The life, career, and legacy of Tom Cruise is epic, dramatic, sometimes complicated, but impossible to ignore. One of our last remaining old-school movie stars, who’s proven capable of great range over the years, Cruise has wielded his power in Hollywood to create unforgettable film moments and behind-the-scenes innovations, constantly pushing himself to new extremes with each passing day.
To appreciate his complexity and talent on the occasion of this, his 60th birthday, we’ve compiled 60 facts that only hint at why Tom Cruise remains one of the most famous men on the planet. He’s been grinning that signature grin and running his damn heart out for over 40 years on screen, and he shows very little sign of stopping anytime soon.
1. Tom Cruise’s real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV.
2. Tom Cruise’s cousin William Mapother is also an actor, most notably known for playing the role of Ethan in Lost.
3. Here is an incomplete list of the directors that Tom Cruise has worked with over the years: Barry Levinson, Ben Stiller, Brad Bird, Brian De Palma, Cameron Crowe, Christopher McQuarrie, Curtis Hanson, Doug Liman, Edward Zwick, Francis Ford Coppola, Franco Zeffirelli, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, Rob Reiner, John Woo, Michael Mann, and Steven Spielberg.
4. At the beginning of his career, the actor starred in six films over the span of only two years: Endless Love (1981), Taps (1981), The Outsiders (1983), Losin’ It (1983), Risky Business (1983), and All The Right Moves (1983).
5. Tom Cruise was 19 in his first film, playing Billy in Endless Love.
6. Top Gun: Maverick is Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film, surpassing $1 billion at the box office. The film is Paramount’s second domestic highest-grossing film, following Titanic.
7. Attended the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Actors Studio in New School University, New York, where he studied drama.
8. Tom Cruise has been nominated for an Oscar three times, twice as lead actor for his roles in Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire, and then as supporting actor in Magnolia.
9. Although he has been nominated three times, Cruise has yet to win an Oscar.
10. Tom Cruise has not been nominated for an Oscar since the year 2000.
11. Cruise did win three Golden Globe awards for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia.
12. In May 2021, Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globe Awards to protest the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of racial diversity and alleged moral misconduct.
13. At age seven, Cruise was diagnosed with dyslexia.
14. Tom Cruise was introduced to Scientology in the 1980s by his first wife, Mimi Rogers.
15. Tom Cruise claims that his dyslexia was cured by Scientology.
16. An infamous Tom Cruise promotional video about Scientology, leaked online in January 2008, was parodied in the spoof film Superhero Movie, with actor Miles Fisher playing the Tom Cruise role.
17. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has nominated him four times for a less than auspicious award: Most Egregious Age Difference Between the Leading Man and the Love Interest. He won in 2019 for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, alongside co-star Rebecca Ferguson.
18. Tom Cruise has exactly one television credit — for directing. He helmed the episode “The Frightening Frammis” for the 1993 Showtime anthology series Fallen Angels.
19. He has yet to act in an actual TV show, outside of talk show and award show appearances.
20. On October 16, 1986, Cruise earned his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.