Tom Cruise was born on July 3, 1962, Syracuse, New York. After eyecatching early roles in the military drama Taps and the raunchy comedy Risky Business, he became a bona fide box-office star with Top Gun, and has remained on the A-list ever since. He is blockbuster material, but has branched out with less palatable roles in daring projects: as a sexually thwarted husband in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut,
a motivational sex guru in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia and as a ruthless hit-man in Michael Mann’s Collateral.
High point: Academy Award nominations for his work in Born on the Fourth of July and Magnolia.
Low point: Jumping on Oprah’s sofa; everything associated with Scientology.
What he says: Whether it’s making a film or raising my children, personally I’m striving to do the right things and to learn.
What they say: Cruise is one of the first young actors who seems unaffected
by the impact of Brando and Clift, and much more inspired by the example of a Gable or a Grant. He wants to work.