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Katie Holmes gives birth to Tom Cruise's baby

By Staff
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LOS ANGELES, Apr 19 (Reuters) Actress Katie Holmes, who became engaged last June to actor Tom Cruise, gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl they named Suri, their spokesman said.

Mother and child, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces (3.4 kg) at birth yesterday, were ''doing well,'' Cruise's publicist, Paul Bloch, said in a statement.

The name Suri has it origins in Hebrew, meaning ''princess,'' or in Persian, meaning ''red rose,'' the statement said.

The birth came as Cruise, 43, was in the midst of a promotional campaign for his upcoming film ''Mission: Impossible III,'' which is due out in May.

The three-time Oscar nominee has two older children that he adopted during his marriage to actress Nicole Kidman, 13-year-old daughter Isabella and 11-year-old son Connor.

News that Holmes, 27, has given birth caps a whirlwind Hollywood romance that ranks as one of the most high-profile celebrity courtships in recent memory, one that morphed into the tabloid sensation known as ''TomKat.'' The couple began dating last April. But in the minds of the public, the early days of their romance date to Cruise's manic, couch-hopping appearance on ''The Oprah Winfrey Show'' last May, when the actor giddily professed his love for Holmes during an hour-long interview.

Footage of the twice-divorced Cruise, jumping on Winfrey's guest sofa, dropping to one knee to pump his fist and ushering Holmes on stage to declare, ''I love this woman!'' was replayed repeatedly on television. Bootleg copies sold on eBay for 20 dollars.

The ''Oprah'' appearance triggered suspicions of a publicity stunt to promote his then new film, ''War of the Worlds,'' and hers, ''Batman Begins.'' It also made Cruise the butt of jokes by TV comedians, tabloid columnists and Internet spoof artists.

One Web site began hawking ''Free Katie'' T-shirts, stickers and coffee mugs, a veiled reference to widely circulating jokes that Holmes was being unwittingly indoctrinated by Cruise into the Church of Scientology, of which he is a prominent member.

Weeks later, in mid-June, the two announced their engagement at a Paris news conference the morning after Cruise popped the question to Holmes at the Eiffel Tower. But they have not set a wedding date.

REUTERS PG PM0503

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