Katie Holmes Had Schoolyard Crush on Tom Cruise and Prayed For Him Daily, Reveal Hometown Friends (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS & PHOTOS)

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In never-before-seen photos obtained exclusively by Celebuzz, a doe-eyed Katie Holmes poses for her first photo shoot as a chubby-faced teen in her native Ohio. Little did she know her dreams of stardom and marrying her teenage crush — Tom Cruise – would come true just 10 years later.

That fairytale has famously come to an end after Holmes, 33, rocked Hollywood with the bombshell she was divorcing her Mission: Impossible husband of almost six years. The two reached a divorce settlement less than two weeks later.

In the wake of the split, Celebuzz visited Holmes’ hometown of Toledo in an attempt to shed some light on how a once care-free, all-American girl became part of one of Hollywood’s most controversial couples. There, Holmes’ school friends broke their age-old silence, telling Celebuzz their thoughts about the famous duo.

Angela Domschot, a former classmate of Holmes at the $18,000-a-year private Catholic school, Notre Dame Academy, said that Holmes used to pray for Cruise — years before she ever met him.

“In religion class, when we were about 16, we would have to say prayers to keep a certain someone safe and out of harm,” she said. “Katie would say it for Tom Cruise. We did that every day, so she would have said thousands of prayers for him.

“She also had a secret picture of him hidden in the inside of her text books. It’s crazy to think she married him – it was her dream come true.”

Similarly, Kari Somo, 32, another old school friend, also remembers Holmes’ affinity for Cruise.

“Tom Cruise was always her crush at school, who she wanted to marry and end up with,” she said.

But seeing their old friend getting involved with Scientology was bizarre, according to Domschot.

“We were all shocked when she turned to Scientology, but when you’re besotted with someone, I guess you’ll do what they want,” she said. “Her dream came true… she got her fairytale ending, I guess.”

Aside from her unusual focus on Cruise, Holmes – who aspired to be an actress from a young age – is remembered for other things.

She was well-liked and loved to act, said Domschot, as can be seen in these never-before-seen photos of the budding starlet, above. As the pictures reveal, Holmes was very involved in school, be it clowning around in plays, dressing in wacky costumes or looking angelic and studious in her yearbook photos.

“Katie was popular at school but nice to everyone,” Domschot, now a Toledo police officer, said. “She was a very good person… athletic, really into the school plays, very hard-working. She was really nice and outgoing. Really smart – in all subjects – but not arrogant with it.”

That isn’t all. Said Domschot: “Katie had a rebel side too — she knew how to let loose. She’d get into food fights at school.”

And Somo recalls a particularly festive Holmes. “I remember her having the craziest Halloween costumes,” she said. “She once dressed up as Richard Simmons and David Letterman!

Her dating life, meanwhile, wasn’t as exciting.

“I don’t think she dated in high school,” said Somo. “Her parents were super-strict and Catholic, so it may have been hard.”

Holmes and Cruise managed to avoid their dream turning into a total nightmare on June 9, when they came to a quick divorce settlement — and agreed on how custody of their six-year-old daughter Suri will be shared.

Details of the divorce remain confidential, and the pair released a joint statement indicating they intend to keep it that way.

Said the two: “We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other’s commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other’s roles as parents.”

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