An irrefutable Hollywood megastar, Cruise was just 21 when he landed his breakthrough role as a horny high school hunk in the 1983 sex romps Risky Business. With athletic good looks, a 1,000-watt smile and oodles of natural charm, he became an overnight celebrity, thanks in part to an iconic scene in which he danced around his living room to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” while clad only in a shirt, briefs, socks, and sunglasses. Over the next dozen years, he ruled the box office with blockbuster hits like Top Gun, A Few Good Men and Interview with the Vampire, and honed his craft by working with top directors, such as Martin Scorsese (The Color of Money), Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July, which earned him his first Oscar nod). Cruise’s personal life was also on the upswing. In 1990, 10 months after divorcing his first wife, actor Mimi Rogers, he married his Days of Thunder co-star, Nicole Kidman. Their second on-screen appearance, the Ron Howard-directed Far and Away, was a flop, but Cruise quickly rebounded with a string of crowd-pleasing favorites that included The Firm, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire, which snagged him a second Academy Award nomination. At the apex of his fame, Cruise disappeared from the screen for three years in order to work with his wife under celebrated director Stanley Kubrick on the sexual epic Eyes Wide Shut. Finally released in 1999, Kubrick’s last film was a critical and commercial disappointment. But Cruise bounced back with an Oscar-nominated supporting turn as a sex guru in Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling Magnolia that same year. In 2001, Cruise’s marriage to Kidman fell apart and their split dominated the tabloids for months, as did his subsequent relationship with Vanilla Sky co-star Penelope Cruz. In the ’00s, after two decades in showbiz, Cruise began averaging a blockbuster per year (Mission: Impossible II, Minority Report, War of the Worlds). However, in 2005, his off-screen antics began to sully his reputation, including a public feud with Brooke Shields over the merits of antidepressants (for which he later apologized); his constant championing of Scientology; and his controversial appearance on Oprah Winfrey when he jumped on a couch while declaring his love for Katie Holmes. Dubbed TomKat by the media, the couple enjoyed a whirlwind courtship and soon announced that they were engaged and pregnant. They welcomed a daughter, Suri, in April 2006, and tied the knot the following November in a lavish Italian wedding. Cruise softened his increasingly divisive image in 2008 with a brilliant comic turn as a profane movie producer in Tropic Thunder.
• Studied for one year, at age 14, at a Franciscan seminary.
• Joined the Church of Scientology after its study courses helped him overcome a learning disability.
• Co-star Paul Newman got him interested in auto racing while filming The Color of Money, and he went on to race on Newman’s team.
• Earned his pilot’s license in 1994.
• The first actor to appear in five consecutive movies (A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire) that grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office.
• On the recommendation of his children’s orthodontist, got braces to correct his bite at age 39.
• At the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, received the first-ever MTV Generation Award.
• 2000, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
• 1990, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Winner
• 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Nominee
• 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Winner
• 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Nominee
• 1989, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 1999, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
• 1996, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
• 1990, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Motion Picture Actor: Winner
• 1991, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
• 1999, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
• 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
• 2015, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards — Best Actor in an Action Movie: Nominee
• 2005, Critics’ Choice Awards — Distinguished Career Achievement in Performing Arts Award: Winner
• 2015, Critics’ Choice Awards — Best Actor in an Action Movie: Nominee
• 1984, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy: Nominee
• 1994, People’s Choice Awards — Favorite Actor in a Dramatic Motion Picture: Winner
• Mimi Rogers — Ex-wife
• Thomas Cruise Mapother III — Father
• Nicole Kidman — Ex-wife
• William Mapother — Cousin
• Isabella Jane Kidman Cruise — Daughter
• Katie Holmes — Ex-wife
• Mary Lee Mapother South — Mother
• Lee Anne DeVette — Sister
• Suri Cruise — Daughter
• Cass Mapother — Sister
• Connor Anthony Kidman Cruise — Son
• Joe South — Stepfather
• Marian Henry — Sister
• Penélope Cruz — Ex-significant Other
1 “I disagree with people who think you learn more from getting beat up than you do from winning.”
2 “Nothing ends nicely, that’s why it ends.”
3 “I’m passionate about learning. I’m passionate about life.”
4 “When you have to cope with a lot of problems, you’re either going to sink or you’re going to swim.”
5 “Talk is over-rated as a means of settling disputes.”
6 “I always look for a challenge and something that’s different.”
7 “I would live with all of my sisters if I could. We’ve always been very close, my sisters and me.”
8 “Every single time I start to do a picture, without fail, I feel as if I don’t know what I’m doing.”
9 “I love kids. I was a kid myself, once.”
10 “When you become successful in any type of life, there are people who are not contributing to the motion.”