Tom Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; July 3, 1962) is an American actor and filmmaker. Cruise 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 the romantic comedy Risky Business, released in August 1983. Cruise became a full-fledged movie star after starring as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the action drama Top Gun (1986). Since 1996, he has been well known for his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible film series, whose most recent film, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, was released in 2015.
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). 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).
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). In 2012, Cruise was Hollywood’s highest-paid actor. Sixteen of his films grossed over $100 million domestically; twenty-two have grossed in excess of $200 million worldwide.
He 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. In 2002, Cruise won the Saturn Award for Best Actor for Vanilla Sky. 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.
Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and its associated social programs, and credits it with helping him overcome dyslexia. 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 promoting Scientology.
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. Cruise has three sisters, Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass. Cruise’s surname originates from his great-grandfather, born Thomas Cruise O’Mara, Jr., who was renamed “Thomas Cruise Mapother” Cruise is of Irish, German, and English ancestry. 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. Patrick and Teresa had a daughter, Mary Paulina Russell Cruise, whose son Thomas O’Mara was Tom’s great-grandfather through his direct paternal line.
Cruise grew up in near poverty, and had a Catholic upbringing. The family was dominated by his abusive father, whom Cruise has described as “a merchant of chaos. He was beaten by his father, who Cruise has said was a bully and coward.
He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you. It was a great lesson in my life—how he’d lull you in, make you feel safe and then, bang! For me, it was like, ‘There’s something wrong with this guy. Don’t trust him. Be careful around him.’
Cruise’s family spent part of his childhood in Canada. 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. There, Cruise attended the just opened Robert Hopkins Public School for much of grade four as well as grade five. In grade four, Cruise first became involved in drama, under the tutelage of George Steinburg. 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.” Cruise also enjoyed sports at the school including playing floor hockey, though he was known more for his aggression than his talent. In sixth grade, 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. His father died of cancer.
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. In total, Cruise attended 15 schools in 14 years, including stints in at least two suburban New Jersey towns, including Glen Ridge.
Cruise has been married three times and has three children (two adopted and one biological).
Cruise had a relationship with Risky Business co-star Rebecca De Mornay from 1983 to 1985. Singer and actress Cher says that she dated Cruise in 1985.
Cruise married actress Mimi Rogers on May 9, 1987. The marriage lasted two years, and their divorce was finalized on February 4, 1990. Rogers introduced Cruise to Scientology.
Cruise met his second wife, actress Nicole Kidman, on the set of their film Days of Thunder in 1989. The couple married on December 24, 1990. Cruise and Kidman adopted two children, Isabella and Connor Antony. In February 2001 Cruise filed for divorce from Kidman while she was unknowingly pregnant. The pregnancy ended with a miscarriage. In 2007 Kidman clarified rumours of a miscarriage early in her marriage to Cruise, saying in an interview, “It was wrongly reported,” and explaining that she had actually had an ectopic pregnancy. Before her next marriage, to Keith Urban, Kidman spoke of how much she still loved Cruise, saying in 2006: “He was huge; still is. To me, he was just Tom, but to everybody else, he is huge. But he was lovely to me. And I loved him. I still love him.
Cruise was next romantically linked with Penélope Cruz, his co-star in Vanilla Sky. The relationship ended in 2004. An article in the October 2012 issue of Vanity Fair states that several sources have said that after the breakup with Cruz, the Church of Scientology launched a secret project to find Cruise a new girlfriend. According to those sources, a series of “auditions” of Scientologist actresses resulted in a short-lived relationship with British-Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi, who subsequently left Scientology. The Church and Cruise’s lawyers issued strongly worded denials and threatened to sue, accusing Vanity Fair of “shoddy journalism” and “religious bigotry.” Journalist Roger Friedman later reported that he received an email from director and ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis confirming the story.
In April 2005, Cruise began dating actress Katie Holmes. On April 27 that year, Cruise and Holmes – dubbed “TomKat” by the media – made their first public appearance together in Rome.A month later, Cruise declared his love for Holmes on The Oprah Winfrey Show, famously jumping up and down on Winfrey’s couch during the show. On October 6, 2005, Cruise and Holmes announced they were expecting a child their daughter, Suri, was born in 2006. On November 18, 2006, Holmes and Cruise were married at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, in a Scientology ceremony attended by many Hollywood stars. The actors’ publicist said the couple had “officialized” their marriage in Los Angeles the day before the Italian ceremony. There has been widespread speculation that the marriage was arranged by the Church of Scientology. David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, served as Cruise’s best man. On June 29, 2012, it was announced that Holmes had filed for divorce from Cruise after five and a half years of marriage. On July 9, 2012, it was announced that the couple had signed a divorce settlement worked out by their lawyers. Because New York law requires that all divorce documents remain sealed, the exact terms of the settlement are not publicly available.
Cruise is also the first cousin of actor William Mapother, with whom he has appeared in five films.