Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 film 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 film Top Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission: Impossible action films in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to these heroic roles, he also played other roles, such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999) and a cool and calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller film Collateral (2004).
Economist Edward Jay Epstein argues 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, Cruise and Paula Wagner have been in charge of the United Artists film studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as the chief executive. Cruise is also known for his support of and adherence to the Church of Scientology. His notable public criticisms of psychiatry and the use of anti-depressive drugs have attracted controversy and media interest.
Family and early life
Cruise 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. Cruise has German and Colonial English ancestry from his paternal great-grandparents, William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker; and purportedly Welsh ancestry from his paternal great-great-grandfather, Dylan Henry Mapother, who emigrated from Flint, Wales to Louisville, Kentucky in 1850. His 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 3, 4 & 5 and Henry Munro Middle School for grade 6 in Gloucester, now Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, part of the Carleton Board of Education.The family lived in the Gloucester suburb of Beacon Hill. His family later moved from Kentucky so his father could take a position as a Defence consultant with the Canadian Army. Cruise became involved in drama at Robert Hopkins P.S. early on under the tutelage of teacher Mr. 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 and was filmed at the local Ottawa TV station. The two were also singled out for a version of Jesus Christ Superstar and a Marcel Marceau-type act. When there was concern by school Principal Jim Brown of the religious overtones of J.C. Superstar, Cruise's mother convinced the school that the play should proceed. Mrs. Mapother was one of the founders of the Gloucester Players, a theatrical troupe where Cruise and some of the boys in Mr. Steinburg's class acted. As a boy, Cruise was also active in athletics, playing floor hockey almost every night; he was a ruthless player and ended up chipping his front tooth. In "British Bull Dog" he lost his newly capped tooth and hurt his knee.
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.
Cities in which Cruise lived included Ottawa, Ontario (where he attended Colonel By Secondary School), 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.
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.
Relationships and personal life
Cruise was married to Mimi Rogers on May 9, 1987; they divorced on February 4, 1990. Rogers is generally believed to have introduced Cruise to Scientology.
Cruise met Nicole Kidman on the set of their film Days of Thunder. The couple married on December 24, 1990 and divorced on August 8, 2001. He and Kidman adopted two children, Isabella Jane (b. December 22, 1992) and Connor Antony (b. January 17, 1995). They separated when Kidman was three months pregnant, just before their tenth wedding anniversary; she later miscarried.
Cruise was next romantically linked with Penélope Cruz, the lead actress in his film Vanilla Sky. After a three-year relationship, in March 2004, Cruise announced that their relationship had ended in January.
Main article: TomKat
In April 2005, Cruise began dating actress Katie Holmes. Shortly after they began their highly publicized relationship, on June 17, 2005, Cruise announced he had proposed to her at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. She accepted his proposal, and the couple married in Bracciano, Italy on November 18, 2006.
On April 18, 2006 Katie gave birth to a baby girl named Suri at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Cruise stated that the name derives from the Hebrew word for "princess" or the Persian word meaning red rose. (See also Sarah.) She is the first child for Holmes and third for Cruise, who (as previously mentioned) has two adopted children with Nicole Kidman.