Katie Holmes and Chris Klein: Chris Pizzello/ImageDirect
Gary Susman
December 29, 2003 AT 05:00 AM EST

Guess they didn’t want to rush into anything. After a courtship that seemed to last longer than the who-will-Joey-choose storyline on ”Dawson’s Creek,” Katie Holmes and Chris Klein are finally engaged. Holmes’s publicist confirmed the engagement to the New York Post, which reported that the actress spent the holidays in her hometown of Toledo, showing off a ”respectably sized” engagement ring to a childhood friend. A rep for Klein confirmed the impending nuptials to EW.com.

Holmes, 25, and Klein, 24, have been dating since late 1999. No word on when or how the question was finally popped; as recently as October, Klein was telling Us magazine that there was no impending engagement. Also no word yet on when the ”Pieces of April” star and the ”American Pie” actor plan to make it legal. Klein is reportedly scheduled to film the comedy ”The Long Weekend” in Vancouver next month, while Holmes is expected to play the love interest opposite Christian Bale in the upcoming ”Batman” movie, shooting in February in London.

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