Born Kate Noelle Holmes on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, OH, Katie Holmes shot to fame as angst-ridden tomboy Joey Potter on the WB network's Dawson's Creek. Holmes grew up as part of a close-knit family in Toledo and first acted in high-school productions. 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 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 more films, like 1998's teen thriller Disturbing Behavior, and 1999's Go. In 2000, Holmes made high-profile turns in Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys and Sam Raimi's The Gift. The actress would play both teen and adult roles during this period, with films like Abandon, Phone Booth, and First Daughter. In the midst of a headline-grabbing relationship with Tom Cruise, Holmes found further success as Rachel Dawes in the reinvigorated Batman franchise, as Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins was a huge critical and commercial smash. Holmes gave birth to a baby girl named Suri in April of 2006, and continued her career in films like Thank You For Smoking, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, and Jack and Jill.