her to IMTA, the International
Modeling and Talent Association Competition held in New York City
in 1996. There she found an agent after performing a monologue from
To Kill a
. An audition tape was sent to the casting
director for the 1997 film The
, directed by Ang Lee
was cast in the role of Libbets Casey, in the film which starred
and Sigourney Weaver
. Ang Lee told The Blade
, "Katie was cast
because she had the perfect amount of innocence and worldliness
that we needed for Libbets. I was really taken by her wide open
eyes. She really is a beautiful girl but there is also a lot of
intelligence there and it shows."
1997, Holmes went to Los Angeles for pilot season,
when producers cast and shoot new programs in the hopes of securing
a spot on a network schedule. The Blade
she was offered the lead in Buffy the Vampire
but she turned it down. Columbia Tri-Star Television
producer of a new show created by screenwriter Kevin Williamson
, asked her
to come to Los Angeles to audition, but there was a conflict with
her schedule. "I was doing my school play, Damn Yankees
And I was playing Lola. I even got to wear the feather boa. I
thought, 'There is no way I'm not playing Lola to go audition for
some network. I couldn't let my school down. We had already sold a
lot of tickets. So I told Kevin and The WB, 'I'm sorry. I just
can't meet with you this week. I've got other commitments.'"
The producers permitted her to audition on videotape. Holmes read
for the part of Joey Potter
best friend of the title character
Dawson, on a videotape shot in her basement, her mother reading
Dawson's lines. The Hollywood
claimed the story of Holmes's audition "has
become the stuff of legend" and "no one even thought that it was
weird that one of the female leads would audition via Federal Express
Holmes won the part. Paul Stupin
executive producer of the show, said his first reaction on seeing
her audition tape was "That's Joey Potter!" Creator and executive
producer Kevin Williamson said Holmes has a "unique combination of
talent, beauty and skill that makes Hollywood come calling. But
that's just the beginning. To meet her is to instantly fall under
her spell." Williamson thought she had exactly the right look for
Joey Potter. "She had those eyes, those eyes just stained with
is a headstrong, vibrant,
wily, sultry, and determined go-getter. And yet, in a gloriously
contradictory manner, in spite of her tough-as-nails exterior
demeanor, Joey's also a frail, sometimes uncertain, emotionally
sensitive, in-need-of-love person", said the show's official book.
Joey, named for Jo in Little
, for years had been climbing in Dawson's bedroom
window and platonically sharing his bed. Joey's mother had died
when Joey was thirteen and her
father, Mike (Gareth
), was in prison for "conspiracy to traffic in marijuana
in excess of 10,000 pounds." Her
harried, unmarried, and very pregnant sister, Bessie (Nina Repeta
), about five years older than Joey,
was raising her while running the Ice House restaurant, where Joey
worked as a waitress. GQ
as "kind of an uptight fussbudget—one who's always twisted up over
doing the right thing and bungling-up ways to hook up with her
crush and across the creek neighbor, Dawson."
"I'm a lot like Joey", said Holmes. "I think they saw that. I come
from a small town. I was a tomboy. Joey tries to be articulate and
deny that she doesn't have a lot of experience in life. Her life
parallels mine, which is all about new everything—relationships,
personal perceptions—and about being guarded." Holmes filmed the
pilot of Dawson's Creek in Wilmington,
North Carolina, during spring break of her senior year of high
school in 1997.
When the show was picked up by The WB
, Holmes moved to Wilmington, where the show
The tall ( ) brunette enchanted the press, writers of both sexes
commenting how Holmes was the sort of girl one wants to bring home
to meet the parents and to marry. "The Audrey Hepburn
of her generation", was one
typical comment. Time
called her "impossibly lovely" and Entertainment Weekly
said she was
"next up for idolhood." Variety
, reviewing the pilot, said
Holmes "is a confident young performer who delivers her lines with
slyness and conviction." Holmes made such an impression in Hollywood, The New
York Times Magazine claimed everyone was seeking to cast a
"Katie Holmes type", who, the reporter claimed, "is a throwback to
the 1950s: she is a smart girl next door (as opposed to the
babe-o-rama blondes)"—the sort represented by her Dawson's
Creek co-star Michelle
But her "type" was no less attractive,
magazine declaring her "the most coquettishly sexy
woman on television. Anywhere
The show was aggressively marketed by The WB Network before its
premiere in January 1998. The cast was featured in the J. Crew
catalog and trailers
for the program were shown in movie theatres. Before the premiere,
the show's talk of sex caused a stir in the press; one of the
show's producers, Procter and
, withdrew after negative press in its hometown
newspapers. Holmes was soon on the covers of magazines such as
, and Rolling Stone
. Jancee Dunn, an editor at
said she was chosen for the cover because
"every time you mention Dawson's Creek
you tend to get a
lot of dolphin
-like shrieks from teenage
girls. The fact that she is drop-dead gorgeous didn't hurt
Reviews were mixed. The Blade
said the characters "just
talk like they came from a planet ruled by Manhattan psychologists,
one where small talk is punishable by death." Holmes herself needed
help with the dialogue. "Sometimes before we read a script, I have
to get my dictionary and call people to make sure I'm pronouncing
some of the words correctly." The show brought her national
attention and many fans back home; Toledo's Thanksgiving Day parade
in November 1998 had record attendance when Holmes was named grand
ran from 1998 to 2003, and Holmes was the
only actor to appear in all 128 episodes. "It was very difficult
for me to leave Wilmington, to have my little glass bubble burst
and move on. I hate change. On the other hand it was refreshing to
play someone else", she said in 2004. Holmes confirmed that, as is
often the case on soaps, the character was a caricature
of the actor:
"As Joey", said Life
magazine, "Holmes has had seismic influences on teen life...
Through it all, Joey has managed to hang on to her integrity... The
show—and Katie's character in particular—has touched a
In 2005, Holmes characterized her film career as being a string of
"bombs." "Usually I'm not even in the top ten", she said, the
highest grossing film of her career at that time being Phone Booth
, in which she played a
supporting role. She lamented "It's not like I have a lot of stuff
that's great just waiting for me to sign on to."
Her first leading role came in Disturbing Behavior
-era Stepford Wives
thriller, where she was a loner from the wrong side of the tracks.
of the Chicago Sun-Times
character, Rachel, "dresses in black and likes to strike poses on
the beds of pickup trucks and is a bad girl who is in great danger
of becoming a very good one." The actress won a MTV Movie Award
for Best Breakthrough
Performance for the role, though Holmes said the film was "just
Holmes played a disaffected supermarket clerk in Doug Liman
's acclaimed ensemble piece
She had an uncredited cameo with Dawson's Creek
Joshua Jackson in Muppets from
(1999), which was also filmed in Wilmington.
In Kevin Williamson's Teaching
(1999), which he wrote and directed, Holmes
played a straight-A student whose vindictive teacher (Helen Mirren
) threatens to keep her from a
desperately needed scholarship.
In Wonder Boys
directed by Curtis Hanson
novel by Michael Chabon
, Holmes had a
small role (six and one-half minutes of screen time) but
nevertheless attracted the attention of numerous film critics with
her performance as Hannah Green, the talented student who lusts
after Professor Grady Tripp (Michael
), her creative writing instructor and landlord.
of The Los Angeles Times
was "just right as the beauty with kind of a crush on the old
In The Gift
story directed by
and starring Cate Blanchett
, she played the antithesis of
Joey Potter: a promiscuous rich girl having affairs with everyone
from a sociopath
wife-beater (Keanu Reeves
) to the district attorney
), and is murdered by her fiancé
). Holmes did her first
for the film, in a scene where
her character was about to be murdered. Of the scene, she said, "I
just hope there aren't a lot of pauses on DVD players." Her
appearance was lamented by Variety's
Steven Kotler: "It
seems the only time we see a naked woman on screen is when someone
like Katie Holmes needs to break with her sanitized WB past and
march brazenly into a new future." In Ohio, the scene met with
disapproval, Russ Lemmon writing in The Blade
winner Stephen Gaghan
, Holmes was a delusional,
homicidal college student named "Katie." Todd McCarthy of
and Roger Ebert commended her performance, but
other critics and audiences savaged it. The actress played the
mistress of the public relations flack played by Colin Farrell
in Phone Booth
(2002) and Robert Downey, Jr.
's nurse in
(2003). Holmes's next starring role was in
Pieces of April
gritty comedy about a dysfunctional
family on Thanksgiving
said it was "one of her best film performances."
"Each actor shines", wrote Elvis
, "even Ms. Holmes, whose beauty seems to have fogged
the minds of her previous directors" in playing "a brat who is
slaving to find her inner decency and barely has the equipment for
such an achievement, let alone to serve a meal whose salmonella
potential could claim an entire borough. Yet it is her surliness,
as well as her intransigent determination to make Thanksgiving
work, that keeps the laughs coming."
Holmes played the President's daughter in First Daughter
, which was
originally to be released in January 2004 on the same day as
film about a president's daughter, but was ultimately released in
September 2004 to dismal reviews and ticket sales. First
, directed by Forest
, also starred Michael
as her father and Marc Blucas
as her love interest. The
Kirk Honeycutt called her character,
Samantha Mackenzie, "a startling example of how a studio film can
dumb down and neutralize the comic abilities of a lively young
star." In the 2005 film Batman
, the most successful film of her career to date,
she played Rachel Dawes
, an attorney in
the Gotham City district attorney's office and the childhood
sweetheart of the title character. Variety
unenthusiastic. "Holmes is OK", was its critic's sole remark on her
performance. She received a Golden Raspberry
"worst supporting actress" for the film.
In 2005, she appeared in the film version of Christopher Buckley
's satirical novel
Thank You for Smoking
about a tobacco lobbyist played by Aaron
, whom Holmes's character, a Washington reporter,
wrote one of the film's "sole relatively
weak notes [came] from Holmes, who lacks even a hint of the
wiliness of a ruthless reporter" and The New York Times
said the cast was
"exceptionally fine" except for Holmes, who "strain[ed] credulity"
in her role.
After speculation about her reprising her role in The Dark Knight
, the sequel to
, it was finally confirmed that she would not
appear. Her role was later recast with Maggie Gyllenhaal
in her place. Instead,
she decided to star in the comedy Mad Money
, opposite Diane Keaton
Holmes had agreed to play in Shame on You
, a biopic
about the country singer Spade Cooley
written and directed by Dennis Quaid
, as the wife whom Cooley (played
by Quaid) stomps to death. But the picture, set to shoot in New Orleans,
Louisiana, was delayed by Hurricane Katrina, and Holmes dropped out
because of her pregnancy.
In early July 2009, Katie began filming a remake of the 1970s ABC
telemovie Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Australia. The horror/thriller movie is co-written and produced by
Guillermo Del Toro
by Troy Nixey. It also stars Guy
She will have her first executive-producer credit in the 2010
comedy The Romantics,
which she also stars.
Holmes made her Broadway debut in the revival of Arthur Miller
in September 2008. She opened to mixed reviews.
The New York Times'
Brantley claimed "the neophyte Ms. Holmes" is a "sad casualty" of
director Simon McBurney's "high concept approach" to the play.He
adds that "Ms. Holmes delivers most of her lines with meaningful
asperity, italicising every word". Clive Barnes of the New York Post
was similarly unimpressed
by Holmes - and had few compliments for her co-stars. He wrote,
"Lithgow starts in a sunny, benign fashion, but eventually finds
himself screeching alongside Holmes, looking tough under a glossy
wig." However, The New York
Joe Dziemianowicz was won over by the actress'
first stint on stage, writing, "Holmes, a TV and film vet, makes a
fine Broadway debut. Her rather grand speech pattern takes getting
used to, but she seems comfortable and adds a fitting glint of
glamour." In 2009, Holmes appeared in the National Memorial Day
Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in a dialogue with Dianne Wiest
celebrating the life of an
American veteran seriously wounded in Iraq, José Pequeño.
Holmes in the media
Holmes hosted Saturday Night
on February 24, 2001, participating in a send-up of
where she falls madly in love with Chris Kattan
's Mr. Peepers character and
singing "Big Spender" from Sweet
. On the November 9, 2003 episode, she was
by Ashton Kutcher
and the next year she was the
subject of an episode of the MTV
Holmes was annually named by both the British and American editions
magazine as one of the sexiest
women in the world from 1999 forward. She was named one of
s "50 Most
Beautiful People" in 2003; its sibling Teen People
declared her one of the "25
Hottest Stars Under 25" that year; and in 2005, People
said she was one of the ten best dressed stars that year. She has
appeared in advertisements for Garnier
leather goods, and
clothing retailer The
On November 4, 2007 Holmes ran, and successfully completed, the
New York Marathon
After much speculation, in late November 2008, it was confirmed
that she is the new face of the Spring '09 campaign for the
high-end fashion line Miu Miu
Holmes purchased a townhouse in Wilmington in 2002. When Dawson's Creek ended its run in 2003, she moved to Los Angeles,
California, then New York City in 2005, before going back to Los Angeles when she
married Tom Cruise. Holmes dated her Dawson's Creek co-star Joshua
Jackson for all the first season and part of the second season,
the relationship ending peacefully.
She told Rolling Stone
, "I fell in love, I had my
first love, and it was something so incredible and indescribable
that I will treasure it always. And that I feel so fortunate
because he's now one of my best friends." Holmes met actor Chris Klein
in 2000. A Midwesterner like
Holmes—he grew up in Illinois and Nebraska—Klein and Holmes were engaged in late 2003, but in
early 2005 she and Klein ended their relationship.
accounts cited the distance imposed by their careers as a factor.
In the fall of 2005, Klein said of the split, "We grew up. The
fantasy was over and reality set in." Holmes told a reporter in
2005, "Chris and I care about each other and we're still
In July 2009, Holmes, Nigel Lythgoe
Adam Shankman, and Carrie Ann Inaba
announced the launch of a dance scholarship fund called the Dizzy
Relationship with Tom Cruise
Holmes with Tom Cruise in June
Weeks after her relationship with Chris Klein
ended, Holmes began dating
actor Tom Cruise
. Their first public
appearance together was on April 29, 2005, in Rome, Italy, at the David
di Donatello Awards, the Italian equivalent of the Oscars.
Her family expressed support,
with her father stating, "We're very excited for Katie", and saying
his daughter was "a very mature young lady with a good head on her
shoulders. From all we have read and heard about [Cruise], he's a
humanitarian and a real class act. From the perspective of a
parent, we're very excited for both of them". Holmes's sister
Tamara said, "They're both wonderful people."
On May 23, 2005, Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show
on Winfrey's couch and vociferously declaring his love for Holmes.
He went backstage and pulled the embarrassed actress onto the
program. Cruise proposed to Holmes in the early
morning of June 17, 2005, atop Paris's Eiffel Tower; she accepted.
At the press conference,
attended by Holmes's mother, Cruise announced the news, declaring,
"Today is a magnificent day for me. I'm engaged to a magnificent
Back in Toledo, the news was greeted with skepticism. Even before
Holmes's engagement, her hometown paper was already speculating
about "what happens if our very own 'good ole Katie' morphs into
'Katie Holmes, the former actress now better known as Tom Cruise's
third wife.'" Asked in an interview how she felt about reports that
friends in Toledo are worried about her, Holmes replied, "People
who say that aren't my friends." Following the engagement, the
reporter to Toledo who found the citizens felt the biggest star
from their city was not Holmes, but Jamie
, who played Corporal Maxwell
"I think he's bigger than Katie. He's so humble and he's so proud
of his hometown—he name-drops it all the time. If it wasn't for
Jamie, I don't think people would really know about Toledo", said a
Toledo waitress. Others quoted by the newspaper were puzzled by her
interest in Scientology. Farr subsequently wrote a letter to the
newspaper declaring "I admire Katie Holmes. She is a wonderful,
beautiful actress" and "I do not feel that Katie and I are in any
form of competition in the city of Toledo."
November 18, 2006, Holmes and Cruise were married at the
15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, in a Scientology ceremony attended by many
The actors' publicist said the couple had
"officialized" their marriage in Los Angeles the day before the
Italian ceremony. The day after the ceremony, the couple left
for a honeymoon in the Maldives.
Holmes, who was raised a Roman
, joined the Church of
shortly after the couple began dating. Soon after
beginning her relationship with Cruise, Holmes fired her long-time
manager and agent and acquired a new "best friend", Jessica Rodriguez
, who is from a prominent
family of Scientologists. Robert Haskell, who wrote W
magazine's cover story on the actress,
said Rodriguez "was described to me as Holmes's 'Scientology
chaperone' and it was clear that she would be on hand during our
interview despite my protests." This was in contrast to Holmes's
earlier press, which noted approvingly she "arrives without the
ubiquitous PR person in tow."
On April 18, 2006, Holmes gave birth to a baby girl named Suri. A
article reported that Suri arrived exactly one
year after Cruise and Holmes met, April 18, 2005. The Los Angeles Times
written statement Cruise released on the birth, saying the name "is
a word with origins in both Hebrew
. In Hebrew, it means
'princess' and in Persian, 'red rose,' it was claimed in the
release." Although some Hebrew linguists had never seen the word
for "princess" spelled this way and its meaning, others said it was
, not Hebrew, derivation of
Until September 2006, Suri had not been seen in public, which led
to tabloid stories questioning the existence of the child,
contrasting Holmes and Cruise to other celebrity couples with
newborns such as Angelina Jolie
. Typical was the US Weekly
cover story "BABY MYSTERY: Best
friends' visits denied, baby photos cancelled, a wedding delayed,
and Katie in seclusion."
The first photographs of the child appeared in the October 2006
issue of Vanity
, shot by Annie
. In the accompanying story, Holmes said "we weren't
trying to hide anything" and said she was bothered by the press
coverage. "I do
know what is being said in the press. This
is my future. This is my family and I care so much about them. The
stories are not
okay. It eats away at me because it's just
okay." This issue of Vanity Fair became the
publication's second best selling issue of all time, selling more
than 700,000 copies.
In an April 2006 interview with ABC News
, Cruise said he and Holmes
were "just Scientologists" and that Suri would not be baptized
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