Happy birthday, Tom Cruise? With wife Katie Holmes filing for divorce from the actor just four days ago, it seems like this may not be the happiest of birthdays for the star, but even in the midst of the conspiracy-laden split, anyone would have to admit Tom Cruise still has a pretty great life. So, in celebration of Maverick’s 50th, we’ve put together a list of 50 reasons why it’s still great to be Tom Cruise:
1. He’s been in 34 movies, including classics like Rain Man, The Outsiders, Jerry Maguire, Top Gun, Born on the Fourth of July, Minority Report, Cocktail, A Few Good Men, Mission: Impossible (1, 2, and 4, anyway) and already has several more in production.
2. He’s been nominated for three Academy Awards, and has won three Golden Globes.
3. He still has great hair.
4. He has a really nice house (or should we say, a $30.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills that has over 10,000 square feet of living space, including seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms). Potato, potatoh.
5. No matter how “Far and Away" Tom is (he’s currently working in Iceland, of all places) he still makes headlines.
6. He, against all odds, made tighty whities cool, thanks to Risky Business.
7. He’s the only movie star who will ever dangle from the Burj Kalifa.
8. He’s probably the only movie star who could get away with jumping on Oprah’s couch. Shoe marks on fine leather are not a favorite thing.
9. He’ll always be Maverick.
10. He’s worked with Hollywood legends, including Paul Newman, Martin Scorcese, and Stanley Kubrick.
11. He’s been a samurai, special agent, samurai, contract killer, pilot, race-car driver, senator, magazine owner, lawyer, sports agent, student, vampire, soldier, bartender, and pool player.
12. He brought back the Oscars post 9/11.
13. People magazine rated him among the top 50 most beautiful people in the world three times.
14. People went to see War of the Worlds even after the “jumping on Oprah’s couch” incident.
15. He wasn’t afraid to put on a fat suit and a bald cap for the sake of comedy in his over-the-top Tropic Thunder role.
16. In fact, his role in Tropic Thunder was so outrageous that it temporarily made people forget about his off-screen antics.
17. He perfected scream-o acting.
18. Before Twilight or True Blood, Tom Cruise was the original sexy vampire in Interview with a Vampire.
19. … and he was so good in Interview with a Vampire that author Anne Rice, who had initially been very vocal about being displeased with Cruise’s casting, published an apology letter praising his performance.
20. He was in TWO movies with the word “Thunder” in the title, thus making him the pinnacle of masculinity.
21. He started starring in the Mission: Impossible franchise sixteen years ago, but it is still going strong with him as the leading man today. Take that, every other franchise with an aging protagonist!
22. Even at age 50, he gets to play as rock n’ roll sex icon in Rock of Ages. (Too bad no one saw it.)
23. Rosie O'Donnell made him synonymous with the title of "cutie patootie."
24. He’s spawned countless lookalikes, like Peter Facinelli and Miles Fisher (who happens to do a killer impression of him.)
25. He is the only celebrity with a Japanese holiday in his honor. On October 10, 2006 was officially declared Tom Cruise Day by the Japan Memorial Day Association.
26. Only one person can ever really boast that Jack Nicholson actually shouted “You can’t handle the truth!” at them, and that’s Tom Cruise.
27. He handled the truth.
28. He is only 5’7”, but is still one of the biggest movie-star/sex icons in the world.
29. He’s not Mel Gibson.
30. He's also not John Travolta.
31. Whenever anybody hears “Highway to the Dangerzone,” they automatically see Tom Cruise on a motorcycle.
32. He overcame dyslexia (with the help of Scientology, apparently.)
33. Even with his impending divorce, he still has enough money to never work again – and probably buy several Pottery barns, where he could spend the rest of his days testing out couches.
34. People have long since learned to “show [him] the money.”
35. Even though he spent a year at a Franciscan seminary in Ohio, and even took a vow of celibacy, he’s managed to become one of the biggest Hollywood stars in the world.
36. Thanks to the all-time classic corny line “You complete me,” he helped make other cinema moments, like Austin Powers’ Doctor Evil, even more hilarious.
37. He won an MTV Generation Award.
38. No matter what people may say about his personal life, he’s given some memorable performances, like Born on the Fourth of July, and nobody can take that away from him.
39. He dated stunner Penelope Cruz. Well played, sir.
40. He’s been married to three Hollywood starlets: Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. Which can only mean one thing, wife #4 will undoubtedly be younger and taller than he is.
41. He can destroy countless BMW i8’s without consequence.
42. He regularly gets roles where he gets to do an impressive amount of swearing. F***king recall, if you will, “I will massacre you!” rant in Tropic Thunder, and the “Respect the **** and tame the ****!” infomercial in Magnolia.
43. The Friars think Tom Cruise is really awesome, and gave him the Entertainment Icon Award, which only three other people have ever received in the 108-year history of the club: Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks.
44. He taught a generation of people that sometimes you just gotta say, “What the f**k?”
45. He can sing!
46. In 2006, Forbes magazine ranked him as the most powerful celebrity in the world.
47. His daughter Suri is probably the most-stalked celebrity child in the world. Sorry, Suri.
48. There is an entire satirical website dedicated to producing fake news about him called www.tomcruiseisnuts.com.
49. He’s practically Spider-Man, with his amazing ability to jump from car to car in the brilliant, but underrated Minority Report.
50. Xenu loves him. Don't stop believin'
Tom Cruise Turns 50
More:Happy 50th Birthday, Tom Cruise!Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Are Getting a Divorce
Based on a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde "Pay It Forward" is about a boy named Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) who is inspired by his social studies teacher Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey) and comes up with a school project based on a simple concept: Don't wait to pay back good deeds; pay them forward three times over. One of the boy's attempts to do good includes bringing his teacher together with his alcoholic single mother Arlene (Helen Hunt).
This movie has all the makings of Oscar. Two-time Oscar winner Spacey is solid as usual and escapes into the role of Mr. Simonet whose facial and bodily burn scars hide a tragic secret. Oscar winner Hunt gets a chance to really flex her acting muscles and she does. Her scenes with young Osment are especially gripping. But the revelation in "Pay It Forward" is Osment. This boy was born to act and he improves upon his already impressive turn in "The Sixth Sense." It would be nice to see Osment win Oscar this year and Spacey and Hunt will surely receive nominations. Providing strong supporting work are Angie Dickinson Jay Mohr and James Caviezel and Jon Bon Jovi appears in a fortunately brief cameo.
Mimi Leder ("Deep Impact " "The Peacemaker") takes a break from action films and slows it down way down with "Pay It Forward." Her foray into the non-action realm is shaky. Some of the scenes are out of place and take away from the overall effectiveness of the film. One major and surprising plot point is heartbreaking unnecessary and executed in a contrived manner. And the ending is disjointed from the feel of the rest of the film. Fortunately for Leder she has an amazing cast and a strong story from author Hyde.