updated 04/19/2006 AT 3:05 PM ET
•originally published 04/18/2006 AT 6:30 PM ET
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise “joyously welcomed the arrival of a baby girl, Suri, today,” Cruise’s rep said in a statement after PEOPLE first broke the news Tuesday afternoon.
“The child weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 inches in length. Both mother and daughter are doing well.”
Suri was born in an L.A.-area hospital – just down the hall from where Brooke Shields gave birth to her daughter Grier on the same day.
The birth went so smoothly that Holmes left the hospital within 24 hours. Holmes, Cruise and baby Suri are back home now and doing well.
Suri “has lots and lots of dark hair and big, blue eyes,” says a source close to Holmes’s family. “She’s going to be a beautiful baby.”
Adds Cruise’s friend Kirstie Alley: “Tom does everything 150 percent, and fatherhood he does 300 percent. They’re going to have a great kid.”
The name Suri has its origins in Hebrew meaning “princess,” or in Persian meaning “red rose.”
Last October, barely six months into their romance, an ecstatic Cruise and Holmes revealed that they were expectant parents.
Cruise, 43, and Holmes, 27, had made no secret of their desire to start a family together: When asked by PEOPLE last June if they were planning to have children, Holmes smiled and said simply, “Yes.”
Friends of the Toledo, Ohio-bred Holmes called her perfectly suited to her upcoming role. “She almost seems born for motherhood,” said Oliver Hudson, actress Kate Hudson’s brother and an old pal who costarred with Holmes in Dawson’s Creek. “She’s a nurturer. She’s got mother qualities a lot of girls her age don’t have.”
Cruise, meanwhile, is “a great dad already,” according to his pal, actress Leah Remini. He has two children from his marriage to Nicole Kidman: Isabella, 13, and Connor, 11, whom Cruise and Kidman adopted as infants. Remini told PEOPLE that both kids are “so cool You can sit and talk to them about life.”
Immediately ahead for the new dad: the May 5 release of Mission: Impossible 3. Holmes stars in the recently released satirical film about Washington politics, Thank You for Smoking.
For more details, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.