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Battleground: Love – The Bizarre Marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

In 1983, America fell in love with a youthful and energetic young man who claimed the hearts of girls around the world by sliding into his living room in his underwear and singing along to the Bob Seger anthem, “Old Time Rock and Roll.”  From that time from long ago to now, this young man has aged into one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and one of the most recognizable faces all over the world.  People throughout the world have cheered him on as they watched his exploits.  Whether it was rising through the American fighter pilot ranks, combating evildoers as a secret agent, interrogating Jack Nicholson, or feeling his way through the shadowy nether regions of underground sex clubs, Tom Cruise has carved out a powerful niche in American cinema.

Up to a couple of years ago, Tom Cruise could do no wrong.  He was one of the first stars to earn a $20 million paycheck for his movie roles, which he did on Jerry McGuire, Eyes Wide Shut, and Vanilla Sky.  He eventually went on to earn $25 million for his starring roles in Minority Report and The Last Samurai.  However, Cruise has had an even bigger industry on the movie industry through his canny business acumen.  His partnership with producer Paula Wagner has led to the lucrative Cruise/Wagner Productions that has produced such major international hits as the Mission Impossible series and a number of critically acclaimed movies like The Others, Narc, Elizabethtown and Shattered Glass.

However his golden touch has taken a hit recently due to his strange public behavior, which reached its apex on his bewildering appearance on The Opera Winfrey Show on May 23, 2005.  Additionally, his public reputation has taken a hit due to widespread public skepticism about his relationship with starlet Katie Holmes and this is where the story of these mismatched lovers really takes off.

If Tom Cruise can be considered as the American golden boy who could do no wrong, Katie Holmes is the all-American girl that boys can’t help to fantasize about and other girls are not threatened by.  Born on December 18, 1978, Katie Holmes first received public attention due to her starring role in the hit teen drama, Dawsons Creek.  One of the most popular shows of the 1990s, Dawsons Creek fulfilled all the obligations you need for a hit teen melodramatic series.  With its attractive cast, its modern approach to teen dilemmas, and its commitment to creating characters that people can empathize with, Katie Holmes soon rocketed to a level of stardom reserved for television stars.  However, by the time that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were married, Holmes’ career had stalled.  Compounding this complex situation was the fact that tom cruise gay rumors had persisted for decades.  This unique celebrity marriage has become one of the most scrutinized relationships in Hollywood.  However, before we can fully examine this couple, we have to look at the lives they lived before they married.

The Tom Cruise Biography starts in the New York city of Syracuse.  Born on July 3, 1962, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV has had to overcome a series of obstacles at a very early age.  The son of Thomas Mapother III and Mary Lee Pfeiffer, Tom Cruise is a mixture of German, Irish and Welsh ancestry.  Overcoming a rough childhood in which he suffered child abuse from his father, grew up living in near-poverty, went through fifteen schools in twelve years, endured beatings from fellow students, and struggled with dyslexia, it wouldn’t be a false statement to say that Tom Cruise’s future success is a testament to the American spirit.  However, it would be a somewhat ridiculous statement to make.

With early aspirations of ironically becoming a Catholic priest, Cruise caught the acting bud in a very strange place – the wrestling circle.  Well, not really.  An avid wrestler during high school, Cruise suffered a knee injury.  Wanting to do something with his free time, Cruise auditioned for the high school production of Guys and Dolls, where he successfully obtained the lead role.  Impressing the high school audience and the other actors, Tom Cruise had found his calling his life: acting!

After graduating in the 1980 class at Glenn Ridge High School in New Jersey, Cruise showed early the determination and commitment to fulfilling a goal that would be a trademark of his career by pursuing an acting career.  His first acting appearance came a year later in 1981 when he appeared in a bit part in the Brooke Shields film, Endless Love.  Increasing his visibility, Tom Cruise appeared in smaller roles in legendary Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, co-starred with Cheers’ Shelly Long in Losin’ It, and in the military drama Taps.

However, Tom Cruise would quickly elevate himself from bit player to megastar in his first starring role in the huge hit, Risky Business.  Playing the irascible Joel Goodson who after destroying his father’s car decides to run a brothel in his parent’s home as a way to cover the expense, Cruise was simply irresistible.  Displaying his trademark charm and his boyish good looks, Risky Business was the movie that would catapult Tom Cruise into stardom.  He would solidify his newly minted status as box office superstar with his role as the cocky fighter pilot LT Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the mega hit, Top Gun.  Arguably the most defining movie of the 1980s, Tom Cruise would end the 1980s as arguably the biggest star in Hollywood.

In addition to his matinee idol good looks, Tom Cruise has earned the respect of Hollywood insiders for his dedicated work and his fearless choices in movie roles.  Nominated for an Academy Award three times for his portrayals as an embittered war veteran (Born on the Fourth of July), a cocky sports agent who is slowly realizing his true potential (Jerry Maguire), and a sleazy self-help guru who advices men on how to get women to have sex with them (Magnolia), Cruise has been rightly applauded for his excellent career choices and balancing big budget movies with smaller, artier films.  Tom Cruise Movies are generally considered to be a guaranteed smashing success.

However to talk about Tom Cruise, one has to look behind his professional life and examine his turbulent personal life.  Although Cruise had been married twice before to exceptionally gorgeous actresses (Mimi Rogers [1987-1990] and Nicole Kidman [1990-2001]), he has had trouble battling rumors of his being gay, which has led to several lawsuits against such publications as The Daily Express Newspaper in England and against the gay porn actor Chad Slater, who claimed that he and Cruise had an affair.  Prior to the child that he had with Katie Holmes, Cruise adopted two children with Kidman: Isabella and Connor.

In addition to the rampant speculation of his sexual orientation, Cruise has been tabloid fodder due to his close association with Scientology.  Although there are many celebrities who are affiliated with this fledgling religion, Tom Cruise is the celebrity that is most connected to L Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology.  He is a vocal proponent of their beliefs and famously criticized the actress Brooke Shields in 2005 for her use of the anti-depressant Paxil as a way of dealing with postpartum depression.  Considering the secret nature of the Church of Scientology and how controversial Scientology is, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that many of the criticisms of this religion unfairly affects Cruise’s public reputation.  However, when Tom Cruise makes statements like describing psychiatry as a Nazi science while championing Scientology beliefs, it’s a bit hard to feel sorry for him.

Bizarre religious beliefs, gay rumors, very little has come up that has managed to slow the speeding train that is Tom Cruise’s rise to the top.  Somehow managing to stay on top of the cut throat world of Hollywood stardom, Tom Cruise has been one of the most acclaimed and recognized celebrities today.  Rated among the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1990, 1991, and 1997, Tom Cruise has also been recognized as the most powerful actor in Hollywood by Premiere magazine in 1996.

While Empire Magazine was lauding Tom Cruise as one of the top five movie stars of all time in 1997, Katie Holmes was first making his first tentative impact on Hollywood.  She received her first movie role in a small supporting part in Ang Lee’s critically acclaimed movie, The Ice Storm.  The next year, Katie Holmes would enter the hearts (and minds) of American teenagers in her starring role in the hit TV drama, Dawsons Creek.  However, before we start talking about how Katie Holmes would invade Hollywood, we should look back at the personal life of this alluring starlet.

Born on December 18, 1978 as the youngest of five children, Kate Noelle Holmes or Katie Holmes lived a charmed life in the charming Corey Woods section of Sylvania Township in Lucas County in Ohio.  The daughter of Kathleen A. and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., Katie had what you could call a typical American upbringing.  A devout Roman Catholic, Katie Holmes would excel at the all-female Notre Dame Academy and would score 1310 on her SAT.  In addition to her sterling academic performance, Holmes appeared in high school productions such as Hello, Dolly! and Damn Yankees.  Blessed with a wholesome beauty, she began to take modeling courses in Toledo at the age of 14.  While she had been accepted to Columbia University and her father was pushing her into a career as a doctor, Holmes decided to follow her passion and pursue her dream of being an actress.  America wouldn’t be the same after that, although how much of this can be attributed to Katie Holmes’ career has yet to be determined.

Despite the acclaim that came with her early film appearance in The Ice Storm and after reportedly turning down the lead role in what would become the wildly popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, Katie Holmes first gained attention for her role as the tomboy Joey Potter in Dawson’s Creek.  The teenage television drama would prove to be a huge success and would run from 1998 to 2003.  As her career took off in the stratosphere of television star celebrity, Katie Holmes made her presence felt everywhere.  Her face adorned magazine covers, she ventured off into doing promising film roles, teenage boys (and girls) fantasized about katie holmes nude, and she hosted Saturday Night Live.  She even appeared to have found love, as she surfaced in a relationship with American Pie star and fellow teen idol, Chris Klein. 

Engaged to Klein in late 2003 after a near three year relationship, Katie Holmes was living the dream of an American sweetheart.  She fulfilled the dreams of teenage boys and dirty old men everywhere when she appeared topless in the arty 2000 film, The Gift.  Searches for Katie Holmes Nude are one of the most popular Internet search items in the world.  She had also appeared in a string of critically acclaimed films like Go, Wonder Boys, and The Singing Detective while also exploring her star power by being the feature actor in flicks like Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Pieces of April, and First Daughter.  However, even Holmes would describe her film career as being a series of bombs.

Slowly receding in the public life, Katie Holmes would make a dramatic reentrance into the public imagination when news of her relationship with Tom Cruise surfaced in 2005.  While both Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are considered to be two of the most attractive celebrities in Hollywood, the public was shocked by this new union.  After all, Katie Holmes is 16 years younger than Tom Cruise and they didn’t exactly run in the same social circles.

Compounding this public bewilderment was Tom Cruise’s truly bizarre appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Jumping up and down, screaming like a little girl, and hopping onto a couch, Tom Cruise couldn’t help but contain his extravagant love for Katie Holmes.  While it is all fine and good for somebody to want to shout their newfound love to the entire world, Cruise’s behavior was extremely strange for a man in his 40’s.  Heck, it would be strange for a man in his teens to act in the way that Cruise did that day.  Even Katie Holmes seemed embarrassed, as Cruise eventually dragged her out on to the set to the shouts of joy of the audience.  This event would go on to be parodied repeatedly.

As the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes union became public, the press became vicious.  The romantic dalliances of Tom Cruise have always been heavily scrutinized and cynics thought that this relationship that came out of the blue was an orchestrated publicity stunt.  After all, both Cruise and Holmes had major films that were about to be released (Cruise with War of the Worlds and Holmes with Batman Begins.)  One of the more vicious claims was made by Roger Friedman of the Fox News Channel who reported that Katie Holmes had first flown to meet with Tom Cruise to discuss the possibility of appearing in Mission Impossible III.  According to Friedman, Holmes then disappeared for sixteen days and when she finally emerged, she declared that she loved Tom Cruise and had converted to Scientology.  Friedman based a lot of this claim on Holme’s decision to fire her manager and agent Jennifer Rodriguez and replacing her with a member of the Church of Scientology.

Although Roger Friedman’s claim seems a bit preposterous, it outlines a lot of the public skepticism towards the relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.  An overly public relationship, Tom Cruise didn’t help matters when he announced on June 17, 2005 that he had proposed to Katie Holmes at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  His announcement came at a time when Batman Begins and War of the Worlds were about to be released in Europe for the first time.  Although the tabloid media renewed their suspicions of the couple’s relationship being driven by publicity, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes went ahead and got married at the beautiful Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy.  The wedding ceremony followed the customs of Scientology and the wedding was a hot ticket, as many members of Hollywood royalty attended.  For their honeymoon, the happy couple went to the Maldives to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

At the time of the wedding, Holmes was pregnant with her first child.  On April 18, 2006, she gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl they named Suri.  Although there is still much public skepticism that Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are only together to further their career, this theory takes a huge hit when you consider how damaging their relationship has actually been to their careers.  Due to concern for his public behavior, Paramount Pictures announced the dissolution of their 14 year relationship with Cruise/Wagner Productions.  Near the same time, Katie Holmes was replaced on the sequel for Batman Begins.  Although their relationship continues to be strange and slightly calculated, which was evident in the hold-up of baby photos of Suri Cruise, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise continue to be happily married.  These two are proving that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as anything being too strange!