Personal detailsName: Tom Cruise
Born: 3 July 1962 (Age: 50)
Where: Syracuse, New Jersey, USA
Height: 5' 7"
Awards: Won 3 Golden Globes, 3 Oscar and 1 BAFTA nominations
All about this star
There's a popular Hollywood saying. Question: Who can guarantee you a box-office smash? Answers: 1) Tom Cruise 2) Tom Cruise 3) That's it. Just look at the figures. Mission: Impossible - $180 million, A Few Good Men - $141 million, Rain Man - $172 million, Top Gun - $176 million, Jerry Maguire - $158 million, The Firm - $158 million, Mission: Impossible 2 - $215 million. These are conservative estimates, the true money made worldwide from Cruise's movies is infinitely higher. But it's not just the money, there's critical respect too. Oscars and Oscar nominations have rained down on Cruise productions. Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jack Nicholson, Cameron Crowe, Holly Hunter, Oliver Stone, Barry Levinson, all of them have good reason to believe Tom Cruise is some kind of Oscar talisman. Do well next to Cruise and you've a fine chance of being short-listed.
Cruise's early life was so tough it's a bona fide miracle that he's come so far. He was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV in Syracuse, New Jersey on the 3rd of July, 1962, to nomadic parents. His mother, Mary Lee Pfeiffer from Louisiana, had married Thomas Cruise Mapother III, an electronics engineer from the University of Kentucky, whose job with General Electric took them all over. Daughter Lee Anne was born in Louisville, then Marian, Tom and Cass (a third daughter) were born in Syracuse. Then they moved to Ottawa, to Missouri, back to New Jersey, and back to Louisville, before finally divorcing when Tom was 11.
Cruise would later have little good to say about his father. "He was a bully and a coward," he'd recall in an interview with Parade magazine. "He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you. He was an antisocial personality, inconsistent, unpredictable. It was a great lesson in my life - how he'd lull you in, make you feel safe and then BANG!" Cruise would not see his father for 10 years, when the older man was dying of cancer. Even then there would be no apology, no forgiveness, no closure, his father only seeing Tom at all if he swore not to mention the past.
Mary Lee took the kids to live at Taylorsville Road, Kentucky, where life was one hell of a struggle, Tom living with an aunt for a year while his mum got house and home together. When he rejoined the family, young Tom was titular Man Of The House, but they all had to work, Tom putting his newspaper delivery earnings into the general coffers. The family received food stamps but not full Welfare as Mary Lee was always working. "My mother finally had the courage to stand up to my father and say 'No more, I'm not taking it, so long'," Cruise would say in that same Parade interview. "People can create their own lives.