Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, known professionally as Tom Cruise, was born on July 3, 1962. Cruise is an American actor and producer, and is one of the highest-paid actors in the world. He has received three Golden Globe Awards, nominations for a British Academy Film Award, and three Academy Awards throughout his career. His films have grossed more than $4 billion in North America and more than $10.1 billion globally, making him one of the highest-grossing box office stars of all time. Today, we’re celebrating his life and achievements.
Thomas ‘Tom’ Cruise Mapother IV was born in Syracuse, New York, on July 3, 1962. Thomas Cruise Mapother III and Mary Lee Cruise are his parents. He is of German, Irish, and English descent and spent most of his childhood in Canada. Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass Cruise are Cruise’s three sisters. William Mapother, one of his cousins, is also an actor who has appeared in five films with Cruise. Cruise grew up in near abject poverty and was raised a Catholic. Later in life, he described his father as a “merchant of chaos,” a “bully,” and a “coward” who abused his children.
Cruise’s early career as an actor began when he was 19 years old with a small role in the 1981 film “Endless Love.” Cruise expanded his early career by appearing in a few more films. In 1983, he starred as Joel Goodson in the hit comedy “Risky Business.” Cruise’s big break came in 1986 when he played Lieutenant Pete in the action-drama film “Top Gun.”
The film was a huge success, solidifying his status as a superstar. His success continued into the late 1980s with films such as “The Color of Money” (1986), “Cocktail” (1988), and “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989). He also had success in 1996 when he played Ethan Hunt in the spy and action film “Mission: Impossible.” The film was a huge box office success, spawning a slew of sequels.
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Cruise remained highly bankable and popular, starring in films such as “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), “Vanilla Sky” (2001), “Minority Report” (2002), “The Last Samurai” (2003), “Collateral” (2004), “Rock of Ages” (2012), and “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014).
Since then, Cruise has established himself as one of the world’s highest-paid actors. He has worked with some of the world’s best actors. He is best known for his role as Ethan Hunt in the “Mission: Impossible” series of films. With over $2 billion in worldwide earnings, the series is the 17th highest-grossing film series of all time.
Cruise has been married to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes, all of whom are actresses. He has three children. Two were adopted during his marriage to Kidman and one is his biological daughter from his relationship with Holmes. Cruise is an outspoken supporter of the Church of Scientology and its social programs, which he credits with assisting him in overcoming dyslexia. He sparked controversy in the 2000s with his Church-affiliated criticisms of psychiatry and anti-depressant drugs, his efforts to promote Scientology as a religion in Europe, and a leaked video interview in which he promoted Scientology.
At 19 years old Cruise appears in his first small role in “Endless Love.”
Cruise makes his breakthrough with his first leading role in the comedy film “Risky Business.”
His star status is cemented with “Top Gun,” the highest-grossing film of the year, in which he plays a navy jet pilot.
For his portrayal of a Vietnam War veteran-turned-activist in “Born on the Fourth of July,” Cruise receives his first Academy Awards nomination.
Cruise’s career success spikes when he plays Ethan Hunt in the spy and action film “Mission: Impossible.”
In addition to promoting various Scientology-related programs, Cruise advocates for Scientology to be recognized as a religion in Europe.
Holmes divorces Cruise in order to protect the couple's daughter, Suri, from Scientology.
The long-awaited sequel to the movie “Top Gun” is finally approved, after many delays, and the movie is released in May.
Why We Love Tom Cruise
He does charity work
Cruise has donated to several charities over the course of his career. Some of them include the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diabetes in children; Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition, a non-profit organization that provides hospice and palliative care to children; the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Elizabeth Glaser; and the Friars Foundation.
He overcame a difficult childhood
Cruise grew up with an abusive father, who would physically and mentally abuse his children. His father abandoned him when he was only 12 years old, leaving Cruise as the only man in a family of women. He suddenly became the father figure to his three sisters and he tried his hardest to set a good example for them.
Cruise overcame a disability
Though he suffered from dyslexia and reading scripts was difficult for him, he did not let it hinder his chances of being an actor. He pushed through his disability and was not afraid to ask for help when he needed to. He is an inspiration to anyone suffering from dyslexia, demonstrating that you can overcome your disability and achieve your goals.
5 Surprising Facts
Disney based a well-known character on Cruise
Cruise is the inspiration for the beloved and well-known character Aladdin, from the Disney film of the same name, and the Disney animators actually used features from Cruise's face and his hair.
He saved Ray-Ban
Ray-Ban was having financial difficulties in 1981 but thanks to prominent cameos in Cruise's films “Risky Business,” “Top Gun,” and “Rain Man,” Cruise single-handedly saved the entire business, with the help of a little product placement paid for by Ray-Ban.
He improvised the “Risky Business” dance
In a scene that took half a day to film, Cruise demonstrated his best moves by completely improvising the famous dance, after following this simple piece of script instruction: "Joel dances in underwear through the house."
Cruise could've been Iron Man
Before Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the kickoff to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Iron Man,” the part was first offered to Cruise, who declined the role
He began acting because of an injury
Though Cruise enjoyed wrestling on his high school team, a knee injury forced him to look for another way to spend his time, which led him to audition for the school's production of “Guys and Dolls.”
Tom Cruise FAQs
Is Tom Cruise sensitive about his height?
Cruise, in an interview, admitted he was sensitive about his height; as a result, he wore heels to increase his height, depending on the character he was playing.
Does Tom Cruise pay child support?
According to their agreement, Cruise pays $400,000 per year in child support, which works out to about $33,000 per month.
Does Tom Cruise have a stunt double?
Cruise’s stunt coordinator, Wade Eastwood, says that he wants to do everything, and he works hard to develop the skill sets required for each project.
Tom Cruise’s birthday dates