Who Is Tom Cruise? Tom Cruise is an American actor known for his roles in iconic films throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, as well as his high profile marriages to actresses Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes. After developing an interest in acting during high school, he rocketed to fame with his star turns in Risky Business and Top Gun. Cruise later earned acclaim for his work in the hit film Jerry Maguire and the Mission: Impossible franchise. Early Life Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, better known as Tom Cruise, was born on July 3, 1962, in Syracuse, New York, to Mary and Thomas Mapother. Cruise’s mother was an amateur actress and schoolteacher, and his father was an electrical engineer. His family moved around a great deal when Cruise was a child to accommodate his father’s career. 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 she remarried. Like his mother and three sisters, Cruise suffered from dyslexia, which made academic success difficult for him. He excelled in athletics, however, and considered pursuing a career in professional wrestling until a knee injury sidelined him during high school. At age 14, Cruise enrolled in a Franciscan seminary with thoughts of becoming a priest, but he left after a year. When he was 16, a teacher encouraged him to participate in the school’s production of the musical Guys and Dolls. After Cruise won the lead of Nathan Detroit, he found himself surprisingly at home on the stage, and a career was born.
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