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A-list actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise is the star of many box office hits, including Risky Business, A Few Good Men, The Firm, and Jerry Maguire.
Tom Cruise - Mini Biography (3:51)
Tom Cruise - Early Years (1:50)
American actor Tom Cruise was made famous by the 1983 film Risky Business. From there he has gone on to star in numerous Hollywood films and become one of the most recognized actors in the world.
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Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, better known as Tom Cruise, was born on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York. Cruise became interested in acting when he won the lead in a high school production of Guys and Dolls. His role in 1981's Taps, his second film, caught critics' attention, and he eventually went on to star in many box office hits. Cruise married his third wife, Katie Holmes, in 2006. That same year, the couple also had a daughter,
Suri. In June 2012, the couple announced that they were divorcing.
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, better known as Tom Cruise, was born on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York, to Mary and Thomas Mapother. Cruise's mother was an amateur actress and schoolteacher, and his father was an electrical engineer. His family moved around a great deal when Cruise was a child in order to accommodate his father's career.
Cruise's parents divorced when he was 11, and the children moved with their mother to Louisville, Kentucky, and then to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, after her remarriage. Like his mother and three sisters, Cruise suffered from dyslexia, which made academic success difficult for him. He excelled in athletics, however, and considered pursuing a career in professional wrestling until a knee injury sidelined him during high school.
At age 14, Cruise enrolled in a Franciscan seminary with thoughts of becoming a priest, but he left after a year. When he was 16, a teacher encouraged him to participate in the school's production of the musical Guys and Dolls. After Cruise won the lead of Nathan Detroit, he found himself surprisingly at home on the stage, and a career was born.
Cruise set a 10-year deadline for himself in which to build an acting career. He left school and moved to New York, struggling through audition after audition before landing an appearance in 1981's Endless Love, starring Brooke Shields. Around this same time, he snagged a small role in the military school drama Taps (1981), co-starring Sean Penn.
His role in Taps was upgraded after director Harold Becker saw Cruise's potential. His performance caught the attention of a number of critics and filmmakers. In 1983, Cruise appeared in The Outsiders , directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He starred alongside Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, and Rob Lowe—all prominent members of a group of young actors the entertainment press dubbed the "Brat Pack." The film was not well received, but it allowed Cruise to work with an acclaimed director in a high-profile project.
His next film, Risky Business (1983), grossed $65 million. It also made Cruise a highly recognizable actor—thanks in no small part to a memorable scene of the young star dancing in his underwear.
In 1986, after a two-year hiatus, the budding actor released the big-budget fantasy film Legend, which did poorly at the box office. That same year, however, Cruise's A-list status was confirmed with the release of Top Gun, which co-starred Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, and Meg Ryan.
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