Born in: Syracuse, New York
Career: Actorand Producer
Tom Cruise is a renowned American actor and Hollywood film producer. In 2006, he was ranked as one of the world’s most powerful celebrities by the Forbes Magazine. The popularity of the actor can be estimated from the fact that 10th October 2006 was declared as ‘Tom Cruise Day; in Japan. This is because the actor is supposed to have visited Japan more than any other Hollywood star. His full fledged acting career started in 1983, with the movie ‘Risky Business’, after which he never looked back. Cruise is accredited to be the one of only three actors in the history of films, to give three consecutive $100 million hits; apart from Tom Hanks and Will Smith.
Childhood & Education
Tom cruise was born as ‘Thomas Cruise Mapother IV’ in Syracuse, New York. His mother Mary Lee (née Pfeiffer) was a sales lady, while his father Thomas Cruise Mapother III was an electrical engineer. His family lived in the Gloucester suburb of Beacon Hill, where Tom attended Robert Hopkins Public school for grades 3, 4 & 5, and Henry Munro Middle School for grade 6. After sometime, his family moved to Kentucky, as his father was recruited as a Defense consultant with the Canadian Army.
It was in Kentucky that Cruise became involved in drama, at the Robert Hopkins Public School. His first play was named "IT", wherein he played the co-lead with Michael de Waal. The play grabbed much acclaim and was filmed at the local Ottawa TV station, along with various schools around the Ottawa area. At the age of twelve, his parents got divorced and Cruise went with his mother, along with his sister ‘Lee Anne’. As Cruise suffered from dyslexia, it was difficult for him to achieve academic excellence.
On the contrary, he was an excellent athlete and aspired to pursue a career in professional wrestling. However, a knee injury sidelined him from the same. For a short time, Cruise attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati and aspired to become a Catholic priest. He finally graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey, in 1980. After his knee injury, Cruise cleared the audition for lead role in his high school's production ‘Guys and Dolls’. It was a huge hit and triggered the dream of becoming an actor in Tom.
Entry in Hollywood
After his high school, Tom fled to New York and gave numerous auditions. Fate finally smiled at him as he got his first break for a small role in 1981, in ‘Endless Love’, starring Brooke Shields. Later in the same year, he played a significant role in the film ‘Taps’. In 1983, Cruise appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's ‘The Outsiders’. Another film ‘Risky Business’ was released later this year, which shot Cruise to fame. The film featured Tom dancing in his underwear, which became a historic moment in the industry.
The next film was the big budget ‘Legend’, which did not attract much attention. However, the actor’s A-list status was confirmed with the release of ‘Top Gun’, which became the biggest blockbuster of the year. He continued to gather appreciation with his further films such as The Color of Money (1986), costarring Paul Newman, for which he was nominated for a Razzie Award. Another film Rain Man (1989), costarring Dustin Hoffman, was well received by the critics and won four Academy Awards out of the eight it was nominated for.
Hollywood Journey Continues…
Tom Cruise tasted big success, when he received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe for Best Actor, for Oliver Stone's ‘Born on the Fourth of July’. After this, in 1990, he starred in ‘Days of Thunder’, opposite Nicole Kidman. In 1992, once again Tom Cruise proved his mettle in the movie’ A Few Good Men’, opposite the legendary actor Jack Nicholson. In the following years, Cruise gave some fairly well received movies, including ‘The Firm’ (1993) and ‘Interview with a Vampire’ (1994), costarring Brad Pitt.
In 1996, Tom cruise set the theaters on fire by his two smash hits, the $64 million blockbuster, ‘Mission: Impossible’, co produced by him, and the highly acclaimed ‘Jerry McGuire’, directed by Cameron Crowe. His grit was applauded as Cruise earned a second Academy Award nomination and a second Golden Globe for Best Actor, for the latter one. In 1999, Tom Cruise starred in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, opposite Nicole Kidman, directed by Stanley Kubrick. In the same year, a much talked about film ‘Magnolia’, won him a Golden Globe Award for the Best Supporting Actor.
In the year 2000, Cruise starred in the much-awaited Hollywood flickr ‘Mission: Impossible II’. In 2002, his ventures included ‘Vanilla Sky’, directed by Cameron Crowe and ‘Minority Report’, directed by Steven Spielberg. In the year 2003, Cruise undertook a trip to Australia to shoot the $100 million film, ‘The Last Samurai’. In 2005, he paired with Steven Spielberg for the mega-hit ‘War of the Worlds’. In 2006, Tome Cruise recreated the magic with ‘Mission: Impossible III’ and acted in ‘Lions for Lambs’ in 2007.
Career in Production
As an extension of his skills, Tom Cruise collaborated with Paula Wagner to establish Cruise/Wagner Productions. The first film to be produced under the banner was ‘Mission: Impossible’ in 1996. For producing this venture, he won a Nova Award (shared with Paula Wagner) for Most Promising Producer in Theatrical Motion Pictures, at the PGA Golden Laurel Awards, in 1997. After this, his other projects as producer included ‘The Others’, ‘Vanilla Sky’, ‘Narc’, ‘Hitting It Hard’, ‘Shattered Glass’, ‘The Last Samurai’, ‘Suspect Zero’, ‘Elizabethtown’ and ‘Ask the Dust’.
Tom Cruise married Mimi Rogers in 1987 and got divorced in 1990. People are of the opinion that Rogers introduced him to Scientology. For those who do not know, Cruise is the Spokesperson of Church of Scientology. On the sets of ‘Days of Thunder’, Cruise met Nicole Kidman and married her in 1990. However, this relationship also did not last forever and the couple got divorced, after 11 years of marriage, in 2001. The couple had adopted two kids, Isabella Jane and Cannor Antony.
Nicole was three months pregnant at the time of their divorce, but had a miscarriage later. The next romantic encounter of Tom was with Penelope Cruz, the leading lady in ‘Vanilla Sky’. The affair was announced to have ended in March 2004. In April 2005, Cruise started dating Katie Holmes and proposed her in June 2005, on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This was followed by the nuptial in Bracciano, Italy, on 18th November 2005. Subsequently, Katie gave birth to their daughter, Suri, on 18th April 2006.
Awards & Nominations
- In 1983, Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actor Comedy for the film, ‘Risky Business’
- In 1989, Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Motion Picture Drama, for the film, ‘Born on the Fourth of July’
- In 1992, Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actor, for the film, ‘A Few Good Men’
- In 1994, Golden Raspberry Award for the Worst Screen Couple, for the film ‘Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles’
- In 1996, Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and NBR Award for Best Actor, for the film ‘Jerry Maguire’
- In 1999, Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, NBR Award for Best Cast and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in Motion Picture, for the film, ‘Magnolia’
- In 2001, Saturn Award for Best Actor (film), for the film ‘Vanilla Sky’
- In 2003, Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Actor and Producer, for the film ‘The Last Samurai’
- In 2005, Britannia Award for Excellence in Films
- In 2006, Golden Raspberry Award for Most Tiresome Tabloid Targets
- In 2006, IAS Freedom Medal of Valor
- 1981 - Endless Love, Taps, The Outsiders, Losin‘ It
- 1983 - All the Right Moves, Risky Business
- 1985 - Legend
- 1986 - Top Gun, Color of Money
- 1988 - Cocktail, Young Guns, Rain Man
- 1989 - Born on the Fourth of July
- 1990 - Days of Thunder
- 1992 - Far and Away, A Few Good Men
- 1993 - The Firm
- 1994 - Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
- 1996 - Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire
- 1999 - Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia
- 2000 - Mission: Impossible II
- 2001 - Vanilla Sky
- 2002 - Minority Report, Austin Powers in Goldmember
- 2003 - The Last Samurai
- 2004 - Collateral
- 2005 - War of the Worlds
- 2006 - Mission: Impossible III
- 2007 - Lions for Lambs
- 2008 - Valkyrie, Tropic Thunder