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Girl Is Born to Stars Holmes, Cruise

The engaged couple name their daughter Suri. Few details about delivery are released. It's her first child, his third.

April 19, 2006|Jill Leovy | Times Staff Writer

Hollywood's most talked-about pregnancy became its most talked-about baby Tuesday when actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise announced the birth of their daughter.

The child, named Suri, weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 20 inches long. Both she and Holmes were reported in good condition, according to a brief written statement released by Cruise's publicists.

"Everybody is doing wonderfully," publicist Arnold Robinson said.

He declined to give any other details, saying the couple wished no comments to be made beyond those in the release. He declined to give the time or place of birth or the rest of Suri's name, nor would he discuss the duration or nature of the labor.

"Suri," according to Cruise's news release, is a word with origins in both Hebrew and Persian. In Hebrew it means "princess," and in Persian, "red rose," the release said. (It also means "pickpocket" in Japanese, although the news release did not mention that.) Asked how the name is pronounced, Robinson answered via e-mail that he wasn't sure.

Cruise said in an interview last week that the name the couple had chosen -- he did not disclose it at the time -- had come from a name book. "We just opened it and instantly came up with the name," he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

The intense public interest in the relationship between Holmes, 27, and Cruise, 43, has rivaled that devoted to the super-publicized liaison of actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Scrutiny of Cruise and Holmes has only intensified over the last year as their courtship made its speedy ascent through dating, proposing and child-bearing, with no pause for marrying.

Many celebrity-watchers were taken by surprise when Cruise and Holmes first made their relationship public a year ago at the David di Donatello Awards in Rome.

There followed Cruise's avowals of love for Holmes during an appearance on "Oprah," and a springtime-in-Paris engagement, with Cruise proposing atop the Eiffel Tower.

No wedding date was set, however. And there was still no date as of Tuesday, Robinson confirmed.

Like Pitt, Cruise had gone through a highly publicized divorce, though in Cruise's case, the split with actress Nicole Kidman came long before his involvement with Holmes. Cruise was married for 10 years to Kidman, with whom he has two children: Isabella, 13, and Conner, 11.

Holmes was engaged to actor Chris Klein but broke up with him early last year after a five-year relationship.

The couple's fame and gilded romantic histories were not the only reason they courted so much media interest, however. The pair are from different religious backgrounds: Cruise is a Scientologist and has said Holmes has adopted his religion. He has denied rumors that her Catholic parents disapprove of their match as steadfastly as he has denied rumors of their breakup, which started percolating not long after her pregnancy became public in October.

But what really set celebrity watchers aflutter were news reports that Holmes had agreed to abide by the Scientology custom of "silent birth." Rumors of a gagged mother-to-be were well aloft before Cruise had a chance to explain that the tenet does not apply to women in labor, but to those attending them.

The idea, he has said, is for other people in the room to be quiet, so as to make the environment peaceful. In an interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Primetime" last week, Cruise was unambiguous on the related topic of birth pain: If Holmes needs an epidural, he said, "she's going to get her epidural."

Holmes was a star of the television series "Dawson's Creek" and the more recent movie "Batman Begins." Cruise, a leading man since the 1980s, is the star of the upcoming "Mission: Impossible III."

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