Cruise grew up in Syracuse, New York and lived in near poverty. Throughout his life he’s shared a tremendous respect for educators as his mom was a special educations teacher. He had a strict Catholic upbringing. His dad was mentally and physically abusive to Tom. His relationship with his father was volatile until the end when his dad died of cancer in 1984, one year after Tom’s hit movie was released called: Risky Business.
Tom’s mom divorced his father when he was in the 6th grade and they moved around a lot. He attended on average about one new school every year so making friends was always a tough struggle as he was always the outsider.
Tom loved performing in school plays but he also loved sports. He was playing linebacker his senior year in high school but was kicked off the team for getting caught drinking beer before a game. His devout Catholic faith led him to attend the seminary with the intent of becoming a priest but he quit after a short period of time and decided to try to become an actor.
His good looks and passion for acting paid off as he was quickly recognized for his talents via a video his agent put together. A lot of actors are lucky to get parts in commercials or maybe television shows but Tom’s career started off with a bang in 1981 by first getting a bit part in the movie: Endless Love then more importantly landing a large role in the popular military movie: Taps.
The next couple of years he got lead roles in the movies: All the Right Moves and Risky Business both great box office successes. Girls were going wild and the movie studios had a superstar on their hands. This was only cemented when the phenomenal hit: Top Gun was released in 1986. Besides the movie becoming number one the soundtrack from the movie also reached the top of the charts.
The hits kept coming as Tom really stretched himself acting and he took on a variety of roles. As a reminder here are some of his movies: The Color of Money (1986), Rain Man (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), A Few Good Men (1992), The Firm (1993), Jerry Maguire (1996), Vanilla Sky (2001) Minority Report (2002), The Last Samurai (2003), Collateral (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Valkyrie (2008) and he’s also starred in the Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher franchises. Both of these franchises are produced by Tom’s own movie studio that he started with his acting agent in 1996. If you think about some of the above roles you’ll recognize his diversity.
He’s known for several things in movie industry: 1) He’s a workaholic and is always prepared. 2) He respects everyone, fellow actors and all the support personnel. 3) He’s fearless. He prefers doing his own stunts whether it means dangling from the highest building in the world or jumping off a roof on his motorcycle in a chase scene.
By the way he’s a riding fanatic so it’s hard to find a movie that he’s in where he isn’t riding a motorcycle at some point. He also likes to do his own fight scenes and is trained in a variety of martial arts.
Besides producing his own films he still had a working relationship with Paramount Studios and would star in some of their productions but they dropped Tom after 14 years due to the scandal regarding Scientology. He shared views about a variety of topics like depression that wasn’t accepted mainstream. Also his behavior at times seemed to be erratic so Paramount wanted to avoid a potential public relations disaster.
Rumor has it as well, that Paramount was mad about the money Tom’s studio was making off of all the Mission Impossible films as they had a chance to film them before Tom cut his own deal (he didn’t do anything unethical). Much to Paramount’s dismay, it got even worse as Tom and his business partner purchased the movie studio United Artist, which was a tough competitor. People think of Tom as an actor but the fact is, he turned out to be a great businessman as well.
Although one of the most successful men in Hollywood, Tom hasn’t been successful when it comes to personal relationships. His first major Hollywood romance was with Cher who was 16 years older than him. They split and then he married Mimi Rogers (actress), in 1987 but divorced in 1990. Rogers was the person who introduced Tom to Scientology. The same year they divorced, Tom married Nicole Kidman who he had met on the set of: Days of Thunder. They adopted two children then after 11 years of marriage Tom filed for divorce. Kidman said she was still in love with Tom years after they had split. Per my wife (Maggie), Nicole made out as she ended up marrying Keith Urban.
Tom dated around for a while after his divorce but met and fell in love with Katie Holmes who he married in 2005; their daughter Suri was born the next year. In 2011, Holmes filed for divorce and they handled things quickly out of court. Tabloids said the split was due to Tom’s obsession with Scientology and the negative affect it was having on Suri.
This is kind of strange but Cruise has been involved in several lawsuits over the years of claims by individuals and various tabloids that he’s gay and that his marriages have been shams. He’s won every case and the defendants have had to pay millions of dollars to him.
When you’re as intense a person as Tom Cruise, there’s going to be haters and he has plenty. I even get a little wigged out about his obsession with Scientology. I do know that Tom has been honored on many occasions for his philanthropy so there’s definitely a lot of good in him. As for me, he’s been in so many films that I’ve loved and that’s what really counts.