Tom Cruise, the star of Born on the 4th of July, wasn't actually born on the 4th of July at all...he was born today, the 3rd of July, in 1962, in Syracuse New York.
Since his first appearance in Endless Love in 1981, he has gone on to star in 46 films so far (according to IMDB), grossing over $9 billion dollars worldwide. This makes him one of the most famous and biggest box office attractions in the business.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, winner of three Grammys and a career with 80 nominations and 51 wins under his belt, Cruise has played an entrepreneurial teenager, a pool shark, bartender, lawyer, Irish settler, sports agent, returning military veteran and an all-action hero, to name but a few.
Whilst he was born in Syracuse, his youth was pretty nomadic. He attended 15 schools over 14 years, including a few years in Canada. Raised a Catholic, and with Irish ancestry, he entered a seminary at the age of 14 believing he had a vocation to the priesthood. A year later though, he felt more of a vocation to acting, and left to pursue this path.
His first 'bit part' in Endless Love was followed by a couple of equally small, but useful roles in Taps and The Outsiders. His career defining break came in 1983 with his starring role in Risky Business, and his appeal was cemented in 1986 with his iconic role of Maverick in Top Gun.
Blessed with the opportunity to star in some truly memorable films, the late '80s and early 90's were a golden time for him. The Colour of Money, Cocktail, Rainman, Born on the Forth of July, Days of Thunder, (where he met his future wife Nicole Kidman), and finally Far and Away in 1992 where he starred alongside Kidman again.
If this impressive CV wasn't enough, it was time now for the success to really kick in. Over the next four years he became the first actor to star in five consecutive films which grossed over $100 million at the US box office. A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview With a Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Mission Impossible and Jerry Maguire. With financial success and award nominations flooding in, he kept a customary humility saying "Awards are wonderful. I've been nominated many times and I've won many awards. But my journey is not towards that. If it happens it will be a blast. If it doesn't, it's still been a blast."
Away from Hollywood, Cruise is known for his involvement in the Church of Scientology. He has been married and divorced three times. Each wife was born 11 years after the previous one, Mimi Rogers (1956), Nicole Kidman (1967) and Katie Holmes (1978). They all divorced him at the age of 34. Coincidence? Er... yes.
Expectations are high for July 12th 2019, as that's the date currently set for Top Gun 2, which will see Cruise and Val Kilmer reunited as maverick & Ice Man for the first time since 1986. Will they still feel the need? The need for Glucosamine sulphate... Anyway, Happy Birthday Tom, & hope you have a blast.
Thanks fo reading.