At the age of fourteen, she began classes at a modeling school run by Margaret O'Brien, who took her to the International Modeling and Talent Association Competition held in New York City in 1996. After performing a monologue from To Kill A Mockingbird
, she found herself an agent. An audition tape was sent to the casting director of the 1997 film The Ice Storm
, where she played the role of Libbets Casey.
In January 1997, she went to Los Angeles to try to secure a a spot on a network television show. It was reported that she had once been offered to play the lead role in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
but she had declined. When she was asked to come to LA to audition for a new show, she turned it down due to schedule issues with her school play. The producers allowed her to audition via a videotape, and she won the part of Joey Potter on Dawson's Creek
. The show premiered in January 1998. She soon appeared on the covers of various magazines such as Seventeen and Rolling Stone. The show ran from 1998 to 2003 and Holmes was the only actor to appear in every episode.
Her first leading role in films was in 1998's Disturbing Behavior
, although she was praised for the role, she said the film was "just horrible." In 2000, she played a role of Cate Blanchett in The Gift
. She went on to have a part in Abandon
as a homicidal college student. Her next starring role was in Pieces of April
, a gritty comedy about a family at Thanksgiving. She played the President's daughter in the film First Daughter
, which performed poorly at the box office.
In 2005, Katie played Rachel Dawes, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, in the film Batman Begins
. A videogame based on the film, Batman Begins, was released in June 2005. The game featured voice overs from the cast of the movie, including Katie herself, and followed the film's story very closely.
Her part in the sequel to the film, The Dark Knight,
was filled by Maggie Gyllenhaal because Katie did not want to spend too much time away from her family to shoot the film. She opted to star in the comedy Mad Money
instead. She was to play a part in the film Shame on You,
but the film was delayed due to Hurricane Katrina and she dropped out due to her pregnancy.
Holmes, who had been raised a Roman Catholic, joined the Church of Scientology shortly after her relationship with Tom Cruise began. On April 18, 2006, Holmes gave birth to a baby girl named Suri. Katie married Tom Cruise on November 18, 2006.