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Facts about Tom Cruise
Biography for Tom CruiseThomas Cruise Mapother IV (born Jul. 3, 1962 (51 years ago)), better known by his screen name of Tom Cruise, is an American actor and movie producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006 (7 years ago). He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 (30 years ago) movie Risky Business , which has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker" for the actor. After playing the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and financially successful 1986 (27 years ago) movie Top Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission: Impossible action movies in the 1990 (23 years ago) and 2000 (13 years ago). In addition to these heroic roles, he also played other roles, such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999, 14 years ago) and a cool and calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller movie Collateral (2004, 9 years ago).
In 2005 (8 years ago), the Hollywood journalist, Edward Jay Epstein argued that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Since 2005 (8 years ago), Cruise and Paula Wagner have been in charge of the United Artists movie studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as the chief executive. Cruise is also known for his controversial support of and adherence to the Church of Scientology.
Early lifeCruise was born in Syracuse, New York, the son of Mary Lee (née Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electrical engineer. Although Cruise's paternal surname (Mapother) is Welsh, it appears that his paternal great-grandfather, Thomas O'Mara, was of Irish ancestry and adopted his stepfather's surname, becoming the first Thomas Cruise Mapother. He also has German and English ancestry from his paternal great-grandparents, William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker, and German ancestry through his mother. Tom Cruise's oldest sister, Lee Anne, was born in Louisville. His older sister Marian was born in Syracuse, as were Tom and his younger sister, Cass.
Cruise attended Robert Hopkins Public school for grades three, four, and five. The Mapother family then moved to the suburb of Beacon Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, so Cruise's father could take a position as a defence consultant with the Canadian Armed Forces. There, Cruise completed grade six at Henry Munro Middle School, part of the Carleton Board of Education, where he was active in athletics, playing floor hockey almost every night, showing himself to be a ruthless player, eventually chipping his front tooth. In the game "British Bull Dog", he then lost his newly capped tooth and hurt his knee. Henry Munro was also where Cruise became involved in drama, under the tutelage of George Steinburg. The first play he participated in was called IT, in which Cruise won the co-lead with Michael de Waal, one playing "Evil", the other playing "Good." The play met much acclaim, and toured with five other classmates to various schools around the Ottawa area, even being filmed at the local Ottawa TV station. The two were also singled out for a version of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as a Marcel Marceau-type act. It was at this point that Mary Lee Mapother helped foster her son's acting aspirations: when the religious overtones of the former caused concern for school principal Jim Brown, Cruise's mother convinced him that the play should proceed, and she founded the Gloucester Players, a theatrical troupe where Cruise and some of the boys in Steinburg's class acted.
When Cruise was twelve, his mother left his father, taking Cruise and his sister Lee Anne with her. After a long period of near-poverty, in which Tom's newspaper-delivery earnings helped put food on the table, his mother married a plastics salesman named Jack South.
Besides Ottawa, cities in which Cruise lived included Louisville, Kentucky; Winnetka, Illinois; and Wayne, New Jersey. In all, Cruise attended eight elementary schools and three high schools. He briefly attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati (on a church scholarship) and aspired to become a Catholic priest. 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. Cruise graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey in 1980 (33 years ago).
Cruise has said that he suffered from abuse as a child. This was partially due to his suffering from dyslexia. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. He told Parade Magazine that his father was "a bully" and "a merchant of chaos." Cruise said he learned early on that his father was and, by extension, some people were not to be trusted: "I knew from being around my father that not everyone means me well." Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise, who dropped his father's name at age twelve, was also a victim of bullying at school.
Cruise started acting after being sidelined from his high school's wrestling team due to a knee injury. While injured, he successfully auditioned for a lead role in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls and decided to become an actor after his success in the role. His cousin William Mapother is also an actor most known for playing Ethan Rom on Lost.
Cruise's first movie role came in 1981 (32 years ago), when he had a small role in Endless Love, a drama/romance movie starring Brooke Shields. Later that same year he had a more substantial role in the movie Taps, appearing alongside George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. The movie about military cadets was moderately successful. In 1983 (30 years ago), he was one of many teenaged stars to appear in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. The cast for this movie included Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and Ralph Macchio, two of which were part of the Brat Pack. That same year Cruise appeared in the teen comedy Losin' It. Cruise's breakthrough came after Risky Business was released, which helped to propel Cruise to stardom. One sequence in the film, featuring Cruise lip-syncing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" in his underwear, has become an iconic moment in 1980 (33 years ago) film. The movie has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker for Tom Cruise." A fourth movie that was released in 1983 (30 years ago) was the high-school football drama, All the Right Moves. Cruise's next movie was the 1985 (28 years ago) fantasy movie Legend directed by Ridley Scott.
Cruise was then selected as the first choice by producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson for an upcoming American fighter pilot film. Cruise at first apparently turned down the project, but helped to alter the script he was given and developed the film. After being taken for a flight with the Blue Angels, Cruise changed his mind and signed on with the project. The project was titled Top Gun and opened in May 1986 (27 years ago), becoming the highest grossing movie of the year, taking in US$354 million in worldwide figures. Also in 1986 (27 years ago), he starred in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money along with Paul Newman, which earned Newman a Best Actor Academy Award. In 1988 (25 years ago), he starred in the lighthearted drama Cocktail, which received mixed reviews and Cruise received his first nomination for a Razzie award in 1989 (24 years ago). Later that year, Rain Man was released, which also starred Dustin Hoffman and was directed by Barry Levinson. The movie was praised by critics and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won four, including Best picture (wallpaper) and Best Actor (for Hoffman).
Cruise was welcomed with similar success the following year when he received Academy Award nominations for Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, which was based on the best selling autobiography of parapalegic veteran and anti-war activist Ron Kovic. In 1990 (23 years ago), Cruise starred as hot-shot racecar driver "Cole Trickle" in Tony Scott's Days of Thunder. Cruise's next movie was Ron Howard's Far and Away where he again was starring with Nicole Kidman. After Days of Thunder he starred in the military thriller A Few Good Men with Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore. This movie was very well received and earned Cruise a Golden Globe and MTV nominations. The following year he starred in Sydney Pollack's The Firm along with Gene Hackman and Ed Harris. It was based on the best selling novel by John Grisham, and won Favorite Dramatic Motion picture (wallpaper) at the People's Choice Awards.
In 1994 (19 years ago), Cruise starred along with Brad pitt (17 walls), Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater in Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire, a gothic drama/horror movie that was based on Anne Rice's best-selling novel. The movie was well received, although Rice was outspoken in her criticism of Cruise having been cast in the film, as River Phoenix was her first choice. In 1996 (17 years ago), Cruise starred in (as well as produced) Brian de Palma's Mission: Impossible. The film, a remake of the 1960 (53 years ago) TV series, grossed US$456 million worldwide, making it the third highest grossing movie that year. That same year he played the title role in the comedy-drama Jerry Maguire. The movie earned him an Academy Award Best Actor nomination as well as winning co-star Cuba Gooding, Jr. an Academy Award; the movie was nominated for five Academy Awards in total. The movie also included the catchphrase "Show Me the Money!" which became part of popular culture. In 1999 (14 years ago) he starred in the erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut which took two years to complete and was director Stanley Kubrick's last film. It was also the last movie in which he starred alongside then spouse Nicole Kidman. But the film, which had a straightforward description of sex and a recondite story-telling style, raised great controversies. Cruise also played a misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999, 14 years ago), which netted him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. He was originally intended to play as Jericho Cane in the action horror movie End of Days before Arnold Schwarzenegger assumed the lead role.
In 2000 (13 years ago), Cruise returned as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of the Mission Impossible films, releasing Mission: Impossible II. The movie 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 US$547 M in worldwide figures, like its predecessor, being the third highest grossing movie of the year. The following year Cruise starred in the remake of Abre Los Ojos, Vanilla Sky (2001, 12 years ago) with Cameron Diaz (31 walls) and Penelope Cruz. The movie was critically acclaimed and proved to be another box office success. In 2002 (11 years ago), Cruise starred in the successful dystopian science fiction thriller, Minority Report (5 walls) which was directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. In 2003 (10 years ago), he starred in the successful Edward Zwick's historical drama The Last Samurai.
In the 2004 (9 years ago) Michael Mann's crime-thriller movie Collateral, Cruise took a turn against his generic good guy role by playing the role of a sociopathic hitman. In 2005 (8 years ago), Cruise worked again with Steven Spielberg in War of the Worlds, which became the fourth highest grossing movie of the year with US$591.4 M worldwide. Despite the film's box office success, it earned three Razzie nominations, including one for Cruise. In 2006 (7 years ago), he reprised his role as Ethan Hunt in the third installment of the Mission Impossible movie series, Mission: Impossible III. The movie was more positively received by critics than its predecessor, and grossed nearly $400 million at the box office. He appeared in the 2007 (6 years ago) drama Lions for Lambs, which became Cruise's only wide-released movie in 21 years that did not gross over $100 million worldwide.
In 2008 (5 years ago), Cruise appeared in the hit comedy Tropic Thunder with Ben Stiller and Jack Black. This performance earned Cruise a Golden Globe nomination. Cruise's latest starring role is in the historical thriller Valkyrie, released on dec. 25, 2008 (5 years ago) to mixed reviews.
Producing careerCruise partnered with his former talent agent Paula Wagner to form Cruise/Wagner Productions in 1993 (20 years ago), and the company has since co-produced several of Cruise's films, the first being Mission: Impossible in 1996 (17 years ago) which was also Cruise's first project as a producer. He won a Nova Award (shared with Paula Wagner) for Most Promising Producer in Theatrical Motion pictures (wallpaper) at the PGA Golden Laurel Awards in 1997 (16 years ago) for his work as a producer for the movie Mission: Impossible.
His next project as a producer was the 1998 (15 years ago) movie Without Limits about famous American runner Steve Prefontaine. Cruise returned to work as a producer in 2000 (13 years ago), continuing work on the Mission Impossible sequel. He then served as an executive producer for The Others which starred Nicole Kidman (24 walls), also that year, he again worked as actor/producer in Vanilla Sky. He subsequently worked on (but did not star in) Narc, Hitting It Hard and Shattered Glass. His next project, which he also starred in, was The Last Samurai (5 walls), he was jointly nominated for the Motion picture (wallpaper) Producer of the Year Award at the 2004 (9 years ago) PGA Golden Laurel Awards. He then worked on Suspect Zero, Elizabethtown and Ask the Dust.
Cruise is noted as having negotiated some of the most lucrative movie deals in Hollywood, and was described in 2005 (8 years ago) by Hollywood economist Edward Jay Epstein as "one of the most powerful and richest forces in Hollywood." Epstein argues that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are regarded as able to guarantee the success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Epstein also contends that the public obsession with Cruise's tabloid controversies obscures full appreciation of Cruise's exceptional commercial prowess.
Cruise/Wagner Productions, Cruise's movie production company, is said to be developing a screenplay based on Erik Larson's New York Times bestseller, The Devil in the White City about a real life serial killer, H. H. Holmes, at Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition. Kathryn Bigelow is attached to the project to produce and helm. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, is also developing a movie about Holmes and the World's Fair, in which DiCaprio will star.
Breakup with ParamountOn Aug. 22, 2006 (7 years ago), Paramount pictures (wallpaper) announced it was ending its 14-year relationship with Cruise. In the Wall Street Journal, chairman of Viacom (Paramount's parent company) Sumner Redstone cited the economic damage to Cruise's value as an actor and producer from his controversial public behavior and views. Cruise/Wagner Productions responded that Paramount's announcement was a face-saving move after the production company had successfully sought alternative financing from private equity firms. Industry analysts such as Edward Jay Epstein commented that the real reason for the split was most likely Paramount's discontent over Cruise/Wagner's exceptionally large share of DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) sales from the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Management of United ArtistsIn Nov. 2006 (7 years ago), Cruise and Paula Wagner announced that they had taken over United Artists movie studio. Cruise acts as a producer and star in movies for United Artists, while Wagner serves as UA's chief executive. Production began in 2007 (6 years ago) of Valkyrie, a thriller based on the Jul. 20, 1944 (69 years ago) assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler. The movie was acquired in Mar. 2007 (6 years ago) by United Artists. On Mar. 21, 2007 (6 years ago) Cruise signed on to play Claus von Stauffenberg, the protagonist. This project marks the second production to be greenlighted since Cruise and Wagner took control of United Artists. The first was its inaugural film, Lions for Lambs, directed by Robert Redford and starring Redford, Meryl Streep and Cruise. Lambs was released on Nov. 9, 2007 (6 years ago), opening to unimpressive box office revenue and critical reception. In Aug. 2008 (5 years ago), Wagner stepped down from her position at United Artists; she retains her stake in UA, which combined with Cruise's share amounts to 30 percent of the studio.
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