Thomas Cruise Mapother IV ( born July 3, 1962), better known by his screen name Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Forbes magazine ranked him as the world's most powerful celebrity in 2006.He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won three Golden Globe Awards. His first leading role was the 1983 film Risky Business , which has been described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker" for the actor. After playing the role of a heroic naval pilot in the popular and financially successful 1986 film Top
Gun, Cruise continued in this vein, playing a secret agent in a series of Mission:
Impossible action films in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to these heroic roles, he also
played other roles, such as the misogynistic male guru in Magnolia (1999) and a cool and
calculating sociopathic hitman in the Michael Mann crime-thriller film Collateral (2004).
Economist Edward Jay Epstein argues that Cruise is one of the few producers (the others
being George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer) who are able to guarantee the
success of a billion-dollar movie franchise. Since 2005, Cruise and Paula Wagner have been
in charge of the United Artists film studio, with Cruise as producer and star and Wagner as
the chief executive. Cruise is also known for his support of and adherence to the Church of
Scientology.Cruise's first film role came in 1981, when he had a small role in Endless Love, a
drama/romance film starring Brooke Shields. Later that same year he had a more substantial role in the film Taps, appearing alongside George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn.
The film about military cadets was moderately successful. In 1983, he was one of many
teenaged stars to appear in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders. The cast for this film
included Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and Ralph Macchio, two of which were part of the Brat Pack. That same year Cruise appeared in the teen comedy Losin' It. Cruise's
breakthrough came after Risky Business was released, which helped to propel Cruise to
stardom. One sequence in the film, featuring Cruise lip-syncing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock
and Roll" in his underwear, has become an iconic moment in 1980s film. The film has been
described as "A Generation-X classic, and a career-maker for Tom Cruise". A fourth film that
was released in 1983 was the high-school football drama, All the Right Moves. Cruise's next
film was the 1985 fantasy film Legend directed by Ridley Scott.
Cruise partnered with his former talent agent Paula Wagner to form Cruise/Wagner Productions in 1993, and the company has since co-produced several of Cruise's films, the first being Mission: Impossible in 1996 which was also Cruise's first project as a producer. He won a Nova Award (shared with Paula Wagner) for Most Promising Producer in Theatrical Motion Pictures at the PGA Golden Laurel Awards in 1997 for his work as a producer for the film Mission: Impossible.
His next project as a producer was the 1998 film Without Limits about famous American runner Steve Prefontaine. Cruise returned to work as a producer in 2000, continuing work on the Mission Impossible sequel. He then served as an executive producer for The Others which starred Nicole Kidman, also that year, he again worked as actor/producer in Vanilla Sky. He subsequently worked on (but did not star in) Narc, Hitting It Hard and Shattered Glass. His next project, which he also starred in, was The Last Samurai, he was jointly nominated for the Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award at the 2004 PGA Golden Laurel Awards. He then worked on Suspect Zero, Elizabethtown and Ask the Dust.