Updated On: November 06, 2023 by   Pansieh Gharib   Pansieh Gharib  

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise: 4 Decades of Success

One of the highest-paid actors in the world, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is an American actor who received many awards and was nominated for many others. His movies grossed over 11 billion dollars worldwide. Childhood Tom Cruise was born in New York in 1962. His father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III, was an electrical engineer, and his mother, […]

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One of the highest-paid actors in the world, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is an American actor who received many awards and was nominated for many others. His movies grossed over 11 billion dollars worldwide.


Tom Cruise was born in New York in 1962. His father, Thomas Cruise Mapother III, was an electrical engineer, and his mother, Mary Lee, was a special education teacher. Both his parents were from Kentucky with English, German and Irish origins. Cruise and his three sisters, Lee Anne, Marian, and Cass, grew up in a catholic, near-poverty household.

As a child, Tom Cruise did not lead a luxurious life. In fact, he had to put up with constant moving from one state to another due to his father’s work. He even worked as a child himself to increase his personal income. As he mentioned during his latest speech at the 34th Annual Guild Awards, he used this money to go to the movies.

Cruise has been obsessed with movies since a young age. This obsession made him the unique star of today. It is his hobby to watch and make movies. That is why he made sure to acquire many licences to make his movies as authentic as possible.


During his childhood, Cruise moved from one school to another due to the instability of his family. In total, he joined 15 schools in the period of 14 years. Cruise’s father moved to Canada to work as a defence consultant, and accordingly, the family relocated to Ottawa, where Cruise joined the Robert Hopkins Public School. That was during his fourth grade when he also experienced acting on his first improvised play at the school drama festival organised by Carleton Elementary.

Cruise joined another school, the Henry Munro Middle School, two years later. During the same year, his mother left his father. As a result, He moved with his mother and sisters to New York. Later, Cruise aimed to be a Franciscan Priest after taking a scholarship at the St. Francis Seminary in Ohio. However, he left when his family moved again. He finally graduated from Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey.

Spouses and Romantic Relationships

Tom Cruise was officially married three times and had three children. The three marriages were with famous actresses.

Mimi Rogers (Married from May 1987 to February 1990)

tom cruise

Mimi Rogers is an American Actress, born in 1956. She is known for several outstanding performances in tv and cinema. Her best acting role was in the religious drama entitled The Rapture. She received Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead nomination for that role.

Before becoming an actress, Rogers was an auditor with the church of Scientology, which philosophy was part of her upbringing as a child. She joined her first husband, Jim Rogers, in opening the Enhancement Center, which focused on auditing for the church.

As Rogers was one of the auditors of Scientology, her first encounter with Cruise was him being one of her clients. They found a connection, and their relationship culminated in marriage in 1987. Unfortunately, in February 1990, the couple decided to end their marriage. Roger received $4 million for a divorce settlement.

Nicole Kidman (Married from December 1990 to February 2001)

tom cruise

Nicole Kidman is an iconic American and Australian actress and producer. She was born in 1967. She is considered among the highest-paid actresses in the world. In 1994, she became a Good Will Ambassador for UNICEF and, in 2004, for UNIFEM.

During the filming of their famous film Days of Thunder in the USA, the couple fell in love. They decided to get married on 24 December 1990. They have adopted two children, Isabella and Conor. Sadly, Cruise filed for divorce in February 2001. Rumours spread that their divorce had something to do with Cruise’s connection to Scientology. However, nothing has been confirmed.

Katie Holmes (Married from November 2006 to June 2012)

tom cruise

Katie Holmes is an American actor and director. She was born in 1978. She is famous for various movie and TV performances, including Dawson CreekThe Ice Storm, and The Secret Dare to Dream.

She started dating Cruise in 2005 and made their first public appearance while being together in Rome. Cruise announced his love for Holmes during his interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a part of his film promotion at the time War of the Worlds. On 6 October of the same year, 2005, the couple announced they were expecting a child. They were later officially married on November 2006 in a ceremony at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano. In 2012, Holmes filed for divorce.

Other Romantic Relationships

tom cruise

Cruise had several romantic relationships that did not end in marriage. One association was with Penélope Cruz, whom he met while filming Vanilla Sky in 2001. They later broke up in 2004. Another is Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian- British actress who used to share his belief in Scientology but left the church after their break up.


Reading about Tom Cruise’s life and career, it is apparent that he does everything with passion and strong belief. He is an all-in kind of man. He is the kind of man who watches movies daily, learns to do all the dangerous scenes himself and becomes a real professional, not just on the screen. It is only logical that this man would support his chosen spiritual path and become all-in.

Cruise was converted to Scientology by his first wife, Mimi Rogers. It formulated a considerable part of his belief and personal philosophy. The notion of Scientology was first introduced by L. Ron Hubbard when he offered a complete path towards the spiritual being regardless of the mind and body.


“All I can do is the best I can do every day; that’s it.”

Tom Cruise

Cruise’s acting career began in the 1980s when he was 18. His first appearance on the screen was in a small role in the film Endless Love. By 1986, after the release of Top Gun, he managed to assert himself as a renowned actor. The film grossed around $357 million versus an operating budget of $15 million. Top Gun won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It also earned the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. A sequel to the movie was released in 2022 under the name Top Gun: Maverik. 

During the following years, Cruise’s acting career proceeded with success. He appeared on the screen as the leading actor in several films that grossed millions. To name a few; Days of Thunder, Far and Away, Knight and Day, and of course, the famous movie sequel Mission: Impossible, which is still active from 1996 to date. The seventh part of the movie sequel got released in July 2023 under the name Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One.

Tom Cruise Producing Career

Cruise movie making career continued beyond the level of acting. In 1996, he started his production company in cooperation with Paula Wagner, under Cruise/Wagner Productions. Their first project was Mission: Impossible starring Cruise. As a successful and passionate person, Cruise went down in the market as a producer who guarantees a billion dollars in revenue for any film project he works on.

In 2006, however, Paramount Pictures broke the cooperation deal with Cruise/Wagner Productions. This announcement affected the company less due to the considerable success they scored over the years, especially in producing the Mission: Impossible movie franchise. They announced taking over the United Artists film studios. They worked on several movie productions until Wagner resigned from her role in the company. Later, Cruise rejoined Paramount in the Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol and Jack Reacher movie series production.


Tom Cruise, an actor who has been active for almost four decades, managed to bring more than 50 movies to the screen. Today, his films achieve revenues of billions of dollars worldwide. Below we will mention several of his successful movies that are a must to watch.

1. Top Gun (1986)

The famous action drama film was released in 1986. It was one of the most successful films that year, with the highest revenues. The film is a turning point n Cruise’s career.

The story is about the naval army and the challenges faced by young Lieutenant Pete Maverick and his team. Maverick loses his wingman in one of his interceptions with two hostile MiG-28. The accident left him fighting his guilt and struggling with criticism of his methods. Maverick’s story unfolds till the end of the movie. It is an exceptional movie with highly praised visual effects at the time.

The film continued to be favoured over the years. It was re-released in 2013 in IMAX 3D. And, of course, the movie’s soundtrack is still one of the most popular songs.

Thirty-six years later, in 2022, a sequel to the movie was released under the title Top Gun: Maverik. We follow Maverik as he trains a number of new soldiers for an arduous interception that requires unique manoeuvring skills.

Director: Tony Scott 

Producer: Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer

Distribution: Paramount Pictures

Cast: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt

Revenues: $357 million against a $15 million production budget

Awards: Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the theme song “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin

Top Gun 1986 soundtrack: “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin

2. A Few Good Men (1992)

A Few Good Men is one of the 90s film masterpieces. It is a legal movie following the story of two martials condemned for the murder of their colleague. As the story unfolds, the truth comes to light and internal corruption is uncovered.

Director: Rob Reiner

Producer: Rob Reiner, David Brown and Andrew Scheinman

Distribution: Columbia Pictures

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, J. T. Walsh, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Kiefer Sutherland

Revenues: $243million against a $40 million production budget

Awards: nominated for 4 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

Won: the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards, Awards Circuit Community Awards for the best-adapted screenplay, and MTV Movie Awards for best movies, among others.

3. Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible is a movie franchise that began in 1996. They have released six films since then. The seventh and the eighth will be released in 2023 and 2024. It is about the story of Ethan Hunt, an undercover spy who does missions for the government as part of the IMF organisation. Hunt is a highly skilled operative who is the best in his line of work. We see his struggles, difficult choices, losses and wins. It is definitely a movie worth being released in new parts to date.

Mission: Impossible I (1996)

Director: Brian De Palma

Producer: Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave, Jean Reno

Revenues: $457.7 million

Awards: Won Producers Guild of America Awards for the Most Promising Producer in Theatrical Motion Pictures 1997

Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Director: John Woo

Producer: Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner

Cast: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandiwe Newton, Richard Roxburgh, John Polson, Brendan Gleeson, Rade Sherbedgia, Ving Rhames

Revenues: $546 million 

Awards: Won MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Male Performance

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Director: J. J. Abrams

Producer: Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner

Cast: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan, Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Billy Crudup, Keri Russell, Simon Pegg, Laurence Fishburne

Revenues: $398 million

Awards: Won Empire Award, UK, for the scene of the year.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Director: Brad Bird

Producer: Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton

Revenues: $694 million 

Awards: Won Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA, for Best Action and Adventure Film.

Won: ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for top Box Office Film.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Producer: Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin

Revenues: $683 million 

Awards: Won International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA) for Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film, the Golden Trailer Award for the Most Original Foreign Trailer and the Most Innovative Advertising for a Feature Film, and Rebecca Ferguson won the Hamptons International Film Festival a Breakthrough Performer.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Producer: Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams, Christopher McQuarrie, Jake Myers

Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin

Revenues: $791 million

Awards: Won Critics Choice Awards for the Best Action Movie.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One is now streaming in cinemas! Part Two will be released in 2024

Personal Details

Birth Name

Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

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