Tom and Nicole: Dusco Despotovic/Corbis Sygma
Lori Reese
February 06, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

One of Hollywood’s most enduring power couples — Tom Cruise, 38, and Nicole Kidman, 33 — are splitting after nearly 11 years of marriage. The pair — who have two adopted children, Isabella Jane, 8, and Connor Anthony, 6 — announced their separation today in a press release sent to EW.com from their publicist Pat Kingsley: ”Citing the difficulties inherent in divergent careers which constantly keep them apart, they concluded that an amicable separation seemed best for both of them at this time.”

Far from constantly working apart, however, Kidman and Cruise have an established reputation for working together. Since meeting on the set of 1990’s ”Days of Thunder,” the two have collaborated on three other films, including Kidman’s upcoming thriller ”The Others,” which Cruise is coproducing.

Indeed, Kidman’s rise to stardom can be partly credited to her high profile roles opposite Cruise. Though the Australian actress had received plaudits for her roles in such films as 1991’s ”Billy Bathgate,” it wasn’t until she starred with her husband in the 1992 Ron Howard directed feature ”Far and Away” that her career skyrocketed.

After Kidman landed a part in the 1995 megahit ”Batman Forever” — a turn which finally brought her into her own in Hollywood — the couple told Entertainment Weekly about the actress’ early difficulties developing a separate career identity. ”We thought, oh, you can just do tons of work and nobody ever will judge you,” Kidman said. ”Little did we know that there was this thing out there. The Mrs. Tom Cruise thing.” Cruise agreed: ”Every little step Nic takes is much bigger news because she’s with me. People judge her because of it. It adds a lot of pressure. I guess that’s the downside of being married to Tom Cruise.”

Of course, the pair’s most notorious on screen pairing — as a married couple rocked by thoughts of infidelity — occurred in Stanley Kubrick’s controversial ”Eyes Wide Shut.” During the three year filming odyssey that preceded the film’s 1999 release, Cruise told EW how excited the two were to be working on the film together: ”Nicole and I talk about it so much at night. When we’re 70 years old, sitting on the front porch, we’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Wow! We made this movie with Stanley Kubrick!”’

The couple has yet to comment on whether they will continue working together in the future. Kidman, who finished work on ”The Others” last summer, is nursing a damaged knee acquired during her just wrapped Baz Luhrmann musical ”Moulin Rouge.” The injury forced her to drop a physically demanding role in the upcoming thriller ”The Panic Room.” Cruise will finish work on the Cameron Crowe directed ”Vanilla Sky” (with Penélope Cruz) before taking on his next project, Steven Spielberg’s ”Minority Report,” in early spring.

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