March 1, 2024
Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise: The action superstar

Tom Cruise is an actor and producer, the 5th highest-grossing actor of all time. Cruise has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards. He was born in Syracuse, New York on July 3, 1962, to Mary Lee (Pfeiffer), a special education teacher from Elmira, New York, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III.

He has been married twice: to actress Mimi Rogers from 1987 until 1990 and then to actress Nicole Kidman from 1990 until 2001. They have two children together: Isabella (born 1992) and Connor Antony (born 1995). In 2012, the American Film Institute named him “the greatest film actor of all time.

About Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards. He started his career at age 19 in the 1981 film Endless Love. After portraying supporting roles in Taps (1981) and The Outsiders (1983), his first leading role was in Risky Business, released in August 1983. He became a full-fledged movie star after starring Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun (1986), which grossed $356 million worldwide.

Life of Cruise

His birth

Tom Cruise, the son of Thomas Cruise Mapother III and Susan Lee “Pfeiffer” Cruise, was born in Syracuse, New York on July 3, 1962. His father originally worked for IBM and then started a chain of stores that sold computers. Tom’s mother was from a family of Irish Catholic descent and was a special education teacher. They met in the high school with which she worked at the same time Tom was there.

In 1966 his parents took off to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to get married. Tom’s sister Tracy Anne (born in 1961) had been born there just before their departure.

His education

When the family returned to Syracuse, they moved into a small apartment in the west of the city. Tom’s father got a job as an assistant at the American-Italian Cancer Foundation while working in his spare time as a janitor and handyman at a local bar. At this point, Tom had already started school where he was described as being very creative and energetic.

In 1972, when Tom Cruise was ten years old, his family moved to Toronto so his father could find work in the art department of Imperial Oil. The young boy had to adapt to new schools and friends; he also had problems with reading because he suffered from dyslexia.

Personal Life of Cruise

His parents divorced in 1972 when he was just 11, and his mother moved back to Syracuse. Three years later Tom’s father married actress Mimi Rogers, with whom he had a daughter, Isabella (born in 1987).

In 1979 Tom Cruise joined the “Merritt” International School where he was trained as a figure skater and gymnast for a year. He started seeing his upper school teacher Paula Shirvanian (incorrectly spelled Shirvanie) who became his first serious girlfriend and later his wife. When the couple split up in 1986, Cruise got engaged to actress Elizabeth Hurley but they eventually broke up shortly after their 1992 wedding.

Career

In May 1981, Tom Cruise landed his first acting role in the television film Taps. He portrayed a soldier under the leadership of Sean Penn’s character. When his scene was cut from the film, he was fired and sent home to Syracuse. He later called his agent pleading for another chance and was given a supporting role in Endless Love.

Tom Cruise

In January 1983, he enrolled in a four-month workshop at The Neighborhood Playhouse and started studying acting with Robert Lewis. The same year he appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Outsiders where he played the role of “Tim”.

As an Actor

After appearing in The Outsiders, Cruise’s career began to take off. He starred in the music video for Glen Frey’s “The Heat is On”, which was released at the height of the Iran hostage crisis. A song that had been originally written by Frey and Jack Tempchin became very popular after it was used during breaks on American television news programs. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for three weeks.

Tom Cruise appeared in Martin Scorsese’s film The Color of Money (1986). His character, “Charlie”, has a mentally challenged brother who is a pool hustler played by Kevin Costner. The film was produced by Paramount Pictures and grossed a little over $50 million in the U.S. box office.

In October 1986, Cruise was in the Phillip Michael Thomas TV series “Miami Vice” (episode “Borrasca”, season two, episode five). The episode generated major publicity for Tom, bringing him further attention as a promising Hollywood actor. His character “Jimmy”, an undercover policeman who infiltrates a Cuban expatriate’s drug ring, is shown snorting cocaine and ordering an innocent woman to be tied up.

After that, he played Private First Class Anthony Michael “Tony” Valor in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket directed by Stanley Kubrick.

As a producer

In March 1987 Cruise teamed up with actor-director John Guillermin to produce the historical fantasy film The Witches of Eastwick. He played the role of “Matthew”. The film was shot in the summer of 1987 and released in the middle of the following year. He also appeared in The War of the Roses (1989) which was a sequel to Shakespeare’s Richard III.

In 1990, Tom Cruise became attached to star in Jerry Jameson’s action thriller “Cocktail” as a bartender/drug dealer who comes out from hiding as a private eye after his wife is murdered by hitmen. Paul Walker replaced Cruise for the project. In 1992, Cruise produced his first television movie titled Mission Force Mongoose which aired on ABC.

Break with Paramount

Tom Cruise next produced film was Days of Thunder (1990), the first movie made by Paramount Pictures since its merger with Gulf+Western. It was a big success for Cruise and grossed US$354 million worldwide. Cruise’s role played a part in making the film into one of the most popular movies of 1990.

During production for Days of Thunder, he also starred in Born on the Fourth of July, which was based on the best-selling autobiography by Ron Kovic. The film had been delayed from being released in late 1986 due to controversy over its anti-war message.

Awards and Honor

In 1989 Cruise received his first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. And was nominated again in 1994 for his role as the title character in Jerry Maguire.

He has been honored with numerous other awards including three Golden Globe Awards. And one British Academy Film Award among others. Cruise is often referred to as one of the best action movie stars due to his roles in movies such as Mission: Impossible, Top Gun, and Minority Report.  In 2005 Tom Cruise played the leading role in War of the Worlds. A science-fiction blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg.

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