Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, better known as Tom Cruise, was born on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York. Cruise’s mother was an amateur actress and schoolteacher, and his father was an electrical engineer. Cruise’s parents divorced when he was 11, and the children moved with their mother to Louisville, Kentucky, and then to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, after her remarriage 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 like his mother and three sisters, Cruise suffered from dyslexia, which made academic success difficult for him.
He left school and moved to New York, struggling through audition after audition before landing an appearance in 1981’s Endless Love, starring Brooke Shields. In 1983, Cruise appeared in The Outsiders, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
He starred alongside Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, and Rob Lowe all prominent members of a group of young actors the entertainment press dubbed the “Brat Pack.” Cruise first starred in The Colour of Money (1986), with co-star Paul Newman, then went on to work with Dustin Hoffman on the hit film, Rain Man (1988).
By the 1990s and 2000s he was one of the highest paid actors in the world earning an average fifteen million dollars a picture in such blockbuster hits as Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Mission: Impossible (1996), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Vanilla Sky (2001), Minority Report (2002), The Last Samurai (2003), Collateral (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), and Jerry Maguire (1996) for which he received an Academy Award Nomination for best actor.
In 1990, Cruise renounced his Catholic beliefs and turned instead to The Church of Scientology, claiming in an interview that Scientology had cured his dyslexia, which caused a furore in the medical community.
Despite criticism aimed at Cruise for his beliefs, by the 1990s he was one of the highest paid actors in the world, earning an average of $15 million per film.
In 1993, he formed the extremely successful C/W Productions on the Paramount Lot with his former agent, Paula Wagner, and is now represented by Paula’s husband, Rick Nicita at CAA. A kind a thoughtful man, Tom is well known for his compassion and generosity and is also one of the most well liked actors in the movie industry.
In addition to C/W Productions, Tom owns 2 other companies. He does not believe in allowing others to manage his affairs. He is responsible for the day to day operations of all 3 companies.
On May 6, 2011, Cruise was awarded a humanitarian award from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and Museum of Tolerance for his work as a dedicated philanthropist. Tom resides in Beverly Hills, California, but also owns an apartment in New York City and a mountain top home in Telluride, Colorado.