Katie Holmes’ Breakout Role on ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Almost Didn’t Happen

katie holmes and james van der beek in character for dawsons creek stand together and smile for a photo on a pier, she wears a red t shirt, he wears a brown t shirt and a necklace
Katie HolmesGetty Images
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Who Is Katie Holmes?

Actor Katie Holmes is best known for her roles in the hit TV show Dawson’s Creek and Batman Begins. On Dawson’s Creek, which ran from 1998 to 2003, Holmes starred as fan favorite girl-next-door Joey Potter. Next, the Ohio native turned to movies, appearing in Batman Begins—the first of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy—among others. Off-screen, Holmes made headlines for her marriage and subsequent divorce from fellow actor Tom Cruise. Most recently, she has added executive producer and director to her resume with projects like her 2022 movie, Alone Together.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Kate Noelle Holmes
BORN: December 18, 1978
BIRTHPLACE: Toledo, Ohio
SPOUSE: Tom Cruise (2006-2012)

Early Life

Kate Noelle Holmes was born December 18, 1978, in Toledo, Ohio. She is the youngest of five siblings born to Kathleen Stothers-Holmes, a homemaker and philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes Sr., an attorney. Katie has three sisters and a brother.

Holmes attended Toledo’s Notre Dame Academy, a private, all-girls Catholic school, where she was a straight-A student. She was accepted at Columbia University in New York but opted to kick-start her acting career, instead. She began acting in 1997, when she was 19, and has since appeared in several movies, TV shows, and plays.

Dawson’s Creek and Other TV Roles

michelle williams, james van der beek, katie holmes, and joshua jackson stand next to each other for a photo with a body of water and a sunset behind them
Michelle Williams, James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, and Joshua Jackson starred in Dawson’s Creek, beginning in 1998.Getty Images

Although Holmes had earlier film roles, her breakout role was as Joey Potter on Dawson’s Creek. Across six seasons, the teenager grows up in the fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts, and dates different love interests. Fans were ultimately torn between which one Joey should have ended up with: Dawson, played by James Van Der Beek, or Pacey, played by Joshua Jackson. Holmes’ performance as Joey earned her several Teen Choice Award nominations across the span of the show, which ran from 1998 to 2003.

Dawson’s Creek was mostly filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina, and Holmes previously noted that she found it difficult to leave the town and her role once the show wrapped saying, “so much of me is in Joey, and it really felt like I grew up on television.” Holmes has also credited her age at the time of filming Dawson’s Creek for helping her easily connect with her on-screen persona. “I was still a teenager, and it was nice to read a script that felt like it expressed things that I was still trying to understand for myself,” Holmes later shared with Entertainment Weekly.

But Holmes’ breakout role almost didn’t happen. Originally, showrunner Kevin Williamson wanted Selma Blair to play Joey Potter. Luckily for Holmes, her audition tape performance was so good that it convinced Williamson she was the perfect fit for the lead role. Dawson’s Creek was one of The WB’s most popular shows, premiering to 6.8 million viewers, which Vox reports was the highest rating for the network. In fact, the show was so popular that Holmes even had a cameo in the 1999 comedy Muppets From Space as her Dawson’s Creek character.

katie holmes and matthew perry pose for a photo each with one arm around the other while standing in front of a white background, she wears a rose sleeveless dress and holds a gold clutch, he wears a blue suit, red tie and white collared shirt with black rimmed glasses
Katie Holmes and Matthew Perry attend the premiere of the miniseries The Kennedys After Camelot in March 2017.Getty Images

More recently, Holmes had brief appearances on several shows including Eli Stone, How I Met Your Mother, Robot Chicken, and Ray Donovan, on which she played sports agent Paige Finney. In 2011, Holmes landed another lead role in the History miniseries The Kennedys, portraying Jacqueline Kennedy across all eight episodes. She returned as the former first lady in The Kennedys After Camelot in 2017, alongside Matthew Perry’s Ted Kennedy. Holmes served as an executive producer on the miniseries and also directed an episode.

Movies: Batman Begins and More

Not one to be pigeon-holed into any specific role, Holmes’ movie credits includes dramas, comedies, thrillers, and horror movies. And although Holmes loves acting and has been working at it for most of her life, she still finds new projects “terrifying.” Holmes told Variety this is due to embarking on “a whole new beginning of the creative process.”

gary oldman, michael caine, christian bale, katie holmes, morgan freeman and liam neeson stand together and smile for a photo in formal attire
Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson co-starred in Batman Begins together.Getty Images

Some of her most well known roles are in the movies Batman Begins (2005), Jack and Jill (2011), and The Giver (2014). Her most recent roles include starring in movies she has also directed. When it comes to directing, Holmes doesn’t have any regrets about not starting earlier in her career. “I feel like I came to it when it was right for me, and I’m excited to continue on the path,” she told IndieWire in April 2023.

Holmes’ movies include:

The Ice Storm and Other Early Films

Holmes made her movie debut in The Ice Storm (1997), a drama about two wealthy families bored with their lives who seek an escape from their ennui in the form of substance abuse and secret affairs. Holmes played Libbets Casey, a boarding school student, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire, and Sigourney Weaver.

From 1998 to 2000, Holmes appeared in Disturbing Behavior, Go, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Wonder Boys, and The Gift.

First Daughter

In 2004, Holmes starred in First Daughter as Samantha Mackenzie. The romcom featured Holmes as a college freshman who wants nothing more than to blend in with her fellow students, a task made difficult by the swarm of Secret Service agents guarding her every move.

Batman Begins and Mad Money

One of Holmes’ most famous movies is 2005’s Batman Begins, in which she played Rachel Dawes, the childhood sweetheart of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale). Holmes also has some voice acting under her belt as she lent her voice to Rachel’s character in the Batman Begins video game that came out the same year as the film.

In the 2008 sequel The Dark Knight, Holmes was set to reprise her role as Rachel but opted out in order to work on crime comedy Mad Money, which was also released that year. Instead, Maggie Gyllenhaal took over as Rachel alongside a star-studded cast that saw Christian Bale return as Batman and that also included the late Heath Ledger (in one of his final roles), Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Holmes starred in the 2010 remake of the horror-fantasy flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark as Kim Raphael, who is restoring an old estate with her boyfriend and his daughter. Unbeknownst to Kim and company, the property is haunted by malevolent creatures who are out for blood—and teeth.

Jack and Jill

Next, Holmes appeared in Adam Sandler’s 2011 movie Jack and Jill as Erin, Jack’s wife. The film was panned by critics and reviewers alike, though globally it grossed nearly $150 million against its $79 million budget.

The Giver

In 2014, Holmes starred in The Giver, a dystopian movie based on Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel of the same name. In the movie, Holmes plays a judge and the mother of main character, Jonas. Where Jonas seeks to bring change to the staunch society he has grown up in, Holmes’ character is the opposite, favoring suppressive law and order. The movie also features Hollywood heavyweights Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, and Alexander Skarsgård.

All We Had

Set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, All We Had (2016) marked Holmes’ directorial debut. The movie, which also stars Holmes as protagonist Rita Carmichael, depicts the struggles Rita and her teenage daughter face as they try maneuvering their way out of poverty, homelessness, and Rita’s alcoholism. The film is based off of a 2014 novel of the same name by Annie Weatherwax. Holmes dedicated the film to her daughter, Suri.

Alone Together

Written, directed by, and starring Holmes, Alone Together is a pandemic-era romantic drama. The 2022 movie features Holmes as June, one of two people who get double-booked in an Airbnb at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hijinks ensue and soon, June and Charlie, played by Jim Sturgess, develop feelings for each other. Complicating their budding relationship is the fact that June is already in a relationship with someone else.

Theater Performances

In addition to her TV and movie roles, Holmes has also shown off her acting chops on and off Broadway. In 2008, she appeared in the stage adaptation of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, followed by another Broadway play called Dead Accounts in 2012. From January through April 2023, Holmes appeared in an off-Broadway play called The Wanderers.

Relationships: Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx

katie holmes and tom cruise smile for a wedding portrait while standing cheek to cheek, she wears a white off the shoulder gown with a veil, he wears a black suit
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise wed on November 18, 2006, and were married for nearly six years.Getty Images

On November 18, 2006, Holmes married actor Tom Cruise in a Scientologist ceremony in Bracciano, Italy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the whirlwind romance between the two actors began shortly after Holmes met Cruise in April 2005 under the guise of discussing a role in Mission: Impossible 3. By the end of the month, the two had made their public debut as a couple, and in mid-May 2005, Cruise unforgettably jumped up and down on a couch during an interview with Oprah as he discussed his relationship with Holmes. The next month, Holmes and Cruise were engaged.

After nearly six years of marriage, Holmes filed for divorce in June 2012. The highly publicized split made national headlines, with some outlets reporting that Holmes had blindsided Cruise. There was also a lot of speculation surrounding the reason for the divorce, with many believing that Cruise’s extreme devotion to Scientology—and his desire for their daughter to grow up in the Scientology church—drove a wedge between the couple. Still, both parties have remained tight-lipped about the reason for their separation.

jamie foxx and katie holmes stand and pose for a photo, he wears a black suit with a tie and a sparkly panther pin, she wears a purple gown and makeup
Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes attend the 2019 Met Gala together.Getty Images

For several years after her divorce, Holmes dated actor Jamie Foxx. Speculation about their romantic involvement arose in August 2013 when the two were spotted dancing at a party in the Hamptons. They ended their very private relationship in May 2019.


katie holmes and daughter suri cruise walk on a sidewalk, both wear t shirts and holmes has on sunglasses
Katie Holmes and her daughter, Suri, in July 2019Getty Images

In April 2006, Holmes gave birth to her and Cruise’s first and only child, a daughter named Suri. While together, the couple was notoriously private about her. When the couple separated in 2012, Holmes was granted sole custody of Suri with Cruise being allowed visitation rights. As of a July 2023 report, Cruise remains estranged from 17-year-old Suri, who continues to live with Holmes full-time.

Suri has also dabbled in the film industry, specifically in her mom’s movies, as a singer. She sang a cover of “Blue Moon” during the intro credits of Holmes’ film, Alone Together.

Net Worth

Holmes’ acting, writing, and producing roles have earned her an estimated $25 million. Holmes reportedly earned $1 million for her 2005 role in Batman Begins and previously earned more than $13 million for her starring role in Dawson’s Creek for the duration of the show.


  • I was happy to become a mom in my 20s. It’s been nice that our ages fit. How do I put this? Every age that my child has been and my age at that time has been a good match. We kind of grew up together.

  • I was just 18 when we started [Dawson’s Creek], and I really appreciated the writing because I felt like, as a teenager, I had so many different feelings, trying to go from being a girl to a woman.

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