Tom Cruise and 50 things about his acting career and life.
1. Tom Cruise born Thomas Cruise Mapother is an American actor and filmmaker.
2. Tom Cruise has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won three Golden Globe Awards.
3. Tom Cruise started his career at age 19 in the 1981 film Endless Love.
4. After portraying supporting roles in Taps (1981) and The Outsiders (1983), his first leading role was in the romantic comedy Risky Business, released in August 1983.
5. Tom Cruise became a full-fledged movie star after starring as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the action drama Top Gun (1986).
6. Since 1996 he has been well known for his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible film series, which has a fifth film set for release in 2015.
7. One of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood, Cruise starred in several more successful films in the 1980s, including the dramas The Color of Money (1986), Cocktail (1988), Rain Man (1988), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). I
8. In the 1990s, he starred in a number of hit films, including the romance Far and Away (1992), the drama A Few Good Men (1992), the legal thriller The Firm (1993), the romantic horror film Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), the romantic comedy-drama sports film Jerry Maguire (1996), the erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut, and the drama Magnolia (both 1999).
9. In the 2000s, Cruise starred in a number of successful films, including the science fiction thrillers Vanilla Sky (2001) and Minority Report (2002), the epic war film The Last Samurai (2003), the crime film Collateral (2004), the science fiction disaster thriller film War of the Worlds (2005), the war drama Lions for Lambs (2007), the historical thriller Valkyrie (2008), the action comedy Knight and Day (2010), the thriller Jack Reacher (2012), the post-apocalyptic science fiction film Oblivion (2013), and the military science fiction film Edge of Tomorrow (2014).
10. In 2012, Cruise was Hollywood's highest-paid actor.
11. Fifteen of his films grossed over $100 million domestically; twenty-one have grossed in excess of $200 million worldwide.
12. Tom Cruise has won Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture in Drama in 1990 for Born on the Fourth of July; Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture in Comedy/Musical in 1997 for Jerry Maguire; and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture in 2000 for Magnolia.
13. In 2002, Cruise won the Saturn Award for Best Actor for Vanilla Sky.
14. In 2003, he won an AFI Movie of the Year Award for The Last Samurai and an Empire Award for Best Actor for Minority Report.
15. Tom Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and its associated social programs, and credits it with helping him overcome dyslexia.
16. His criticisms of psychiatry and anti-depressant drugs, particularly therapy for 9/11 rescue workers, and efforts to promote Scientology as a religion in Europe sparked controversies, as did a leaked video interview of him discussing Scientology.
17. Tom Cruise was born as Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in Syracuse, New York, the son of Mary Lee (née Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III (1934-84), an electrical engineer.
18. Tom Cruise has three sisters, Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass.
19. Cruise's surname originates from his great-grandfather, born Thomas Cruise O'Mara, who was renamed "Thomas Cruise Mapother".
20. Cruise is of Irish, German, and English ancestry.
21. One of his paternal great-great-great-grandfathers, Patrick Russell Cruise, was born in north County Dublin, in 1799; he married Teresa Johnson in Warrenstown House, County Meath, in 1825. They left Ireland for America that same year and settled in New York.
22. Tom Cruise grew up in near poverty, and had a Catholic upbringing.
23. The family was dominated by his abusive father, whom Cruise has described as "a merchant of chaos."
24. He was beaten by his father, who Cruise has said was a bully and coward.
25. Cruise's family spent part of his childhood in Canada.
26. They moved to the Ottawa suburb of Beacon Hill in late 1971 so that Cruise's father could take a position as a defense consultant with the Canadian Armed Forces.
27. Tom Cruise attended the just opened Robert Hopkins Public School for much of grade four as well as grade five
28. In grade four, Cruise first became involved in drama, under the tutelage of George Steinburg.
29. Cruise and six other boys put on an improvised play to music called IT at the Carleton Elementary School drama festival. Drama organizer Val Wright, who was in the audience that night, reflected that "the movement and improvisation were excellent. It was a classic ensemble piece.
30. Tom Cruise also enjoyed sports at the school including playing floor hockey, though he was known more for his aggression than his talent.
31. For grade six Cruise went to Henry Munro Middle School. However, in the spring of that year Cruise's mother left his father, taking Cruise and his sisters back to the US.
32. Tom Cruise briefly attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati on a church scholarship and aspired to become a Catholic priest.
33. In his senior year, he played football for the varsity team as a linebacker, but he was cut from the squad after getting caught drinking beer before a game.
34. In total, Cruise attended 15 schools in 14 years, including stints in at least two suburban New Jersey towns, including Glen Ridge.
35. Tom Cruise first appeared in a bit part in the 1981 film Endless Love, followed by a major supporting role as a crazed military academy student in Taps later that year.
36. In 1983, Cruise was part of the ensemble cast of The Outsiders. That same year he appeared in All the Right Moves and Risky Business, which has been described as "A Generation X classic, and a career-maker for Tom Cruise", and which, along with 1986's Top Gun, cemented his status as a superstar.
37. Tom Cruise followed up Top Gun with The Color of Money, which came out the same year, and which paired him with Paul Newman. 1988 saw him star in Cocktail, which earned him a nomination for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor.
38. Tom Cruise starred with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, which won the Academy Award for Best Film and Cruise the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor.
39. Tom Cruise portrayed real-life paralyzed Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic in 1989's Born on the Fourth of July, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Actor, a nomination for BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Cruise's first Best Actor Academy Award nomination.
40. In 1996, Cruise appeared as superspy Ethan Hunt in the reboot of Mission: Impossible, which he produced. It was a box office success, although it received criticism regarding the Jim Phelps character being a villain despite being a protagonist of the original television series.
41. In 2000, Cruise returned as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of the Mission Impossible films, releasing Mission: Impossible II. The film was directed by Hong Kong director John Woo and branded with his gun fu style, and it continued the series' blockbuster success at the box office, taking in almost $547M in worldwide figures, like its predecessor, being the third highest grossing film of the year, despite being a success it along with its predecessor received a mixed reception.
42. Tom Cruise received an MTV Movie Award as Best Male Performance for Mission: Impossible II.
43. In 2003, he starred in the Edward Zwick's historical drama The Last Samurai, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination as best actor.
44. In 2006, he returned to his role as Ethan Hunt in the third installment of the Mission Impossible film series, Mission: Impossible III.
45. On February 9, 2010, Cruise confirmed that he would star in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible series. The film was released in December 2011 to high critical acclaim and box office success.
46. Tom Cruise is set to return as Ethan Hunt and produce the fifth installment of the Mission: Impossible series.
47. Tom Cruise has been married three times and has three children (two adopted and one biological).
48. Tom Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and its associated social programs.
49. Tom Cruise became involved with Scientology in 1990 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers.
50. The 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief cast a spotlight on Cruise's role in Scientology.