About Kate Noelle Holmes
Katie Holmes first achieved fame for her performance as Joey Potter on The WB teen drama Dawson's Creek and later from her personal life after she began a highly publicized relationship with actor Tom Cruise in 2005.
One of five children raised in a tight-knit Roman Catholic household, Holmes was a straight-A student who participated in several extracurricular activities, most notably acting. Participation in a national model and talent convention landed her a trip to Los Angeles when she was 16, and it was there that Holmes auditioned for a role in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm. The film, which was released in 1997, won critical acclaim, and Holmes' role as the object of Tobey Maguire's affections caught the attention of Kevin Williamson. Williamson, known for his screenplays for such movies as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was casting roles for his new TV series, Dawson's Creek. Holmes was asked to audition, and did so via videotape. She won the part of Joey Potter, and the series, which premiered in January of 1998, met with a positive reception from both critics and television viewers. Soon the series' young stars were in hot demand, with Holmes in particular receiving attention for her measured and insightful performance as Joey.
It was not long before Holmes appeared in her second film, 1998's teen conspiracy thriller Disturbing Behavior, which met with lackluster reviews but did fairly well at the box office. Holmes' next venture, Lyman’s 1999 Go, found greater favor with the critics. In her role as the sweet and slightly insecure Claire Montgomery, Holmes won praise even from critics who disliked almost everything else about the film. Coupled with the continuing success of Dawson, the film helped to set the foundations for what is shaping up to be a lengthy and illustrious career.
In 2000, Holmes further built upon this foundation with high-profile turns in Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys and Sam Raimi's The Gift. The former featured her as a college student with a crush on her English professor (Michael Douglas), while the latter, a Southern gothic thriller co-starring Cate Blanchett and Greg Kinnear, saw her subvert her nice-girl image by playing a scheming and promiscuous young socialite -- and in the process flashing the audience with substantially more than her famous grin. Holmes alternated between a Joey Potter-esque innocent and a particularly delusional psychopath in 2002's Abandon, and while the movie itself did not fare well with critics or audiences, Holmes won more praise for her versatility. After the long-anticipated end of Dawson's Creek, Holmes could be seen in the psychological Phone Booth with Colin Farrell, and in 2003's Pieces of April, which found the young actress in the part of a punky family outcast. In 2004, Holmes starred alongside Michael Keaton in director Forest Whitaker's First Daughter.
2005 became by far the most notable year of Holmes' career, both personally and professionally. Her five year relationship with actor Chris Klein came to an end and the actress began dating Tom Cruise. Cruise had recently become publicly outspoken about his beliefs in Scientology, making volatile statements about actress Brooke Shields' use of anti-depressants following a bout with post partum depression and causing a media stir that questioned his mental and emotional stability, as well as possible cult-like themes in Scientology. These ideas were greatly exacerbated by Cruise's seemingly manic enthusiasm for his new love of Holmes, making a now infamous appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in which he bounced up and down on the couch and vigorously shook the talk show host by the arms while proclaiming his happiness.
In addition to this most curious public display, the pair were surrounded by additional rumors when Holmes, who had been a lifelong Catholic, converted to the church of Scientology and took on a Scientologist advisor to stay by her side through many of her daily activities. She was also said to have been "lost" for a two week period in April during which she was unreachable to her parents, friends, and extended family. The couple's rumor-generating behavior was believed by some to be an attempt to garner buzz for the movies the stars were respectively starring in that summer. Whether the talk affected the box-office performance of Holmes' Batman Begins or Cruise's War of the Worlds proved unclear, but Holmes certainly found success as the female lead in the reinvigorated franchise, as the film was a huge critical and commercial smash.
Cruise and Holmes announced their engagement only two days after Batman Begins opened in the US. The 5 karat diamond engagement ring that Cruise reportedly offered her while on vacation in Paris was evidently not the only extra weight she would be carrying: though they wouldn't announce it until October, Holmes became pregnant that summer and gave birth to a baby girl named Suri in April of 2006, just a few weeks before the release of Cruise's Mission: Impossible III. Just as much speculation and curiosity surrounded the event. There were whispers of dangerous or inadvisable methods of childcare and feeding, rumors that the Scientology endorsed method for birthing demands complete silence from everyone--including the mother--and questions about what kind of access to medical care and pain medicine Holmes would have in accordance with the practices of Scientology.
Holmes said little publicly of her new relationship, religion or role as a mother, but Cruise insisted in interviews that the process of the "silent birth" demands others in the room be quiet but not the mother. Even after the child was born, controversy surrounded the name that the couple chose for her, as Cruise's public statement claimed the name Suri was chosen because it means "princess" in Hebrew and "red rose" in Persian, while experts on both languages insisted that this was not accurate. Scholars and speakers of the languages in question said that in Persian (conventionally known as Farsi) the word denotes the color red but has no connection what so ever to roses, while in Hebrew, the closest connection it bears to its claimed origin is that the Jews of Eastern Europe use it as a nickname for the name Sarah, and that in ancient Hebrew Sarah is the feminine form of the word Lord. After the birth, the couple finally set their date wedding, planning to hold the event in early July.
Yet another release date seemed to eerily coincide with media frenzied events in Holmes' personal life as her next film, Thank You For Smoking, saw wide release a few days before the birth of her daughter. Again, the controversy seemed to neither harm nor hurt the film, which performed essentially as expected. The actress did impress critics and audiences, however, with her performance, playing against type as a venomous, femme fatale reporter.