Romantic Tom Cruise missed wife Katie Holmes' 30th birthday on Thursday (17Dec08) - but arranged for her to receive an onstage celebration and an enormous cake after her performance on Broadway.
The couple was forced to spend Holmes' milestone birthday apart - she was appearing in Arthur Miller play All My Sons in New York while he was promoting new movie Valkyrie in Los Angeles.
But the Top Gun star was determined to make it a special day, and persuaded Holmes' co-stars to arrange a surprise celebration at the close of the evening's performance.
As the curtain fell, Holmes was presented with a five-tiered cake before her fellow cast members and hundreds of theatre-goers in the audience sang Happy Birthday to her.
Holmes' co-star John Lithgow told the crowd, "Tom Cruise, our good friend, devoted fan to the show, doting husband of Katie, could not be here tonight. He's heartsick that he couldn't be here... but he wanted to make his presence felt. So, he's joining us, inviting all of you, to celebrate Katie's birthday."
Clutching her two-year-old daughter Suri, an emotional Holmes told fans: "Thank you for coming out to the show tonight. It was a real pleasure."
And Cruise insists the birthday celebration was carefully scheduled down to the last detail.
He tells People.com,"I planned it so that when she comes out for the standing ovation, John (would) get the whole audience to wish her a happy birthday.