Tom Cruise, Scientology and Superstardom

He has become one of the top hundred actors in Hollywood. Starring in countless box office successes, his star power has frequently become overshadowed by his personal life and controversial involvement in Scientology. In this video, WatchMojo.com takes a look at the career of superstar Tom Cruise and his numerous box office successes. These include the classics "Risky Business", "Rain Man" and the "Mission Impossible" film franchise. We also take a look at the comeback of Hollywood's leading man spurred with his willingness to embrace his crazy persona in comedic performances, namely as the hilarious movie producer Les Grossman.
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Tom Cruise, Scientology and Superstardom


He went from one of the top 100 movie stars of all time to controversial Hollywood personality. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at the legendary career of superstar actor Tom Cruise.

Born on July 3rd 1962 in Syracuse, New York; he spent his childhood moving between dozens of homes and schools until settling in Glen Ridge New Jersey at the age of 14.

There he developed a deep passion for acting that surpassed his longtime desire to join the priesthood. As a result he dropped out of high school and headed back to New York to pursue a career as an actor. He quickly made his film debut with a small part in the 1981 drama/romance “Endless Love.”

Later that year he got a larger role along-side Sean Penn as a gung-ho cadet in the military film “Taps”, and appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s film adaptation of “The Outsiders.”

In 1983 Cruise suddenly found himself overwhelmed with acting work. That year he got his first starring role in the comedy “Losin’ It”, before achieving instant stardom for dancing in his boxer shorts in “Risky Business.”

As a result, he quickly found himself to be a huge box-office draw and was paid half a million dollars to star in Ridley Scott’s fantasy film “Legend”, and quadruple that for the role of fighter pilot Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in 1986’s blockbuster “Top Gun.”

With unstoppable momentum behind him he delivered a string of critically acclaimed performances that wooed naysayers, such as that of a hustler in “The Color of Money”, opposite Paul Newman, and as the self-serving bother of an man with severe autism in “Rain Man.”

He then even managed to counter his pro-war persona by appearing in Oliver Stone’s “Born On The Forth of July, before meeting Nicole Kidman on the set of “Days of Thunder.”

Soon after, he starred opposite Jack Nicolson in the court-martial drama “A Few Good Men” and dominated the box-office with the gripping tale of a lawyer trapped in a world controlled by “The Firm.”

Wishing to shake things up a bit, he then raised eyebrows by starring opposite Brad Pit in “Interview With The Vampire.” And if his box office might hadn’t overwhelmed Hollywood yet, it certainly did just that with the release of his action-packed remake of classic television show “Mission Impossible”, which went on to receive several big budget sequels.

Ironically, his demand was perfectly personified by the catch phrase featured in “Jerry Maguire.”

Despite this, he then decided to take himself out of his traditional Hollywood fare, and starred in the drama film “Magnolia”, before appearing opposite his then-wife Nicole Kidman in Stanley Kubrick’s final movie “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Shortly afterward he began his descent into the realm of tabloid fodder due to their bitter divorce, and a short-lived romance with Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. Strangely, he tried to embrace the bad press by taking on an outrageously self-referential cameo in Austin Powers’ “Goldmember.”

Yet, in spite of continuing to rake in the cash in films like “Minority Report” and “The Last Samurai”, his reputation continued to take a beating due to his newfound devotion to Scientology, and an outrageous couch outburst in which he proclaimed his love for actress Katie Holmes in front of Oprah and the world.

Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg was made frustrated by the fact that all of the attention being received by his remake of “War Of The Worlds” was centered squarely on the hijinks of its unstable star.

And the director wasn’t alone, following the release of “Mission impossible 3” Paramount announced the end of their 14-year long relationship with Cruise’s own studio “Crusie/Wagner Productions.”

Showing his outrage, Cruise played the hilarious and barely recognizable role of a foul-mouthed studio executive in “Tropic Thunder” and as an eye-patch clad Nazi traitor on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler in the historical thriller "Valkyrie."

Proving that he’s still unstoppable, he returned to star in the 2010 action comedy film “Knight and Day” and announced he would return for a 4th “Mission Impossible” installment.
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