|Famous For: Dawson’s Creek and as Half of Hollywood’s Super-Couple “TomKat”||Currently Known For: The Kennedys: After Camelot, Logan Lucky and All We Had|
Currently Known For The Kennedys: After Camelot, Logan Lucky and All We Had
“I know this sounds dorky, but I’m always having this out-of-body experience with my career. I can’t wait to write it down. I can’t wait to tell my grandchildren. It’s amazing.” Long before she was ever known as half of the Hollywood super couple known as TomKat, Katie Holmes was recognized for her talent as an actress thanks to her award-nominated performance as the charming girl-next-door in the teen television drama, Dawson’s Creek. Making notable appearances on the silver screen in films like Wonder Boys, Abandon, Pieces of April and Batman Begins, Holmes’ celebrity status took a new turn in 2006 when she cozied up to her longtime crush, Tom Cruise. Marrying in 2006 and welcoming a daughter into the world, Holmes stuck by Cruise’s side over the next six years before filing for divorce and setting out on her own in 2012. Over the last five years, she’s focused on raising her daughter while rekindling her fame with projects like The Kennedys, The Kennedys: After Camelot, Woman in Gold, and Logan Lucky. Also making her directorial debut in All We Had in 2016, let’s take a look at the 38-year-old’s life in the spotlight!
The youngest of five children born to a lawyer and a philanthropist, Kate Noelle Holmes was born prematurely on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. Weighing only four pounds at birth, she was accustomed to fighting for her place in the world early on as she set herself apart from her siblings and, instead of following her father’s encouragement to become a doctor, she fell in love with the stage at the all-female Notre Dame Academy. Often outshining her classmates in productions of Hello, Dolly! and Damn Yankees, Holmes was 14 years old when she tried her hand at modeling. Learning the tricks of the trade over the next four years, she earned outstanding scores on her SAT and was accepted at Columbia University but, after a summer session, she realized she wasn’t quite ready for college and signed up for the 1996 International Modeling and Talent Association Competition. With the contest held in New York City, it was a surefire way for Holmes to make it to the Big Apple.
Although she didn’t win the competition, the experience proved valuable for Holmes whose monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird caught the eye of a talent agent who offered Holmes her first contract. The following year, she gave up modeling completely and exchanged the hustle and bustle of New York City for the bright lights of Hollywood where she auditioned for and won the part of Libbets Casey in Ang Lee’s 1997 film, The Ice Storm, starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. Despite her part being incredibly small, Holmes was enamored by the experience and knew her future was on the stage as she returned to Toledo to finish up her senior year in high school where she was the star in the school’s musical production of Damn Yankees.
Holmes planned to return to Hollywood after graduation but Hollywood couldn’t wait for the aspiring actress when Columbia Tri-Star Television executives shared her audition tape with a screenwriter named Kevin Williamson. Knowing Holmes would be the perfect fit for his new show, a teen drama called Dawson’s Creek, he invited Holmes out to Los Angeles for a live reading. The only catch: Holmes had already committed to her school play and refused to let her classmates down. Turning down the offer for a quick trip to Hollywood, Holmes opened Damn Yankees to a sold-out audience at Notre Dame Academy as the network refused to take “no” for an answer and allowed Holmes to audition for the part by videotape.
Auditioning for the part of Joey Potter from the basement of her childhood home with her mother haphazardly holding the camera, Holmes won the part as Williamson later admitted, “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.” Audiences certainly fell under Holmes’ spell as she joined James Van der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Williams and others in Dawson’s Creek from 1997 to 2003. Earning five Teen Choice Award nominations for her performance on the series, she even took her talents back to the silver screen where she gave an award-winning performance in the 1998 thriller, Disturbing Behavior, followed by another award-nominated role in Teaching Mrs. Tingle in 1999, the latter of which also marked her first leading role.
Adding in credits in Wonder Boys, The Gift, Abandon, The Singing Detective, Pieces of April, and First Daughter, Holmes also graced the cover of magazines like Seventeen and Rolling Stone where she was praised as one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars. In 2005, she took that fame to a new level when she accepted the part of Rachel Dawes in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, which earned her a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Shortly after the release of Batman Begins, Holmes found herself back in headlines, only this time it wasn’t for the film. After ending her five-year relationship and engagement to actor Chris Klein in early 2005, Holmes sent the media into a frenzy when she was spotted nuzzling up to her childhood crush, Tom Cruise, just weeks later. The romantic whirlwind that followed left everyone in shock as Hollywood’s newly dubbed power couple “TomKat” was engaged seven weeks later and welcomed their daughter, Suri, into the world on the anniversary of their first date. Seven months later, they exchanged vows at a castle in Italy with many wondering how Holmes’ Roman Catholic faith would mesh with Cruise’s Scientology. Needless to say, it didn’t as Holmes took a few years off to focus on motherhood before filing for divorce after six years of marriage in June 2012.
Granted sole custody of Suri in the divorce, Holmes settled down in New York City where she became even more selective in her projects for the sake of putting her daughter’s needs first. “My child is the most important person to me, and her upbringing is paramount to my work right now,” she said. “It’s very important that I’m present and she has a stable, innocent childhood. I feel so blessed to do what I do, but there’s nothing in the world better than watching your child succeed.”
With Suri now 11 years old, the 38-year-old Holmes has slowly made her way back to film with credits in The Kennedys: After Camelot, Logan Lucky and Dear Dictator. Making her directorial debut in the 2016 film, All We Had, we have no doubt there’s more to come from Hollywood’s favorite girl next door.