Tom Cruise is probably one of the biggest names that Hollywood has seen in a very long time. In a career spanning more than three decades, Cruise has been at the helm of some of the biggest blockbusters, both critically and commercially. Cruise first appeared in a bit part in the 1981 film ‘Endless Love’, followed by a major supporting role as a crazed military academy student in ‘Taps’ later that year. In 1983, he was part of the ensemble cast of ‘The Outsiders’. That same year he appeared in ‘All the Right Moves’ and ‘Risky Business’, which, along with 1986’s ‘Top Gun’, cemented his status as a superstar. He also played the male lead in the Ridley Scott film ‘Legend’, released in 1985.
He followed this success with ‘The Color of Money’, which paired him with Paul Newman. In 1988, he starred with Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rain Man’, which won the Academy Award for Best Film and him the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. He portrayed real-life paralyzed Vietnam War veteran in 1989’s ‘Born on the Fourth of July’, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, a nomination for BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Cruise’s first Best Actor Academy Award nomination.
His next films were ‘Days of Thunder’ in 1990 and ‘Far and Away’ in 1992. In 1994, he starred along with Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater in Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview with the Vampire’, a gothic drama/horror film that was based on Anne Rice’s best-selling novel. In 1996, he appeared as Ethan Hunt in the reboot of ‘Mission: Impossible’, which he produced. It was a box office success, although it received criticism regarding the Jim Phelps character being a villain despite being a protagonist of the original television series. The same year, he took on the title role in ‘Jerry Maguire’, for which he earned a Golden Globe and his second nomination for an Academy Award. In 1999, he costarred with Nicole Kidman in the erotic Stanley Kubrick film ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, and took a rare supporting role, as a motivational speaker, Frank T.J. Mackey, in ‘Magnolia’, for which he received another Golden Globe and nomination for an Academy Award.
In 2000, Cruise returned as Ethan Hunt in the second installment of the Mission Impossible films, Mission: Impossible 2′. The following year Cruise starred in the romantic thriller ‘Vanilla Sky’ in 2001 with Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz. In 2002, Cruise starred in the dystopian science fiction thriller ‘Minority Report’ which was directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick. In 2003, he starred in Edward Zwick’s historical drama ‘The Last Samurai’, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. In 2005, he worked again with Steven Spielberg in ‘War of the Worlds’, a loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel of the same name.
In 2006, he returned to his role as Ethan Hunt in the third installment of the Mission Impossible film series, ‘Mission: Impossible III’. In 2007, he took a rare supporting role for the second time in ‘Lions for Lambs’, which was a commercial disappointment. This was followed by an unrecognizable appearance as “Les Grossman” in the 2008 comedy ‘Tropic Thunder’ with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. This performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He played the central role in the historical thriller ‘Valkyrie’ released on December 25, 2008 to box office success.
In March 2010, he completed filming the action-comedy ‘Knight and Day’, in which he re-teamed with former costar Cameron Diaz; the film was released on June 23, 2010. He starred in ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’, the fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible series. The film was released in December 2011 to high critical acclaim and box office success.