Tom Cruise

The American Actor Tom Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York on 3 July 1962 and at the age of 19 he made his film debut in Endless Love (1981). He has been part of an extensive collection regarding Hollywood blockbusters and in 2012 he was the highest paid actor in Tinseltown. Another reason for reaching the spotlight is connected to his openness about his religion namely Scientology.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun

International stardom

Tom Cruise’s big break came in 1986 with the release of Top Gun which formally placed him on the list of stars, but his real talent started to show in 1988's Rain Man co-starring Dustin Hoffman. Followed by some more Hollywood favorites, Tom struck gold in A Few Good Men as a military lawyer who took on a case filled with cover-ups and threatening situations. Jack Nicholson played his nemesis so-to-speak like only Mr. Nicholson could.

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise

Intimate scene with Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut.

In Days of Thunder (1990) he plays against the Australian Nicole Kidman and they became a couple. In 1999 Tom Cruise and his wife Nicole Kidman (the couple separated in 2000) decided to star in the controversial film Eyes Wide Shut, directed by Stanley Kubrick. It wasn't as much a hit as it stirred interest due to the intimate scenes. As a psychologically motivated movie it came up short in many aspects and one can argue that the sexual nature is probably the only reason it showed some success.

Into the action area

Just like the older generation remembers Tom for his role in Top Gun, the newer generation associates him with the Mission Impossible series where he plays a top secret agent. Some like to relate this saga with the James Bond franchise, but it's safe to say the storyline isn't nearly as predictable as 007. Even though not everybody appreciated Mission Impossible it did generate huge success.

As his career took twists and turns through mostly drama and action an apparent change was seen in The Last Samurai (2003). Although Tom has played some diverse roles, the latter was rather unique. The film boasts about being based on a true story, but some research proved it to be more fictional. Nevertheless his portrayal as a drunken army general who gets separated from his regiment only to become accustomed to the last standing samurais and their battle was brilliant.

Regardless of his weird appearances in public, Tom Cruise has maintained a career of providing decent films. In 2008 he starred in the movie Valkyrie which aimed at one of the many attempts from German generals to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Once again based on true events and more realistic than The Last Samurai, he managed to really grip the audience to a great extent. Unfortunately, his choice of using an American accent whilst being German did create unnecessary distance.

While Tom Cruise might be controversial in some aspects of private life, his on screen personas always have a way of grabbing attention. Two of the best performances by Cruise not yet mention in the article can be seen in Born on The Fourth of July (1989) and Magnolia (1999).

Link to Tom Cruise filmography

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