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
The crime spree is over. "The Sopranos" will have to kiss someone else's ring -- namely, the big boss man's, the president of the United States of TV America.
"The West Wing" was named Best Drama Series at the 52nd Annual Emmy Awards, capping a night wherein the political drama dominated, save for one major setback when James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos" bested Martin Sheen in the competition for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
"I think the Academy has an affinity for slightly overweight bald men," Gandolfini quipped onstage.
Gandolfini's win was the lone bright spot for "The Sopranos," which otherwise got whacked -- like when Sela Ward of ABC’s "Once and Again" beat both Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco for the Best Actress in a Drama Series Emmy. "The Sopranos" came into the night with 18 nominations.
Hollywood.com's Sandy Kenyon asked Gandolfini: "It's been a long kind of overnight success for you. What was going through your mind and is this a form of sweet justice for you?"
"I didn't feel any miscarriage of justice last year or anything like that, I'm just pleased to be in the show, doing the work we do,” Gandolfini said. “I didn't feel anything went wrong last year, so this year is just icing on the cake for me personally."
Meanwhile, Sheen was doing a lot of congratulatory on-camera hugging, as his comrades made their way to the stage to accept their trophies. Among the other honors for "The West Wing" were Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Allison Janney) and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Richard Schiff); Best Writing in a Drama Series (Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland); and Best Direction in a Drama Series (Thomas Schlamme).
"I've got a 'West Wing' feeling," host Gary Shandling mused halfway through the telecast.
NBC’s “Will & Grace” came away with some big wins, including Best Comedy Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Megan Mullally and Best Supporting Actor in A Comedy Series for Sean Hayes.
The lead actor and actress in “Will & Grace,” Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, respectively, lost out to Michael J. Fox for ABC’s “Spin City” and Patricia Heaton of CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
HURRY IT UP: The Emmys aren't known for brevity. In recent years, the broadcast has dragged on well past the allotted running time, but this year's festivities wrapped up within its three-hour slot. Just barely.
During the final hour, that tinkly "get off the stage, already" piano music was heard often as awardees dragged on too long with acceptance speeches. Host Shandling was cut off in mid-sentence as he introduced presenter Bruce Willis, who walked onstage before his cue and explained, "We're running really late" under his breath.
The producers tried (mostly in vain) using TelePrompTers to quicken the pace -- a fact that Jack Lemmon inadvertently revealed, when he unconsciously read the "please wrap up" cue out loud.
In his opening monologue, Shandling said, "You know what slows this show down? It's the awards," and jokingly suggested that the names of winners be taped to the bottom of their seats to save time.
Not a bad idea.
Here's a brief blow by blow of the highlights of the 2000 Emmy telecast:
THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A GOOD POTTY JOKE: This being an awards telecast, there were of course lots of pre-taped and live time killers in between the awards and commercials.
The best of these was a "Big Brother" parody, wherein Shandling was caught on camera in the men's room. The valet offering him a hot towel was David Duchovny, who informed Shandling that a vote was taken and his bathroom privileges had been revoked. Guess you had to be there.
The whole show began, of course, with a "Survivor" parody that featured a mock vote of the Tribal Council (with celebrity members including Andy Richter of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" fame). The winner of which would be named host of the Emmy telecast and also get an SUV. Shandling tried to cop out, asking if he could just take the car instead. Guess you had to be there for that one, too.
There were other funny gags. Conan O'Brien did a self-effacing bit about paying lip service to women's issues so he could get a date to next year's Emmys; and Shandling did a tribute to his idea of "risk taking" TV: like the Home Shopping Network, "Jerry Springer," monster trucks, "Teletubbies," "Xena" and The Weather Channel.
PRESSING THE FLESH: Hubba, hubba. Was it just the fact that we're watching the Emmy telecast on crystal-clear satellite TV, or did everyone see Geena Davis' um, er, um, ahem ... nipples? Is Renny Harlin nuts? She's the most beautiful over-40 woman in the universe -- see-through, skin-tight outfit or no.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE: The annual montage of dearly departed TV celebs featured Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Madeline Kahn, John Gielgud, George C. Scott, Larry Linville, Meredith MacRae, Gene Rayburn, Durward Kirby, Shirley Hemphill, Hoyt Axton, Nancy Marchand, Leonard Goldenson, Clayton Moore, Doug Henning, Craig Stevens, Mary Jane Croft, Mabel King, Charles M. Schulz, Alec Guinness and Walter Matthau.
WHO'S THAT, ER, GIRL? Cher's got blonde hair now. She looks just like Christina Aguilera, sort of. Just thought you'd like to know.
WE LIKE MIKE: The evening's biggest no-brainer was probably Michael J. Fox's win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. The actor received the second standing O of the night (the first went to Jack Lemmon) as he took his first "Spin City" Emmy in four tries and fourth trophy overall (he got three for "Family Ties").
NBC won bragging rights for the night, taking 23 Emmys. HBO won 20, ABC 15, Fox 11 and CBS 7.