Entertainment

Tom Cruise in pictures as he turns 60 – from teenage actor to Hollywood heavyweight

Top Gun by Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise will celebrate his 60th birthday on July 3 (Image: Rex)

It’s a big weekend if your name is Tom Cruise and you’re a massive Hollywood heavyweight as the action hero celebrates his 60th birthday today.

He has much to celebrate at the moment as the top gun sequel Maverick is currently flying high at the box office, easily breaking the $1 billion mark worldwide.

That is definitely a huge gift in itself.

There’s no denying he’s still at the top of his game, but how does he do it?

In honor of Tom’s big day, we took a walk down memory lane to refresh some of his best moments and see what makes the cruiser the last of Hollywood’s icons.

1962: Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York. His full name was Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, but he was smart enough to shorten it.

Rebecca De Mornay and Tom Cruise in'risky deals'

One of Tom’s first – and most popular – films was the 1983 classic, Risky Business, in which he starred opposite Rebecca De Mornay – with whom he was in a relationship (Image: Getty)

Tom Cruise Risky Business Screening

He was catapulted to another level of fame after the release and his star has only continued to rise since (Picture: Getty)

Suddenly he stopped sounding like a distracted uncle in a Dickens novel and started sounding like a super cool movie star.

1983: Risky business. You may not remember much of this teen comedy, but everyone remembers Cruise being goofy and sexy at the same time as he danced around in his shirt, pants and socks. A star was born!

1989: Born July 4th. Cruise proved he was more than just a pair of shiny teeth by playing Ron Kovic, a Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist.

Tom Cruise BORN THE FOURTH OF JULY

Tom changed things in Born on the Fourth of July, taking on the role of a Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist (Image: Rex)

Tom Cruise was born on July 4th

He impressed with the role and showed a side of him on the big screen that we hadn’t seen before (Image: Rex)

He received the first of his three Oscar nominations, the last of which for Magnolia in 2000. The last for the time being, that is …

1999: Eyes Wide Closed. Cruise and Nicole Kidman signed on for six months of work on Stanley Kubrick’s erotic psychodrama, but they stuck it out for 15 months, which is why Eyes Wide Shut holds the Guinness World Record for longest uninterrupted film shoot of all time.

Nicole Kidman Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman worked together for 15 months on Eyes Wide Shut and famously tied the knot in 1990, nearly a decade before we finally got our hands on the film (Image: WireImage)

Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

It didn’t last between the former couple, and their marriage came to an end in 2001 (Image: WireImage)

Cruise is no slacker — though his marriage to Kidman broke up soon after.

2000: Mission: Impossible 2. Cruise was dangling by one hand off a cliff 2,000 feet above the Utah desert.

And that’s really him, dangling, even if he had a safety rope that was digitally erased.

Of course, the scene was hardly essential to the story, but it gave the Mission: Impossible series its raison d’être: showing audiences a Hollywood legend pulling off his own insanely challenging stunts. A risky business indeed.

Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise

Tom started dating Katie Holmes – the couple’s name was TomKat at the time – in 2005 and the world became obsessed with their whirlwind romance, leading to Tom jumping onto a sofa and finding his love just weeks after they went public the Dawson’s Creek actress announced (Image: FilmMagic)

2005: The Sofa Incident. Something went wrong here. Cruise was on the Oprah Winfrey Show to promote War Of The Worlds, but he gushed about Katie Holmes and jumped on Oprah’s sofa instead.

Between that beloved gymnastics performance and his attacks on psychiatry, Cruise earned the unfortunate reputation of being a mad Scientologist.

Lesson learned; Since then, he has been much quieter in his private life.

2007: Lions for Lambs. This smug political drama isn’t great, but it’s directed by Robert Redford, and it remains the latest example of Cruise’s collaboration with a truly great director.

Young Cruise literally ticks them off: Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Michael Mann etc. But now he prefers to be the boss himself.

Tom Cruise Robert Redford Lions for lambs

Tom worked with Robert Redford on Lions for Lambs in 2007 (Image: Getty)

Tom Cruise Lions for lambs

The actor has worked with some big, big directors throughout his career (Image: FilmMagic)

Whoever the director may be, it’s Cruise’s vision that makes an efficiently entertaining film. Fair enough. Without this control mania, he probably wouldn’t have maintained his megastar status.

But wouldn’t it be exciting if he worked again with a challenging author?

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher - Never Back - 2016

Tom first starred as Jack Reacher in 2012 before reprising the role in the 2016 sequel, Never Go Back (Image: Rex)

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher - Never Back - 2016

Sadly, the sequel, which is based on the Lee Child novel, didn’t get much acclaim from fans or critics at the time (Image: Rex)

2012: JackReacher. Cruise didn’t make many dubious career decisions, but deciding that he was the man to play Lee Child’s 6ft 5in tall blonde vigilante was one of them.

2017: The Mummy. Okay, so that’s another dubious choice. Let’s move on quickly.

Still, the film was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who has directed every part of Mission: Impossible since then, giving Cruise at least one dependable new creative partner from the business.

2022: Top Gun: Maverick. A sequel to the most 1980s-ish of all 1980s movies, released 36 years after the original?

Top Gun by Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise took our breath away in Top Gun when the original film hit the big screen in 1986 (Image: Rex)

Tom Cruise Top Gun Maverick Premiere

More than 30 years later, he jumped straight back into the pilot’s seat for another flight, with Top Gun: Maverick grossing more than $1 billion at the box office (Image: Rex)

It should have been a disaster, but Cruise’s obsessive quality control paid off — and the fact that he hadn’t aged a day since the first film probably helped.

2022: Cannes Film Festival. During a question and answer session on stage, a French journalist asks Cruise why he does his own stunts.

Cruise’s response: “No one asks Gene Kelly why are you dancing? Why are you dancing yourself?’

Yes, he’s passionate about what he does, alright.

TG:M has grossed over $1 billion at the box office, making it the year’s biggest hit and Cruise’s own highest-grossing film.

Don’t bet against him winning the long-awaited Oscar for Best Actor next year.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/03/tom-cruise-in-pictures-as-he-turns-60-from-teen-actor-to-hollywood-heavyweight-16927968/ Tom Cruise in pictures as he turns 60 - from teenage actor to Hollywood heavyweight

Jaclyn Diaz

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