AKA Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
Birthplace: Syracuse, NY
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Matter of Dispute
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Flamboyant Scientologist
Tom Cruise is one of the most popular movie stars in world history, with films grossing nearly three billion dollars. Since Top Gun in 1986, almost every feature he has starred in has achieved blockbuster status, with box office revenues totaling $100-million or more in the U.S. He is 5'7" tall, somewhat short for an American man. He usually wears "elevator shoes" and works with diminutive actresses to hide his height.
As a boy, his family moved often, and Cruise called more than a dozen cities home. He attended eight elementary schools and three high schools, not counting a short stint in Cincinnati's St. Francis Seminary at the age of 14. He took preliminary classes there that could have led to the Catholic priesthood, but abandoned those plans after one semester. Shortly after that, his parents divorced. Cruise was on his high school wrestling team, but when he was sidelined from athletics with a knee injury, he auditioned for the lead in his high school's production of Guys and Dolls, and got the role. With the opening night applause ringing in his ears, he decided to pursue acting as his career. After graduating from high school, Cruise moved to New York City, where he worked as a bus-boy and took drama classes in the evening. He auditioned for TV commercials, but was often turned down as "too handsome" or "too intense".
He made his film debut at 19, with a small role in one of Franco Zeffirelli's worst films, Endless Love (1981). He received good notices for his performance as a belligerent cadet in Taps (1981), and appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. Cruise became a leading man in a forgettable 1983 sex comedy, Losin' It. Most Americans, though, first noticed him in another '83 sex comedy, Risky Business. He has made an almost uninterrupted cavalcade of hit movies since then, including Top Gun, Rain Man, and three Mission: Impossible films.
Cruise says he was diagnosed as dyslexic at seven, and tried to hide his learning disability from the other children at school. He has described his younger self as "a functional illiterate", through high school and his first several films. Explaining how such a functionally illiterate man can possibly make a good impression at auditions, Cruise says, "I'd get the director and producer to talk about the characters and the film. I'd glean information from them and I'd use that... I got pretty good at ad-libbing".
"Everything fell into place" when Cruise was converted to Scientology, at the urging of his then-wife Mimi Rogers. "Many people had tried to teach me, but no-one had taught me how to learn or how to study", until he used L. Ron Hubbard's learning method of "Study Technology". In cooperation with the Church of Scientology, Cruise has opened two "9/11 Syndrome" treatment facilities in New York, for rescue workers who were sickened by sifting through tons of debris after September 11. The facilities offer exercise, sauna sweat-rooms, vitamins, and a regimen outlined in Hubbard's book Clear Body, Clear Mind.
In 2002, Cruise unsuccessfully lobbied the German government to change its official stance against Scientology. Since the late 1990's, German law has seen Scientology as a shady money-making enterprise, not a religion. Scientologists, of course, somehow see this as an infringement of their civil rights. It is also bad for business. In 2006, Cruise threatened to do no promotional tours for Mission Impossible 3 unless the studio, Paramount Pictures, leaned on its subsidiary Comedy Central to squelch an episode of South Park that was critical of Scientology.
In a 1999 column, Roger Ebert complained that he was asked -- and refused -- to sign a pre-interview contract detailing what he could and could not ask in an interview with Cruise. In 2004, a Boston Globe reporter wrote that before he could chat with Cruise, he had been similarly required to sign a form stipulating that "neither Artist nor the Interview will be used or referred to in a derogatory manner".
With his dashing good looks, his youthful interest in wrestling, and two adopted but no biological children from his first two marriages, many of Cruise's fans and detractors have long questioned his sexuality. He has filed lawsuits against several people and publications that claimed he is homosexual. In 2001, Cruise sued Bold magazine publisher Michael Davis, who had offered a $500-million bounty for compromising photos of a cruisy Cruise, and claimed to have obtained a videotape of Cruise on a big gay tear. The magazine quickly published a retraction, and Cruise dropped his suit in exchange for a promise from Davis to never again state or imply that Cruise is anything but a heterosexual. The agreement also stipulated that "Plaintiff, Tom Cruise, does not appear on the videotape to which said defendant referred in his statement... Plaintiff is not, and never has been, homosexual and has never had a homosexual affair". Cruise also sued Chad Slater (aka Kyle Bradford), a gay porn actor and "erotic wrestler" who had been quoted in an interview with Actustar, a French fan magazine, saying he had an affair with Cruise. After being served with Cruise's lawsuit, Slater said that the interview had been fabricated by the magazine, and the magazine published a retraction. Cruise eventually won a $17-million verdict against the virtually penniless pornstar.
While married to actress Nicole Kidman, Cruise also sued the Star supermarket tabloid, after it published a story claiming they had needed a sex coach for their steamy scenes in Stanley Kubrick's film, Eyes Wide Shut. That lawsuit was also settled, with a retraction by the Star and an unspecified donation to a charity of Cruise and Kidman's choice. They also sued London's Express tabloid, over similar allegations that their marriage was a sham to hide the homosexuality of one or both of the stars. The Express had also alleged that Cruise was either impotent or sterile. The paper paid £350,000 and apologized.
In 2005, Cruise was suddenly linked with actress Katie Holmes, who is 16 years younger than he. Just weeks after they began dating, he famously proclaimed his love for her while jumping on the couch on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Cruise & Holmes quickly became Hollywood's "it couple", with their photos everywhere, usually mid-smooch. In 2006, in a Scientology-proscribed silent operation, Holmes gave birth to a daughter, Suri, and seven months later Cruise and Holmes were married. She filed for divorce in 2012.
Rumors circulated, heatedly denied by Cruise, that in the weeks before announcing his love for Holmes in 2005, Cruise and/or the Church of Scientology had "auditioned" Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Bosworth and Jennifer Garner as potential romantic partners for Cruise. A 2012 article in Vanity Fair reported that an Iranian-born but London-bred actress named Nazanin Boniadi had been extensively vetted by the Church and dated Cruise in late 2004 and early 2005, but was passed over when she told Church officials that she was uncomfortable with public displays of affection.
Cruise publicly criticized actress Brooke Shields when she stated that she had used anti-depressant medication to help her through post-partum depression after having her first baby. Cruise even appeared on The Today Show to explain to Matt Lauer that psychiatry is a fraud, mental illness is imaginary, and that keeping people suppressed is the only purpose for psychiatric drugs. His opinions were disputed by people who believe in concepts such as science and medicine, and pointed out that mental health patients who believe Cruise's highly-publicized perspectives and stop taking their medicine could be putting their lives at risk.
In 2006, Paramount chief Sumner Redstone ended Cruise's longtime contract with that studio, effectively firing the superstar, saying that Cruise "was embarrassing the studio. And he was costing us a lot of money," when disgruntled moviegoers stayed away from movies that starred Cruise. Redstone's own wife had reportedly been furious at Cruise's comments on post-partum depression. Months later, Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner, were given "complete creative control" of all movies made at rival Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's subsidiary United Artists.
Though nearly mothballed in recent years, UA was originally founded in 1919 by silent stars Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Mary Pickford and moviemaker D. W. Griffith. Their intent was to wrest creative control from "money people" and have films created by the artists themselves.
Father: Thomas Mapother III (electrical engineer, b. 15-Oct-1934, d. Jan-1984)
Mother: Mary Lee Pfeiffer South
Father: Joseph South (stepfather)
Sister: Lee Anne DeVette (Cruise's spokesman, b. 1959)
Sister: Marian Mapother (teacher, b. 1961)
Sister: Cass Mapother (restaurateur, b. 1963)
Girlfriend: Melissa Gilbert (actress, together 1982)
Girlfriend: Cher (diva, dated early 1980s)
Girlfriend: Rebecca De Mornay (actress, cohabited 1983-85)
Wife: Mimi Rogers (actress, m. 9-May-1987, div. Jan-1990)
Wife: Nicole Kidman (actress, m. 24-Dec-1990, div. 8-Aug-2001, two adopted children)
Daughter: Isabella Jane Kidman Cruise (adopted, b. 22-Dec-1992)
Son: Connor Anthony Kidman Cruise (adopted, b. 17-Jan-1995)
Girlfriend: Penelope Cruz (actress, together 2001-04)
Girlfriend: Sofia Vergara (Colombian actress, together in 2005)
Wife: Katie Holmes (actress, dated 2005-06, m. 18-Nov-2006, div. 9-Jul-2012, one daughter)
Daughter: Suri Cruise (b. 18-Apr-2006)
High School: Glen Ridge High School (1980)
United Artists (2006-)
Paramount Pictures (1992-2006)
Afghanistan World Foundation Celebrity Committee
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Hillary Rodham Clinton for US Senate Committee
National Space Society Board of Governors
Hollywood Walk of Fame 6912 Hollywood Blvd (motion pictures)
Funeral: Diana, Princess of Wales (1997)
Wedding: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (2006)
Parodied As A Muppet
Risk Factors: Dyslexia, Skydiving
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Jack Reacher (20-Dec-2012)
Rock of Ages (13-Jun-2012) · Stacee Jaxx
Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (7-Dec-2011)
Knight and Day (23-Jun-2010) · Roy Miller
Valkyrie (25-Dec-2008) · Col. Claus von Stauffenberg
Tropic Thunder (13-Aug-2008)
Lions for Lambs (22-Oct-2007) · Sen. Jasper Irving
Mission: Impossible III (3-May-2006)
War of the Worlds (27-Jun-2005)
Collateral (6-Aug-2004) · Vincent
The Last Samurai (22-Nov-2003)
Austin Powers in Goldmember (22-Jul-2002) · Famous Austin
Minority Report (17-Jun-2002) · Chief John Anderton
Vanilla Sky (10-Dec-2001) · David Aames
America: A Tribute to Heroes (21-Sep-2001) · Himself
Mission Impossible II (24-May-2000)
Eyes Wide Shut (13-Jul-1999) · Dr. William Harford
Jerry Maguire (13-Dec-1996) · Jerry Maguire
Mission Impossible (22-May-1996)
Interview with the Vampire (11-Nov-1994) · Lestat
The Firm (30-Jun-1993)
A Few Good Men (11-Dec-1992)
Far and Away (22-May-1992) · Joseph
Days of Thunder (27-Jun-1990) · Cole Trickle
Born on the Fourth of July (20-Dec-1989) · Ron Kovic
Rain Man (12-Dec-1988) · Charlie Babbitt
Cocktail (29-Jul-1988) · Brian Flanagan
The Color of Money (17-Oct-1986) · Vincent
Top Gun (16-May-1986) · Maverick
Legend (28-Aug-1985) · Jack
All the Right Moves (21-Oct-1983)
Risky Business (5-Aug-1983) · Joel
Losin' It (8-Apr-1983)
The Outsiders (25-Mar-1983)
Endless Love (17-Jul-1981)
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