Thomas "Tom" Cruise Mapother IV (* July 3, 1962 Syracuse, New York, USA) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and director.
He was born as the only son of four children. He has three sisters: Lee Anne De Vette (* 1959), Marian (* 1961) and Cass (* 1963). His father is electronics engineer Thomas Mapother III. (1934–1984), his mother is Mary Lee Mapother. His maternal ancestry is half Irish and half German. The family moved often, as his father was an employee of General Electrics. Tom lived in Ottawa and Ontario, Canada, Louisville, Kentucky, Winnetka, Illinois, Wayne, and New Jersey. Altogether, he attended eight elementary schools and three secondary schools. This was resolved by his mother in 1974, when Tom was fifteen, with a divorce; she then found a new boyfriend, Jack South.
Tom briefly attended a Franciscan seminary in Cincinnati and wanted to become a Catholic priest. He eventually graduated from Geln Ridge Ridge School in New Jersey, but suffered from dyslexia. Cruise later mentioned that he was abused as a child. He is said to have called his father a "tyrant and a coward" and a "merchant of chaos". Tom Cruise loved sports, which also led him to acting. In 1980, he starred in the stage production Guys and Dolls, after which he decided to change his plans and become an actor. Before long, he went to New York, where at first everyone rejected him, except for the director Franco Zeffirelli, who in 1981 offered him the role of Billy in the film Endless Love. In the same year, he also played the role of David Shawn in the film Taps.
Cruise's first major role was in Losin' It in 1983, followed by Risky Business. The Scott brothers cast him in the film Legend (Legend). Then director Tony Scott cast him in the 1986 aviation action blockbuster Top Gun, playing self-confident pilot Pete "Maverick" Mitchell; this started his real acting career.
This was followed by acting roles in films such as Color of Money (The), in 1988 Cocktail (Cocktail) and the Oscar-winning film Rain Man from 1988, which did not win an Oscar. The films Young Guns (1988), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Far and Away (1992) or the film Firm (1993) followed.
Fees for individual roles were not among the smallest. One of his biggest ($75 million) was for the role of Ethan Hunt in the film Mission: Impossible II from 2000. He also received a considerable amount for the role of the vampire Lestat in the film Interview with the Vampire (1994), from which he took away the sum of 15 million dollars. He also took home $20 million for his role in the drama Jerry Maquire; this was followed by roles in the 1999 erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut and a role in the film Magnolia.
Among his best-known roles is David Aamessia in the 2001 film Vanilla Sky, where he co-starred with Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Kurt Russell. Also, the film Last samurai, The, which was filmed in New Zealand in 2003, where he portrayed Nathan Algren. He then portrayed the character of Ray Ferrier in the film War of the Worlds (War of the Worlds) from 2005 or the character of Jack Reacher in the films Jack Reacher: The Last Shot (2012) and Jack Reacher: Don't Go Back (2016).
But his most successful and best-known character remains the role of agent Ethan Hunt from the Mission: Impossible series, which consisted of six feature films in 2018. The fourth installment Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) managed to earn $694 million worldwide, the fifth installment Mission: Impossible - Nation of Goons (2015) took in $682 million. So far, the highest-grossing film in the series is the sixth sequel, Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), which opened in theaters worldwide