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Katie Holmes Biography

Home > Actresses > H > Holmes, Katie > Biography

Birth Name: Katie Holmes
Born: 12/18/1978
Birth Place: Toledo, Ohio, USA

Katie Holmes was born two month premature on Dec. 18, 1978 and spent her early weeks in the hospital's intensive care unit. She was raised in a suburb of Toledo, OH as the youngest of five children to lawyer, Martin, and homemaker, Kathy, who recalled in interviews that Holmes was an unusually headstrong and determined toddler. Growing up Catholic, Holmes attended parochial schools, where she was an excellent student, cheerleader, and drama student. Naturally athletic, she played sports with her family and earned extra money mowing lawns in the neighborhood. When the accomplished and very tall teen was just 14, she began taking classes at a local modeling school, eventually receiving an invite to attend a talent and modeling convention in New York City, where she was promptly signed by a talent agent. Not long afterwards, Holmes was flown to Los Angeles to read for a part in Ang Lee's 1970s dysfunctional family portrait "The Ice Storm" (1997). Surprisingly, the very green actress landed her first supporting screen role as the girl-next-door love interest of Tobey Maguire. Holmes made the most of her debut, proving a compelling and natural screen performer.

Encouraged by her out-of-the-gate success, Holmes and her mother took some time out from her senior year of high school to travel to L.A. for pilot season, joining the ranks of ambitious actors who set up camp at local hotels for several months during the busiest television casting period of the year. Nothing panned out during her stay, but once home, she received word that film director Kevin Williamson was casting for a new nighttime teen drama called "Dawson's Creek" on the fledgling WB network. Holmes sent in a homemade audition video and was met with an offer to read for the show's creator, but the young actress' homespun values almost caused her to miss her big break. The audition was scheduled for the same day she was to debut as Lola in her high school production of "Damn Yankees" and Holmes politely declined, citing her commitment to fellow cast mates. Casting agents wisely rescheduled and Holmes won the role on the ensemble drama about a group of teens in a small New England town, playing another girl-next-door, Joey Potter, love interest of the sensitive, movie-obsessed title character (James Van Der Beek).

As Potter, Holmes played the injured innocent - sweet, but with an edge, her trademark sideways smile befitting the weary but bravely optimistic child of an imprisoned father and dead mother, with an overworked sister for a guardian. Her naturalistic acting style, along with her fresh-faced brunette beauty made her a new favorite among young audiences who were tired of the overly processed "90210" teen role models. In real life, this role model had been accepted to Columbia University, but deferred for several semesters before dropping the idea of college altogether. "Dawson's Creek" was continually renewed by the network and the ambitious Holmes spent her annual hiatus exploring new types of roles on the big screen. Her appealing performance in the disappointing thriller "Disturbing Behavior" (1998) could not elevate the film above its uninspired predictability, and while Williamson's "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (1999) showcased Holmes' glowing presence, it was apparent that it was high time the 20-year-old moved past the teen scream genre. Moving in that direction, Holmes portrayed a supermarket checkout girl caught up in a drug-related hostage situation in Doug Liman's well-reviewed comic actioner, "Go" (1999). But in an acclaimed adaptation of Michael Chabon's academia-set drama "Wonder Boys" (2000), Holmes shone in her few moments onscreen, as a flirtatious student of a middle-aged writing professor (Michael Douglas).

Keeping up an effort to play against her established "Dawson's Creek" persona, she appeared in Sam Raimi's thriller "The Gift" (2000), as a bitchy, man-eating Southern beauty who is brutally murdered, essaying a grown-up nude scene designed more to put the character of sweet-faced Joey behind her than to titillate. She landed her first leading feature role with the dark psychological drama, "Abandon" (2002), but Holmes' performance was overshadowed by the more intriguing and believable supporting performance by Zooey Deschanel. The following year, she made a solid appearance in Joel Schumacher's well-received thriller "The Phone Booth," playing the spunky actress girlfriend of philanderer Colin Farrell. Further laying the groundwork for a post-"Dawson" career as the series entered its last season, Holmes gave her strongest and most surprising performance yet in "Pieces of April" (2003), as a headstrong young woman trying to reconcile with her dying mother.

Off-screen, the admired actress was also tackling a new adult life, that year announcing her engagement to "American Pie" (1999) star Chris Klein, an actor who also shared her down-to-earth, Midwestern sensibilities. The couple was never a red carpet fixture, instead preferring to stay in and watch movies and cook dinner. Holmes followed up with the critically skewered romantic comedy "First Daughter" (2004), playing an independent-minded Presidential offspring who falls for the Secret Service agent assigned to protect her while she attends college. Holmes had her introductory shot at an action blockbuster when she was cast opposite Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and love interest in "Batman Begins" (2005). Dismally miscast, Holmes received a Razzie Award for her portrayal of Rachel Dawes, an incorruptible Gotham City district attorney. She fared better with her role as a reporter of questionable integrity in the indie corporate satire "Thank You For Smoking" (2005).

But casting a much bigger shadow that year than either of her screen appearances was the announcement that she and A-list superstar Tom Cruise were suddenly dating, mere months after Holmes and Klein had called off their engagement. Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey's couch, declaring his love for the star became a watercooler moment that no doubt embarrassed the actress. The unlikely duo - 16 years apart in age and physically awkward together in public - were devoured by the gossip blogs, who speculated that the relationship was a publicity stunt timed to coincide with blockbuster movie releases from each star. But to the surprise of many and despite the newness of the relationship, Holmes dove right in, adopting Cruise's management team and taking courses in his controversial religion, Scientology seemingly immediately. After three months, the pair was engaged. In October, Holmes announced that she was pregnant and dropping out of her co-starring role in the drama, "Shame on You" (2008). The paparazzi kept a close eye on her ever-bulging belly and her rote declarations of love until Holmes gave birth to daughter, Suri, in April, 2006. Because the couple had been so forthcoming with all other details of their life together, the press and public were surprised when no photos of their baby daughter were released. Finally, Cruise, Holmes and their four-month-old daughter posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz for a 22-page spread in Vanity Fair, receiving much publicity for that first peek in September 2006. Two months later, the couple was wed in an elaborate, star-studded ceremony in Italy.

More a tabloid curiosity than an actress for the past two years, Holmes returned to the big screen in early 2008. Unfortunately, it was in the misguided "girl power" heist caper, "Mad Money," starring alongside heavy-hitters Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah, with Holmes being singled out as the weakest link in an overall misguided film. Following another two-year break, the actress returned to screens with appearances in a pair of modest productions. First came the quirky comedy-drama "The Extra Man" (2010), based on the book by Jonathan Ames, in which Holmes played the neighbor of a troubled young man (Paul Dano) who develops a student-mentor relationship with an older tenant (Kevin Kline). Holmes later earned her first producer's credit with "The Romantics" (2010), a drama centering on a group of college chums reunited years later for a friend's wedding. In a role originally slotted for actress Liv Tyler, Holmes played the maid of honor whose past involvement with the groom (Josh Duhamel) rekindles old feelings and bitter jealousies with the bride-to-be (Anna Paquin).

Holmes doubled her output the following year, with a string of high-profile projects on television and in theaters. Subject to early criticism over historical inaccuracies and met with mixed reviews, the cable-miniseries "The Kennedys" (ReelzChannel, 2011) starred a convincing Greg Kinnear as JFK and Barry Pepper as brother Bobby, accompanied by Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy. In theaters, she was seen as a young wife whose stepdaughter (Bailee Madison) is plagued by basement-dwelling demons in the Guillermo del Toro-produced gothic thriller "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" (2011). For better or worse, Holmes would likely be far more remembered that year for her turn as Adam Sandler's wife in the slap-stick comedy "Jack and Jill" (2011), in which Sandler played a successful ad-exec suffering through the yearly visit of his obnoxious twin sister (Sandler, again, in drag). Despite being nearly universally panned in reviews, the film was yet another substantial hit for Sandler and his team. She closed out the year with the barely-seen crime-drama "The Son of No One" (2011), playing the wife of a cop (Channing Tatum) whose troubled past threatens to destroy their young family. Following a period of relative quiet, where her husband began making his own box office comeback, both Holmes and Cruise shocked the world with news that they were filing for divorce after five years of marriage. Announced in June 2012, word rapidly spread across the Internet, though both maintained a position of privacy in an effort to protect their daughter.