Martin and Kathleen Holmes presumably have never assumed that their youngest daughter, Kate Noelle Holmes, would become a well-known American actress when this couple welcomed her birth on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. It is because they, along with their four other children, have been infatuated with sports which apparently did not affect little Katie to grow the same interest. On the contrary, she developed a fondness in acting by getting involved in the high school theater during her study at Notre Dame Academy of Toledo. Nevertheless, she did not put her hopes highly to become a professional actress due to her origin of being a Midwesterner, as she once had written: "Hollywood and its numerous success stories seemed extremely far away and definitely from a world that I would never come into contact with."
In 1995, Katie's course of life experienced a great turn when she joined a modeling competition held by International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA), attending its annual "Hooray for Hollywood" Convention in New York City. Al Onorato, a talent manager, quickly spotted her potentiality, thus invited her to come to Los Angeles where she auditioned successfully to earn a small role in Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm." Instead of continuing to be more involved in film industry, she returned to Toledo where she finally finished her study in June 1997. Meanwhile, an offer came from a screenwriter named Kevin Williamson to make a reading for his new television series entitled "Dawson's Creek." The appointment date turned out to be the same day in which Katie had to perform as "Lola" in her school theater's production, "Damn Yankees." Since she preferred to take part in the school drama, Williamson asked her to send videotape instead as he has been deeply impressed with her talent. Rescheduling the appointment day, she came to Hollywood and won the role of Josephine (Joey) Potter.