Top Gun star Tom Cruise will be putting his current marriage woes aside and flying high on Tuesday (03Jul12) when he turns 50.
The Hollywood hunk was hoping for a better birthday gift than divorce papers from his now-estranged wife Katie Holmes, but if we know Tom, he’ll come through smiling.
Despite his private problems, the star’s professional life is on a role thanks to the success of this year’s (12) Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and he has no plans to rest his ageing limbs anytime soon, with future roles lined up in films like sci-fi thriller Oblivion and action blockbuster Jack Reacher.
Flop Rock of Ages aside, Cruise has become one of the world’s biggest movie stars and boasts a career that spans over 30 glorious years.
WENN has put together 10 fascinating facts about Hollywood’s most enduring star to mark the birthday boy’s big day. Happy birthday, Tom!
- The Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses that Cruise’s cocky pilot Maverick wore in Top Gun enjoyed a 40 per cent surge in sales after the film’s release. The U.S. Air Force and Navy also enjoyed a huge boost in recruitment.
- Cruise has been married three times – to Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes. The unions all ended while his wives were 33.
- A keen Scientologist, Cruise became involved in the religion in 1990 and is now considered their most high-profile member. He credits Scientology with helping him overcome his dyslexia.
- Cruise and his production partner Paula Wagner took over Charlie Chaplin’s United Artists film studio in 2005.
- He’s the first actor to have grossed $100 million (£62.5 million) with five different movies at the US box office – A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Mission: Impossible, and Jerry Maguire.
- The news that Cruise was playing the devilish Lestat in Interview with the Vampire sparked a casting controversy as even the book’s author Anne Rice publicly denounced the choice. However, she and many fans were quick to apologise after seeing his performance.
- Cruse isn’t just an action man for the cameras. The real life daredevil has his own pilot’s licence and performs most of his breathtaking stunts, including the nerve-shredding climb up the world’s tallest tower in the latest Mission: Impossible movie.
- Tom was Oscar-nominated for his role as a wheelchair-bound Vietnam war veteran in Born on the Fourth of July, and he stayed in his wheelchair off set as much as possible during filming.
- Cruise turned down the leading roles in Footloose, Ghost, Iron Man and Speed.
- Before Angelina Jolie played a superspy in 2010’s Salt, Cruise was originally attached to the part. However, when he dropped out the film’s bosses flipped the gender and cast Jolie.