From Dawson’s Creek to Ocean’s Eight: Katie Holmes’ Life

Although Katie Holmes is mainly known for her marriage to Tom Cruise, she actually made a name for herself in the industry with appearances in Dawson’s Creek and Ocean’s Eight. Her career has spanned two decades, and it is still going strong, but no one talks about it.

Jamie Foxx, Katie Holmes / Katie Holmes / Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes.
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After catapulting to fame in the ’90s, she captured the public’s attention with roles ranging from the sweet girl next door to America’s First Lady. Between her strange marriage to Tom Cruise and life after the divorce, there is much more to Katie Holmes’ life that most people don’t know.

A Midwestern Girl

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Katie Holmes is one of the most famous women to come out of the small town. After graduating from Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Holmes was accepted to Columbia University, and her father wanted her to become a doctor, but that wasn’t what she wanted to do.

A portrait of Katie Holmes.
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While her father had big dreams for becoming a doctor, Holmes was more interested in modeling and acting. She started modeling classes when she was 14, which led her to the International Modeling and Talent Association Competition in New York City in 1996. She also sang and loved being on stage.

Ivy League Bound

She might not look like a bookworm, but Holmes got a 4.0 GPA in high school and was accepted to Columbia University. However, she didn’t end up attending the school except for taking a single photography class. Maybe she was trying to avoid the student loans, but it took her down a completely different career path.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
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Instead, Holmes was signed to an agent after performing a monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird. Her agent sent an audition tape to a casting director for the 1997 film Ice Storm. This led to Holmes’ on-screen debut alongside Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. If she had gone to Columbia, she never would have had this opportunity.

A Busy Pilot Season

After her movie debut, Holmes headed to L.A. in 1997 for pilot season, when producers cast and shoot new programs in the hopes of securing a spot on a network schedule. Apparently, she was offered the lead role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she turned it down to finish high school.

Katie Holmes and James Van Der Beek attend an event.
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Although she turned down that show, Columbia TriStar Television reached out to Holmes to audition for Dawson’s Creek. They asked her to come to L.A., but she couldn’t audition in person due to scheduling conflicts and had to find another solution. Holmes didn’t want to let her school down.

She Wouldn’t Let Her School Down

The producers of Dawson’s Creek wanted Holmes to come audition for the show, but she said there was a conflict with her schedule. Holmes said, “I was doing my school play, Damn Yankees, and I was playing Lola. I even got to wear a feather boa. I thought, ‘there is no way I’m not playing Lola to go audition for some network.’”

A publicity portrait of Katie Holmes for Dawson’s Creek.
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Holmes told her agent and producers she had other commitments, so they allowed her to send in a videotape for the audition. She read for the part of Joey Potter, and her audition tape became the stuff of legend. No one thought a female lead could audition via Federal Express.

Her Big Break

As soon as the producers saw Holmes’ audition, they knew they had found their Joey Potter. Creator and executive producer Kevin Williamson said Holmes had “a unique combination of talent, beauty, and skill that makes Hollywood come calling.” Everyone saw her star potential.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
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While the show got mixed reviews, Holmes gained national attention and was soon gracing the covers of magazines like Seventeen, TV Guide, and Rolling Stone. Holmes stayed in Wilmington, North Carolina, for ten months out of the year throughout the filming, and she started to land other roles.

Singing the Right Tune

Holmes is not only a talented actress, but she has a great voice too. She debuted her singing skills to the world in an episode of Dawson’s Creek, where Joey competes in a beauty pageant. Holmes sang “On My Own” from Les Misérables, and everyone was blown away.

Katie Holmes sings in a still from the series.
Source: YouTube

Many people today don’t believe she has many talents because she hasn’t shown off her singing skills in over a decade. If you go back and watch Dawson’s Creek, you will be shocked to see that she can carry a tune pretty well.

Meeting Her Dream Man

One thing everyone knows about Katie Holmes is that she was married to Tom Cruise. However, their story took place in the blink of an eye. Holmes said when she was younger, she thought she would marry Tom Cruise. And in April 2005, they finally met.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruis pose for the press.
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At first, many people thought their relationship was a publicity stunt. However, when Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he declared his love for Holmes, punched the floor, jumped on the couch, then brought her out from backstage. It was truly bizarre.

A Whirlwind Romance

Just two months after they met, Holmes converted from Catholicism to the Church of Scientology for Cruise, and a few days later, they announced their engagement. The pair had only known each other for two months, and their relationship was moving quickly.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise attend an event.
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Just shy of eight weeks after having met, Cruise proposed to Holmes in Paris at the Eiffel Tower, at a restaurant on the tower’s second floor. He didn’t get down on one knee, but Cruise presented Holmes with a five-carat yellow diamond. However, they did not set a date right away.

A Baby on the Way

Like every part of their relationship, Cruise and Holmes were moving at a rapid pace. Four months after their engagement, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child. No one expected it to happen so soon, but they were excited to have a child.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise arrive at an event.
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Cruise was so ecstatic that he purchased a sonogram machine for the couple’s home to track their baby’s development. How did Holmes not see the red flags? Maybe she was caught up in the honeymoon stage of their relationship, but her life was about to change forever.

Welcoming Suri

A year after Holmes met Cruise, she gave birth to their daughter Suri at Saint John’s Health Center in California. They were so happy to have their daughter, and Holmes took a few months away from work to spend time with their daughter and plan their upcoming wedding.

The press spots Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise, and Tom Cruise in New York City.
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Even though they were engaged, had a child together, and were about to get married, the public still questioned the couple’s relationship. However, they were too busy focusing on their newborn daughter to care about the public’s opinion.

Wedding Bells Are Ringing

In November 2006, Holmes and Cruise got married in a lavish ceremony at a 15th-century castle in Italy. It was a Scientology ceremony, and Holmes wore a Giorgio Armani gown. She looked like the picture-perfect bride, and every tabloid wanted a picture of the couple on their special day.

Holmes and Cruise in a wedding portrait.
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However, things didn’t go off without a hitch. After Cruise took his place at the Altar, Leah Remini said he was standing there for about 20 minutes. The guests started to wonder if Holmes was coming, and it looked like Cruise was doing his best to stay calm.

They Were Never Alone

Although Holmes claims she wasn’t pressured to convert to Scientology, some weird things were happening in their relationship. Holmes and Cruise never lived alone because the Church of Scientology closely monitored them. Her life was also greatly affected because of the conversion.

Holmes, Suri, and Cruise walk the street in Italy.
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Holmes started to distance herself from her friends, fired her agent, manager, and publicist. She was also assigned a chaperone, who was referred to as her “best friend” in tabloids. Holmes’ chaperone also took over an interview she was giving to divert the conversation away from Cruise’s involvement in Scientology.

She Had to Get Out

Holmes was overly controlled by Cruise and Scientology, and she had enough. After seven years together, she filed for divorce, and he was blindsided. Holmes had to be secretive about her divorce because she wanted to keep herself and her daughter safe from the Scientologists.

Holmes and Suri walk the street in New York City.
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Luckily, her father was a lawyer and helped her figure out her divorce to get full custody of Suri. She also had a solid prenup, which helped her get out of the marriage quickly. However, one of the clauses stated that she had to keep quiet about Scientology after their divorce.

Her Career Suffered

Before her marriage to Cruise, Holmes was on her way to becoming a successful actress. In 2005, she had roles in Batman Begins and Thank You for Smoking, both box office successes. However, Holmes’ career stalled when she tied the knot, and she took a break to focus on Suri.

Holmes talks to the press.
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When Holmes returned to acting, many of her films underperformed. There were many rumors that Cruise had taken control of Holmes’ career during their marriage, and it wouldn’t be so surprising with all the other rules she had to follow.

No Dates for Five Years

In order to get a quick and painless divorce, Holmes agreed to a few things to speed up the process. She had to sign a clause that would prevent her from embarrassing Cruise in various ways. Holmes wasn’t allowed to talk about him or his religion, and she wasn’t allowed to date for five years.

Suri is in the streets of Manhattan, / Holmes is in the streets of Manhattan.
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Cruise didn’t want Holmes to bring any romantic suitors around Suri during the first five years after the divorce, which seems very controlling. If he is allowed to move on, why can’t Holmes? It was like he had a hold on her for an extra five years.

Two-Term First Lady

Throughout her career, Holmes has played many characters, but one role she loved, in particular, was First Lady Jackie Kennedy. The first time she played Jackie-O was in the Canadian-American mini-series called The Kennedys. The series got high ratings, and it was so loved that there was a follow-up series.

Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy.
Source: Copyright: Warner Bros.

The second time Holmes played Jackie Kennedy was in The Kennedys: After Camelot (also called The Kennedys: The Decline and Fall). It was a follow-up to the original series. Holmes starred alongside Matthew Perry in the 2017 show that only had one season.

Batman Begins

Before Maggie Gyllenhaal took over the role of Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, Holmes starred opposite Christian Bale in Batman Begins. She played his love interest and childhood friend. However, that wasn’t the only Batman she got to work with in her career.

Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, and Christian Bale during Batman Begins Premiere.
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Holmes also worked with Michael Keaton, who played Batman in the Tim Burton versions. She worked with him on a movie called The First Daughter in 2004. Holmes starred as the president’s daughter who wants to go to college away from home and soon falls in love with an older student.

Passing on the Bat-Ton

When Maggie Gyllenhaal took the role of Rachel Dawes, she wanted to get Holmes’ blessing because it was a recasting. Gyllenhaal said, “I wanted to be sure, first of all, that I had her blessing. And I was assured that I did. I’m a big fan of hers. I think she was really great.”

Katie Holmes attends Batman Begins Premiere.
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Holmes was flattered that she reached out to her because it was such a gracious thing to do. Holmes was happy to pass on the role because she wanted the movie to succeed. Holmes also said she is happy when everyone can get along.

Why Did Katie Holmes Leave Batman?

While playing Batman’s girlfriend seems like a pretty cool job, Holmes had no regrets about leaving the role behind. No one really knows why she left the part in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but Nolan wanted her to take on Rachel Dawes again.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
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Holmes said, “I really enjoyed working on the first one, and I wish I could have worked with Chris Nolan again. I think Maggie did a wonderful job. But I hope I get to work with Chris again.” Maybe it was for the best.

Becoming a Single Mom

Although she is rich and famous, Holmes had to adjust to life as a single mom quickly. Many of the excessive things she and Suri were used to were taken away. Since Holmes decided to leave the church, Cruise also became estranged from his daughter.

A picture of Holmes at a park in New York City.
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Since Suri was seven, Holmes has been her sole caretaker because Cruise didn’t want to associate with non-church members. Holmes does get child support from Cruise until Suri is 18, but she is the only one taking care of her.

They Were Cut Off From Family

Many rumors circulated after Holmes’ divorce, and one of them was that Holmes and Suri were cut off from family when she was married. Because of their connection to Scientology, they had many restrictions that affected their daily lives until after the divorce.

Holmes and Suri walk the street.
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According to other rumors, Cruise would open Holmes’ mail to control and monitor her actions. He wanted to see who she was talking to and who was trying to contact her. Luckily, Holmes and Suri enjoy an open relationship with their family today.

Returning to Television

After a string of movie flops, Holmes returned to television in 2008 when she appeared in an episode of Eli Stone as a lawyer. She was praised for her dancing and singing in the role, which led Holmes to her Broadway debut.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
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Holmes starred in the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons in October 2008, and the show opened to mixed reviews. One critic called her a “sad casualty” of director Simon McBurney’s approach to the play. Some others had positive feedback, but no one thought she would be a Broadway star.

The Perfect Muse

Many people don’t think of Holmes as a cultural icon, but she has been the subject of a few songs by different bands. A small group from Japan has a song dedicated to her called “Katie.” Bowling for Soup, the other band, who mentioned Holmes in their song “High School Never Ends.”

Katie Holmes poses for the press.
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A British underground group called Firexit has two songs dedicated to Holmes. She is the subject of their songs “K H” and “The Reason I Can’t Have Her.” Maybe John Mayer will get around to releasing a hit song about her.

Holmes Will Be There for You (if Her Schedule Allows It)

While most people would’ve been flattered to have a guest role on Friends due to the show’s success, Holmes couldn’t make it. She was supposed to have a three-episode arc on the show, but they had to cut her part due to scheduling conflicts.

A still from the official music video I’ll Be There For You.
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We may never know if she was supposed to hook up with Chandler, Joey, or Ross. However, based on our knowledge of the Friends characters and Katie Holmes, we bet she would have fallen for Joey and his signature “How you doin’” pick-up line.

Guest Pumpkin

Although Holmes didn’t make it to the set of Friends, she did appear on another popular series. She had a guest role on How I Met Your Mother, where she played Naomi. Her character’s most memorable trait was that she dressed as a sexy pumpkin for Halloween.

Holmes dresses as a pumpkin in a still from the show.
Source: YouTube

Holmes made two appearances on the series, once in Season 7 and Season 9. Her character flirted with Ted at a Halloween party, and then they briefly dated years later. However, she wasn’t the mystery woman whom Ted ended up marrying.

Call My Lawyer

As a celebrity, Holmes has to deal with paparazzi and tabloid stories all the time. While she probably ignores most of the things written about her, there have been times when Holmes has had to defend her reputation from false stories. In one instance, a tabloid called her a drug addict.

Katie Holmes poses for the press.
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Holmes wouldn’t sit back and let a magazine tarnish her reputation, so she sued Star magazine for libel when they published a story about her so-called drug use. Holmes ended up winning the case, which might have been because her father is such a good lawyer.

Missing Scene

Many actors have talked about how uncomfortable or awkward sex scenes are to film. Therefore, when Holmes watched Thank You for Smoking at the Sundance Film Festival, she was shocked to see that her sex scene had been mysteriously cut from the film.

Aaron Eckhar and Jason Reitman attend the film premiere.
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Several people speculated that Cruise had something to do with the scene being taken out of the final version. However, the movie’s director Jason Reitman explained that it was a projection error. The scene was still in the theater release. That seems suspicious.

Young Love

Before Cruise, Holmes dated a few different people. Her first true love was Joshua Jackson, her Dawson’s Creek co-star. In a Rolling Stones interview, Holmes said she fell in love with him, and it was the first time she had those indescribable feelings.

Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson pose in a publicity portrait for the show.
Source: Getty Images

Young love is so adorable, but some good things must come to an end. Although Holmes and Jackson broke up, the two have remained good friends throughout the years. Holmes looks back on their memories fondly because no one can forget their first love.

“Babe of the Year”

There is no denying that Holmes is stunning. She has appeared on a few lists of the hottest and most beautiful people in Hollywood. In 1998, Expressen Fredag, a Swedish magazine, named her “Babe of the Year.” A year later, Teen People chose Holmes as one of the “21 Hottest Stars under 21.”

A portrait of Katie Holmes.
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Holmes has also been on the 102 Sexiest Women in the World list and Maxim’s Hot 100 list. She was also ranked number 72 on FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005.” It must be quite an honor to get on these lists.


Holmes has had many gorgeous outfits throughout her career, but none of them caused as much of a stir as the time she stepped out in a pair of Cruise’s jeans. In 2008, Holmes took her daughter for a day in the park, and she wore a pair of her then-husband’s jeans with a sweater.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
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Maybe it was a slow fashion news day, but some bloggers called her “cuckoo” for wearing a pair of men’s jeans. However, many fashion experts credit Holmes for kickstarting the trend of boyfriend jeans. They are still a hot trend today, so she was way ahead of her time.

A Different Joey Potter

While Holmes’ breakout role was Joey Potter in Dawson’s creek, the part almost went to a different actress. Selma Blair had auditioned for the role, but once the creator and producers saw Holmes’ audition tape, they had to give her the part.

Katie Holmes smiles at the camera.
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Creator of Dawson’s Creek, Kevin Williamson, said, “When that video showed up, it changed my whole life.” It also changed Holmes’ life. Although Blair didn’t get the part, she found fame through other roles and a successful acting career. It would have been much different with Blair as Potter.

Her First Engagement

Before her whirlwind romance and marriage to Tom Cruise, Holmes was engaged to someone else. In 2003, Holmes was dating American Pie star Chris Klein, and they were briefly engaged. They were together for three years, but their work commitments kept their lives separate.

Chris Klein and Katie Holmes attend an event.
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They were like the prom king and queen of Hollywood in the early 2000s, and they met through mutual friends. Sadly, they ended their relationship in 2005, shortly before Holmes started dating Cruise. Klein said he ended the relationship on good terms, and they remained friendly.

Foxxy Lady

While rumors of Holmes’ relationship with Jamie Foxx started to swirl in August 2013, they didn’t confirm their relationship until 2019. In 2013, she and Foxx were first spotted together in the Hamptons but publicly denied being a couple.

Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx attend an event.
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Holmes and Foxx weren’t photographed again until 2015 when they were shown holding hands. The two went to extreme lengths to hide their relationship. Holmes would wear wigs and hats to meet Foxx at a hotel, but all signs pointed to them being in a relationship.

Spending Lots of Time Together

Although both Holmes and Fox had busy schedules, they found time to celebrate birthdays, visit each other on set, and take trips together. However, they never wanted to confirm that they were dating despite spending a few years with each other for milestone moments in their lives.

Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes pose for the press.
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In 2018, the pair sat next to each other at a Pre-Grammy party, and they made their best effort to pretend they were just friends. A few weeks after that event, Foxx dramatically walked out of an interview when asked how he and Holmes would spend Valentine’s Day.

Public Debut Led to the End

After almost four years of hiding and denying their relationship, Holmes and Foxx made their public debut at the 2019 Met Gala. They didn’t walk the red carpet together, but they were photographed inside. They were in full couple mode with coordinating outfits.

A picture of Katie Holmes.
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Sadly, a few months later, Holmes and Foxx reportedly broke up. Their split didn’t make headlines until August 2019, when Foxx was spotted with another woman. The most interesting thing about their long relationship is that they never confirmed their romance or split.

Ex Connections

Interestingly, Holmes likely met Foxx through her ex-husband. Cruise and Foxx worked together on the movie Collateral and struck up a friendship. When she was married to Cruise, Holmes met Foxx at a football game in 2006, and they chatted on the field.

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and Jamie Foxx greet each other during a game.
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Although this is not confirmed, the couple might have had to hide their relationship because of her divorce agreement with Cruise and his friendship with Foxx. Cruise seems like the type of person to do something erratic if he found out they were together.

Grocery Shopping Becomes a PR Stunt

Sometimes it’s a slow news day, and the tabloids have to find things to talk about. Unfortunately for celebrities like Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri, their everyday errands become newsworthy stories. When they were spotted heading to Whole Foods, it became a headline story.

Holmes and Suri visit Whole Foods.
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The tabloids photographed Holmes and Suri going grocery shopping, and the next day there was speculation that they have a secret entrance to a Whole Foods in New York. People thought they did this to avoid the press, but the tabloids were grasping at thin air. Let them shop in peace.

She Encouraged Suri to Read an Edgy Book

Although online reviews of The Handmaid’s Tale suggest a minimum age of 16 for readers, Holmes encourages her daughter to read edgy yet relevant literature. While she might have been sheltered around her father, Holmes pushes Suri to try new things.

Holmes and Suri enjoy a night at American Ballet Theater.
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It’s nice to see that there are no “banned books” in the Holmes household. Suri was photographed with the book on the way to visit a friend with Holmes, and it caused some controversy, but she doesn’t want to stop her daughter from learning about new subjects.

Holmes Puts Parenting First

Even with her busy schedule, Holmes understands that her daughter is growing up fast, and she has to cherish every moment. She is highly involved in Suri’s childhood and is always seen out and about with her. The two are especially close because Cruise is not involved in his daughter’s life.

Holmes and Suri perform on stage together.
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In an interview, Holmes said, “Every day, kids get a little further away from you. That’s a positive thing. They should be becoming more independent, but it’s heartbreaking. You want them to stay with you forever.” She is very passionate about being a mom.

Who Is Katie Holmes Dating?

In September 2020, the notoriously private star surprised fans when she was spotted passionately kissing Emilio Vitolo Jr. The two first met at his family’s restaurant, and their relationship blossomed from there. He had just gotten out of a serious relationship, so it took some time for them to date.

Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Jr. are standing outside Vitolo’s family restaurant.
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Holmes and Vitolo Jr. were spotted all around New York City, holding hands, shopping, and enjoying the early stages of their relationship. In December 2020, the couple became “Instagram official,” but it wasn’t long before the honeymoon stage ended and reality set in.

The Relationship Fizzles

In March 2021, Holmes and Vitolo Jr. were last photographed together shopping in New York. They stayed quiet for a few months until they officially split in May 2021. Their eight-month romance ended, but they said they were still friends.

A picture of Katie Holmes at a restaurant.
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It seemed like they were both rebounding from serious relationships, so their romance quickly fizzled out after starting hot and heavy. Luckily, they ended things amicably and realized it just wasn’t meant to be. They were adorable together, but some things just don’t work out.

How Old Is Katie Holmes?

Holmes is 42 years old. The Dawson’s Creek star looks as young as ever, and it’s hard to believe she has a 15-year-old daughter. She recently starred in Brahms: The Boy II, which grossed $20 million worldwide. It seems she is hitting her acting stride in her 40s.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

In 2020, Holmes was also the main character in The Secret: Dare to Dream, released to video on demand due to the pandemic. In its first weekend, it was the top-rented film on FandangoNow and Apple TV. Holmes also has some more projects in the works.

Making a Pretty Penny

Throughout her career, Holmes has starred in some of the biggest blockbuster films. Some of her highest-grossing films include Batman Begins, Jack and Jill (even though it was the worst movie ever made), Phone Booth, and The Giver. In total, these films alone have grossed $673 million.

Katie Holmes arrives at an event.
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Holmes has always been dedicated to her craft, and if she had passed up the opportunity to do Dawson’s Creek, she might not have been the famous actress we know today. Who knows, she might have ended up becoming a doctor like her father wanted.

She Wants to Be Known as an Actress, Not Cruise’s Ex

Unfortunately, most people know Holmes because of her previous relationship with Cruise, but she wants to be known for her work instead. She has worked so hard to perfect her craft and make herself known in the industry, and Holmes is frustrated that she is still associated with Cruise.

Katie Holmes attends an event.
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

It’s safe to say that Holmes’ marriage to Cruise overshadowed all the work she did as an actress, but she is still determined to change that. She once said, “I don’t want a moment in my life to define me, to be who I am. I want that to be what I’m known as. I was an actor before, an actor during, and an actor now.”